RATE 3 ROAD LIGHTING ELECTRICAL DESIGN

REQUIREMENTS
1 Introduction
“The objective of road lighting is to provide an illuminated environment, which is conducive
to the safe and comfortable movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic at night, and the
discouragement of illegal acts.” (AS/NZS 1158 Road and public area lighting)
Where lighting has been installed on roads, it has been deliberately designed to achieve the
objectives of AS/NZS 1158. The electrical system is an integral part of maintaining the
illuminated environment. Consequently, road lighting design must balance the electrical
safety requirements with traffic safety requirements. Every effort must be made to ensure
that the lighting installation remains operational safely.

5.4

• Rate 1 Lighting:

Public lighting supplied, installed, owned, and maintained by the
Electricity Entity.

• Rate 2 Lighting:

Public lighting owned and maintained by the Electricity Entity.

• Rate 3 Lighting:

Public lighting owned, and maintained by the Public Body.

For Queensland, the Electricity Entities are typically Energex and Ergon. The Public Bodies
are Department of Transport and Main Roads and typically local Councils.
It is the policy of the Department of Transport and Main Roads to minimise the number of
Rate 3 installations. Typically, Rate 3 road lighting should be restricted to motorways and
other state-controlled high-speed/high-volume roads where the Electricity Entity will not
maintain the installation. Consequently, it is essential during the early planning stages of a
road construction project involving road lighting that designers liaise with the local
Electricity Entity. In the majority of cases, a Rate 2 design will be required, designed in
accordance with the Electricity Entity standards.
Designers must make themselves familiar with the conditions and requirements at the site
for which they are carrying out designs.

2 Scope
These requirements set out the electrical design criteria that must be used for all
Department of Transport and Main Roads Rate 3 installations, both new and modifications
to existing installations.
Compliance with AS/NZS 3000 is mandatory. Compliance requirements include:
• Circuit voltage drop
• Earth fault loop impedance
• Correct discrimination and load/circuit protection/cable selection combination
• Appropriate cable short circuit withstand capacity

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Ownership is defined using one of the following three categories:

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Prior to commencing design, designers must verify that they have the current version of this
document. Non-compliant designs will not be accepted.

3 Definitions and Abbreviations
Abbreviation

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5.4

Full title

ac

Alternating current

AS

Australian Standard

AS/NZS

Australian and New Zealand Standard

dc

direct current

EFLI

Earth fault loop impedance

ESA

Electrical Safety Act

HDPE

High density polyethylene

HRC

High rupture capacity

MEN

Multiple earthed neutral

PSSC

Prospective short circuit current

PVC

Poly vinyl chloride

RCD

Residual current device

RPEQ

Registered Professional Engineer Queensland

SOA

Standing Offer Arrangement

TPE

Thermoplastic elastomer

URD

Underground Residential Distribution

XLPE

Cross-linked polyethylene

Definition

Full title

Dangerous potential A prospective touch voltage exceeding 50V ac or 120V ripple-free dc.
Disconnect time

The maximum time allowable for a protection device to open the circuit and
clear an active to earth fault.

Discrimination

Circuit protection will discriminate if the device closest to the fault clears the
fault before the upstream protection for all values of fault current expected at
the point.

4 Design Philosophy
Electrical designs must consider the most effective means of providing safe and reliable
lighting.
For single phase, the 2-wire MEN system must be used. For three-phase, the 4-wire MEN
system must be used. The steel reinforced concrete pole footing embedded directly in the
soil is the earth electrode.
For lighting installations on bridges and structures, a separate earth wire of minimum size
the same cross-sectional area as the active, must also be installed with the 2 wire or 4 wire
cable. (Refer to Standard Drawing 1707)
Where three-phase circuits are used, the luminaire load must be balanced across the
phases as evenly as possible. The electrical connection for luminaires must be such that, in
a three-phase connected system, luminaires on adjacent poles must not be on the same
phase.
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In critical areas, such as motorway on and off ramps, three phase circuits should be used.

