Lighting Controls: A Roadmap for Retrofits
Part 6: The Role of Lighting Controls in Demand Response
Part 7: PRODUCT FOCUS: Lighting Controls
The Role of Lighting Controls in Demand Response
By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media - April 2010 - Lighting
Lighting controls also play a role in an organization's efforts to participate in a utility's demand-response program.
"Lighting controls play a big factor in the demand-response solutions to help reduce the peak demand charges for your facility," Jouaneh says. "Dimmable lighting is a great solution to reduce lighting load and cooling load — lights emit heat. That ties into the whole smart-grid technology, where you get a request from your utility to shed load to avoid peak-demand charges."
Manufacturers say more managers are asking about controls that contribute to demand-response strategies.
"It only makes sense," Brosius says. "If I'm going to be part of a demand-response program with a utility, why would I only want to include HVAC? I would want to include my lighting. They both are about 30 percent of my energy costs, and lighting is a lot less invasive than HVAC is."
As organizations continue to focus on environmental responsibility and undertake initiatives to lower energy use, more facility professionals are becoming energy managers. As a result, managers are looking for technologies that lower building-wide energy use and save on utility costs, which is no easy task considering the emphasis manufacturers are placing on the sustainability benefits their products offer.
Says Fournier: "One of the biggest challenges facility managers have with specifying lighting controls is sifting through the many energy-savings claims to determine which product can actually produce the performance claimed. Also, some control strategies are more complex than others."
dnoiseux wrote re: The Role of Lighting Controls in Demand Response
on 6/1/2010 1:18:10 PM
Congrats, I have to say this is a great article.
I'd like to add that as a manufacturer of lighting control solutions, some of the many challenges we are facing are:
- Experienced Electrical contractors are not very familiar with all the progress made in the recent years and the simplicity of the new technologies available today. So they tend to overcharge on the installation cost just in case it would be more complicated that originally stated by the vendor and in their favor, I have to admit that some jobs quickly become indeed more complicated if not designed properly. Forget about any type of wireless that is always plug and play without any issues ever and forget about running new control wires without running into some hurdles too, especially in retrofit environments.
- The use of wireless systems is affecting the distribution of the job costs. Electrician used to bill time and sell wires by the spool find it a lot less attractive. So the specification to request wireless controls need to be set by the guy that's paying the bills.
- Engineers and architects are still not very familiar with control systems other than HVAC which have been around for a while now, so it requires more efforts on their part to specify the right products. Plus there are a lot of un-met promises in the field that make everyone skeptical of new products and new solutions.
- There are a lot more agents, reps and distributors in the field to sell fixtures than there are that sell controls. Unfortunately, many have some lines in the linecards but are not promoting them because they are not familiar enough with the products.
Last a comment on the BAS integration, we believe that this is less and less of an issue since many companies are offering gateways and bridges between different systems but I agree that integration is clearly the right way to go.
VP Business development
DimOnOff Inc - Distributed Lighting Control and Automation
johnaltmann wrote re: The Role of Lighting Controls in Demand Response
on 5/17/2010 12:47:46 PM
That all sounds great however, you might want to consider one thing; and that is "Is your lighting control system integrated with the BAS that controls the HVAC? In most cases they are not and to true maximizing total control of both the HVAC and lighting fixtures you would need to have that. The best way to get true energy savings for both typically it's done via a BACnet router that is online (In network) to the BAS network throughout the building. Also, some lighting control panels are native to the BAS and again enable for control the circuits and shut off fixture or areas that aren't occupied. This way, have control via the BAS front end allows maximum efficiency during peak hours of the day. For more information feel free to contact me email@example.com for a site survey on your facility and free energy analysis to control both HVAC & Lighting Control panels with ROI data.