Streetlights history: from Catalan Society of Gas to Barcelona Energy
17 Sep 2018
We have all seen in movies those oil lamps or candles lighting the streets of cities, but when is street lighting modernized in Spain? What was the first public tender to manage this facility? In Letter Engineers we recently arrived at Barcelona City Council and we have found very interesting data.
We must go back to the nineteenth century, namely the year 1826, so that in Barcelona lights as street lighting system the first gas lamp. According to historians, it is the first time that the streets are lit enough to not feel unprotected.
The City Council of Barcelona convened in 1841 a public lighting contest won by a French industrial engineer. This one founded two years later the company Catalan Society for gas lighting. We currently know it as Naturgy or, the most backward, by Gas Natural Fenosa. As a curiosity, to comment that the street lighting service comes to Barcelona before running water to homes.
During the twentieth century, with the discovery of electric light, began the decline of gas lights since this new system was much cheaper, comfortable and durable. The gas discharge lamps arrive in which, through electricity, the luminescence phenomenon is achieved. One of the first gases used is mercury vapor which, for those who do not know, emits with a wave in which the ultraviolet predominates. Later improves efficiency in street lighting with the arrival of sodium vapor and its characteristic orange color. A few years ago, and it entered the new century, break into the LED technology in street lighting.
Because of the energy transition we live currently marketing energy undergoes radical changes daily. For more than 20 years, the electricity sector in Spain has been liberalized and, nevertheless, it has not been an effective Law as such. Therefore new models to appear Energy Barcelona have emerged. The council manages the generation and marketing in their own facilities. To generate uses different renewable sources such as photovoltaic and wind. However, it is methane from garbage which it gets its greatest green energy.
In Letter Engineers committed to new energy management models for municipal street lighting. We believe that these new models have a lot to say and here we will be to help them in this difficult way.