5 Legislation and Standards
Designers must comply with the requirements of the Professional Engineers Act 2002.
Completed designs must comply with the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act 2002,
Electrical Safety Regulation 2002, associated Codes of Practice and the following:
Conduits and fittings for electrical installations

• AS/NZS 3000

Wiring Rules

• AS/NZS 3008.1.1

Electrical installations - selection of cables. Part 1.1 cables for
alternating voltages up to and including 0.6/1kV - typical Australian
installation conditions

• AS/NZS 3947.3

Low-voltage switchgear and control gear Part 3 Switches,
disconnectors and fuse switches

• AS/NZS 5000.1

Electric cables - Polymeric insulated Part 1: For working voltages
up to and including 0.6/1 (1.2) kV

• AS/NZS 5000.2

Electric cables - Polymeric insulated Part 2: For working voltages
up to and including 450/750V

• AS 60269

Low Voltage fuses

• AS/NZS 60479.1

Effects of current on human beings and livestock Part 1 general
aspects

• AS 60947.4.1

Low-voltage switchgear and control gear Part 4.1: Contactors and
motor starters - Electromechanical contactors and motor-starters

• Main Roads Standard Specifications
• Main Roads Standard Drawings
• Main Roads Road Planning and Design Manual Chapter 17
• Main Roads Traffic and Road Use Management Manual
• Main Roads Drafting and Design Presentation Standards
The required documents include the latest revisions and amendments.

6 Electrical Parameters
6.1 Design Voltage
The design voltage is 230V ac.

6.2 Power Factor
Design using luminaires that are power factor corrected to at least 0.8. Rexel high pressure
sodium luminaires currently on SOA 25 are power factor corrected to 0.8.

6.3 Design Current
Manufacturer's data must be used for the selected luminaires. The following design currents
at 0.8 power factor must be used for the Rexel high pressure sodium luminaires currently
on SOA 25:

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• AS/NZS 2053

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Lamp wattage

Starting current (A)

Running current (A)

100

0.68

0.6

150

1.1

0.83

250

1.8

1.45

400

2.93

2.28

6.4 Disconnect Time
Disconnect times are specified to minimise the time a person may be in contact with a
dangerous potential. The harmful physiological effects of current through the body can thus
be limited. For a touch potential of 50V ac or less, a 5 second disconnect time may be
used. Where voltages are higher, a 400ms disconnect time is used.

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5.4

The silver element type technology of high rupture capacity (HRC) fuses provides a
consistent definition of rupture points for both 400ms and 5 second disconnect times.
Consequently, both times are appropriate for use with fuses.
For road lighting circuits, a maximum disconnect time for protective devices protecting
metal poles, switchboards and the like is 400ms. For poles, this is typically achieved using
the 10A fuse installed in the reopenable joint in the pit adjacent to each slip base and base
plate mounted pole.
For the long run enclosed underground 16mm² and 25mm² cables, a disconnect time of 5
seconds may be used, except where these cables are directly supplying poles mounted in
medians or on structures (bridges etc). In such cases a 400ms disconnect time must be
used.
Note: The disconnect time must be appropriate for the particular point of the circuit.
For example, a circuit protected by a 20A fuse supplies:
• ground mounted poles with the adjacent pit with 10A fuse in the reopenable joint;
• poles mounted in a median barrier and;
• and poles mounted on a bridge.
The disconnection time at each pole must be 400ms.
When calculating the earth fault loop impedance (EFLI) for the submains cable between the
20A fuse and the 10A fuse, a 5s disconnect time may be used. The cable is accessible by
authorised persons using a tool.
A 400ms disconnect time must be used for the circuit to the pole protected by the 10A fuse.
When calculating the EFLI for the submains cable between the 20A fuse and the pole
directly (where there is no intermediate 10A fuse), a 400ms disconnect time must be used.
Calculations must be carried out to demonstrate that these disconnect times are achieved
at the relevant points.

7 Electrical Components
7.1 General
Refer to Standard Drawing 1699 which provides details of standard electrical equipment
items. Items approved by ITS & Electrical Technologies must be used.

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7.2 Switchboards
Use standardised stainless steel switchboards, or polyurethane or fibreglass URD pillars
colour green. To minimise the loss of lighting in the event of a failure, the maximum number
of circuits per switchboard is 3 three phase or 9 single phase or combination of single and
three phase circuits up to this maximum.
The fault rating of electrical equipment selected must exceed the maximum prospective
short circuit current available at the equipment.

7.3 Main Switches
The main switch in the switchboard or pillar must be a labelled, three phase switchdisconnector, lockable in the open position, with minimum utilisation category AC-23A,
100A capacity, and complying with AS/NZS 3947.3.

Electrical protection for road lighting circuits must be provided by single or three phase
fuse-switches complying with AS/NZS 3947.3, with minimum utilisation category AC-23A,
complete with HRC fuselinks complying with AS 60269. Use standard size fuselinks as
follows:
• In the switchboard or pillar:
- 20A, 25A or 32A for outgoing lighting circuits (it is preferable to standardise on one
size within a switchboard)
- 10A for photocell protection
• In the reopenable joint in the pit adjacent to the pole for both slip base and base plate
mounted poles:
- 10A
• In the pole where the loop in-loop out configuration is used (bridges, concrete medians
and aerial connections):
- 10A
• In the reopenable joint or pillar supplying a lighting subcircuit on a structure:
- 10A
• Where a T-off is required for an advertising sign:
- 10A
Fuselinks with ratings below 10A must not be used.

