Digital Cities & Citizens

Kraftringen has taken over the sensor network

Caroline Wendt
March 23, 2020

Kraftringen is responsible for Lund’s electricity, heating, cooling, gas, fibre optics and since the autumn of 2019 also the sensor network established by Future by Lund’s SOM project. The commonly used technology is LoRa, which helps develop services related to IoT. The free testbed shall continue and was created to enable test projects of the sensor network at the pre-commercial stage.

In the spring of 2017 Future by Lund and the SOM project (Smart Public Environments) installed three base stations for an open city-wide wireless LoRa-network in Lund’s town centre. The network was free to use by various actors at a pre-commercial stage, making it easier for students, interested private persons and small and medium sized enterprizes (SMEs) to participate in the development of Internet of Things (IoT). Since 2017, the network has grown with additional base stations and now covers an even larger part of Lund’s municipal area.

Over the years, Future by Lund has tested LoRa technology in a number of different sub-projects of SOM. One such project involved installing sensors on garbage bins to improve the efficiency of garbage collection, another was to dig and place sensors beneath plants to determine the right time to water. Out of this comes a noteworthy exercise – a newly planted tree in Katedralskolans school yard has been equipped with moisture sensors in the root system to ensure the tree receives the correct amount of water. The sensor readings allow the maintenance staff to determine how much extra water the tree needs.  

The fact that Kraftringen has assumed responsibility over the network means that it will be possible for those who previously tested products within SOM to also commercialize and grow their services. Even actors that were not involved with SOM, but who have a need for sensor communication, can connect to it. The testbed that was built to test ideas at a pre-commercial stage will be available to give private persons, students and SMEs free opportunities to try ideas and develop a variety of services.

– It is amazing that we can combine an open test network with a commercially driven network, which will benefit all involved in Lund that are testing and developing IoT services and products, says Anders Trana, project manager for the SOM project.

The main sensor network technology is called LoRa but Kraftringen is also working with Bluetooth and probably other technologies in the future. The word LoRa is an abbreviation of Long Range, which is a standard in smart cities across the world.

Smart Public Environments project (SOM)

Several projects within SOM that use the LoRa network:

Garbage bins



Translation: Ben Dohrmann


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