7.5 Switch-Disconnectors
Within each slip base and base plate mounted pole a double pole 20A switch-disconnector,
with minimum utilisation category AC-23A, complying with AS/NZS 3947.3 must be installed
between the incoming cable and the 2.5mm² luminaire cable.

7.6 Residual Current Devices (RCD)
RCDs must not be used in road lighting circuits. Nuisance tripping with consequent failure
of the lighting system can be a greater hazard to road users than the potential leakage
current.
Protection for persons is provided by:
• designing for a 400ms disconnect time at the pole, and;
• periodic monitoring and maintenance of the network.
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7.4 Fuse-Switches

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7.7 Photocell
A single photocell mounted on a pole adjacent to the pillar or on a post mounted
switchboard must be used to simultaneously operate all the contactors controlling outgoing
lighting circuits. Individual luminaires must not be controlled by a photocell mounted in the
luminaire.

7.8 Contactors
Contactors complying with AS 60947.4.1 with minimum utilisation category AC-5a
(switching of electric discharge lamp controls), rating 32A minimum, coil 240V ac, must be
used to control lighting circuits.

7.9 Cabling
Use the following cables:

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5.4

Configuration

Phase

Insulation/sheath

Location

2c x 2.5mm²

Single

PVC/PVC

Cable between pole switch-disconnector and
luminaire

2c x 4mm²

Single

PVC/PVC

General use cable between reopenable joint
and pole switch-disconnector.
Minimum size cable for underpasses.

2c x 4mm²

Single

XLPE/TPE

Cable for continually wet and vermin infested
areas between reopenable joint and pole
switch-disconnector

PVC

Earth cable between the MEN point in the
reopenable joint and pole earthing point.
Minimum earth cable for underpasses.

1c x 6mm²

2c x 16mm²

Single

XLPE/PVC

General use cable, point of supply to
switchboard, switchboard to pit, pit to pit

2c x 16mm²

Single

XLPE/HDPE

Cable for continually wet and vermin infested
areas, point of supply to switchboard,
switchboard to pit, pit to pit

4c x 16mm²

Three

XLPE/PVC

General use cable, point of supply to
switchboard, switchboard to pit, pit to pit

4c x 16mm²

Three

XLPE/HDPE

Cable for continually wet and vermin infested
areas, point of supply to switchboard,
switchboard to pit, pit to pit

PVC

Earth cable on bridge - match active size

XLPE/PVC

Special cable for long runs, point of supply to
switchboard, switchboard to pit, pit to pit

XLPE/HDPE

Special cable for long runs, for continually
wet and vermin infested areas, point of
supply to switchboard, switchboard to pit, pit
to pit

PVC

Earth cable on bridge - match active size

1c x 16mm²
4c x 25mm²

4c x 25mm²
1c x 25mm²

Three

Three

Cables up to and including 6mm² must comply with AS/NZS 5000.2.
Larger size cables must comply with AS/NZS 5000.1.
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Direct buried cables, SDI cables, neutral screened cables, steel wire armoured cables, and
the like must not be used for road lighting circuits.
Cables must be installed in a conduit and pit system.

7.10 Conduit and Pits
Conduit must be heavy duty UPVC or HDPE complying with AS/NZS 2053.
As a minimum, use 2x100mm conduit for road crossings with a P7 or circular pit at each
end. Minimum size pit at pole is P4 with minimum 1x80mm conduit between pits located
adjacent to poles.

8 Design Parameters
8.1 Point of Supply

The electrical characteristics at the point of supply must be measured, determined from
data provided by the Electricity Entity, or calculated.
Document the following characteristics:
• Prospective short circuit current (PSCC) at point of supply
• External earth fault loop impedance
Traffic signal controllers must not be the point of supply for road lighting.
As road lighting, traffic signals and many ITS devices are aids to traffic safety, ideally the
three systems should be connected to different points of supply. Where this is not
practicable, the road lighting installation must be isolated independently from traffic signals
and ITS systems. In addition to the safety aspects there are different tariff requirements.

8.2 Maximum Demand
Determine the maximum demand current for the circuit using the running current for the
luminaires specified in clause 6.3. Request from the Principal any required spare capacity in
the design.
The maximum demand on any circuit must not exceed 80% of the protection rating.
• Document maximum demand at incomer for each phase.

8.3 Voltage Drop
The maximum voltage drop on road lighting circuits from the Electricity Entity point of
supply to the end of the lighting circuit is 4%, unless otherwise specified for particular
projects. Use the running currents specified in clause 6.3.
As the luminaires on three phase circuits must be balanced across the phases, the
maximum unbalance should typically be the current load of one luminaire. Consequently,
three phase voltage drops should be carried out assuming a balanced load.
Comply with the requirements of AS/NZS 3008.1.1 using Table 42, or Tables 30 and 35.
Expected cable operating temperature (minimum temperature 45°C) must be used in the
voltage drop calculations for submains. Load power factor (minimum 0.8) may be used.
Length of cable used in calculations must include a 2m coil at each end of each cable
segment (to allow the reopenable joint to be lifted clear of the pit for maintenance) and a
2m loop in each intermediate pit.
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During the planning stage, the electrical designer must liaise with the Electricity Entity for
the point of supply, giving the Electricity Entity adequate time to program their work.

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The calculation sheet must include.
- Project name/description
- Lamp type installed (eg S250)
- Lamp currents used in calculations
- Cable operating temperature used in calculations
- Segment identification (eg station 1 to 3)
- Segment cable size (eg 16mm²)
- Segment cable route length
- Segment current

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5.4

- Segment voltage drop
- Total voltage drop per phase
- Total load current per phase
- Circuit protection fuselink value (ie 20A, 25A, 32A)
• Document voltage drop calculations.

8.4 Earth Fault Loop Impedance (EFLI)
Measurements carried out on existing installations confirm that the assumed ratio of 20%
external and 80% internal impedance is not necessarily valid for road lighting installations.
(Refer AS3000 B5.2.1.(b)) Consequently, the external EFLI must be determined, by
calculation or measurement, so that the design of the maximum internal impedance can be
carried out with confidence.
EFLI calculations for 16mm² and 25mm² cables installed in the underground ducts should
be carried out at 45°C.
• Document EFLI calculations and insert design value on drawings at end of each circuit
and T-off.

8.5 Discrimination
As road lighting is a road safety system, it is essential that any electrical fault is cleared by
the protection closest to the fault, while leaving other parts of the installation operational.
To achieve discrimination throughout the system for both overload and short circuit faults,
use only HRC fuses complying with AS 60269.
The 10A fuse in the pit re-openable joint is closest to the luminaire and provides protection
for the pole/luminaire.
Upstream in the switchboard or pillar at the start of the circuit, a 20A, 25A or 32A fuse is
selected, depending on maximum demand and circuit characteristics.
Discrimination grading of the type provided above with fuses is not possible with a mixture
of mcbs/fuses or with all mcbs for fault levels expected on road lighting installations.

8.6 Road Lighting Poles Mounted on Bridges
On the bridge, use conductors of the same cross-sectional area as those used in the
underground installation (that is, 16mm² or 25mm²). This includes the separate earth
conductor. The bridge cables must be connected to the first pole off the bridge on the
supply side in accordance with Standard Drawing 1707.
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8.7 Road Lighting Mounted on Underpasses
Where lighting is mounted on underpasses and similar structures, remote from a road
lighting pole, use the following arrangement:
• Install an earth stake beneath the pillar, or within the pit housing the reopenable joint
which is the point of connection for the lighting subcircuit, and bond the submains neutral
to the earth stake via an MEN link.
• Connect the lighting subcircuit neutral and earth to the pillar or reopenable joint neutral
and earth points.
• Connect the lighting subcircuit active to a 10A fuse-switch in the pillar or joint.
• Use minimum 2c x 4mm² PVC/PVC cable with 6mm² earth for the lighting subcircuit.

8.8 Design Calculations

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For each design submit to the Department of Transport and Main Roads a copy of the
electrical design calculations and an Electrical Design Certificate completed and certified by
an Electrical RPEQ, currently registered in the electrical college.

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ELECTRICAL DESIGN CERTIFICATE
Electrical installation
Region ........................................................................................................................................
Road Number .............................................................................................................................
Plan Number ...............................................................................................................................
Details of work ............................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................

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5.4

....................................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................
I certify that this electrical design has been carried out in accordance with the
requirements of the Professional Engineers Act 2002 and the design is in accordance
with the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and the Wiring Rules.
Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (Electrical) by whom the electrical
design was carried out

Name...........................................................................................................................................
Signature.....................................................................................................................................
RPEQ Number ............................................................................................................................
Company ....................................................................................................................................
Address.......................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................
Telephone number ............................................................

Date ..............................................

Traffic & Road Use Management Manual - Rate 3 Road Lighting Electrical Design Requirements