Category: Energy + Environment

New Report Forecasts High Growth in Global Energy-Efficient Lighting Market

Reportlinker.com is offering a new market research report that analyzes the global energy-efficient lighting market and forecasts to 2015. The report attempts to define the energy-efficient lighting industry and associated…

Reportlinker.com is offering a new market research report that analyzes the global energy-efficient lighting market and forecasts to 2015.

The report attempts to define the energy-efficient lighting industry and associated regulatory framework across the globe, provides info related to current and emerging technologies with comparative cost analysis, assesses market size and forecasts growth, and provides profiles of major lighting companies.

The report costs $3500.

Table of contents and ordering information here.

And if you’re interested in this type of research, be sure to check out a similar report I wrote for Pira Intertech some time ago, available here.

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AEE Predicts Shortage of Energy Professionals

The Association of Energy Engineers, a nonprofit professional society of over 9,500 members, has published the results of a survey on Green Jobs and Energy Independence. Based on 962 responses…

The Association of Energy Engineers, a nonprofit professional society of over 9,500 members, has published the results of a survey on Green Jobs and Energy Independence. Based on 962 responses from experienced Energy Professionals, the survey found:

Engineers at a geothermal plant.

Engineers at a geothermal plant.

* 72% indicate a shortage of qualified professionals in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields in the next five years.
* 70% indicate a need for national and state training for “Green Jobs” to address job shortages that are impairing growth in green industries, such as energy efficient buildings and construction, renewable electric power, energy efficient vehicles and biofuels development.
* 41% plan to retire in the next 10 years.
* 88% indicate that there is a need for a national energy policy for energy independence, which must include the encouragement of energy supplies from a multitude of sources, including nuclear
energy, renewable energy and off-shore drilling.
* 97% indicate that the adoption of energy efficient technologies must be a major part of a national energy policy in order to achieve energy independence.

Click here to see the full report.

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Top 25 ENERGY STAR Cities

The EPA ENERGY STAR commercial building labeling program has released a list of the top 25 cities with the highest number ENERGY STAR buildings in 2008, available here as a…

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The EPA ENERGY STAR commercial building labeling program has released a list of the top 25 cities with the highest number ENERGY STAR buildings in 2008, available here as a PDF document.

LA, San Francisco and Houston top the list.

You can access all of ENERGY STAR buildings here.

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NEMA Premium Label Calls Out Industry’s Most Efficient Fluorescent Ballasts

An article I wrote for TED Magazine recently describes the emergence of the NEMA Premium Ballast. Basically, this is a program, with a mark, that identifies the industry’s most efficient…

An article I wrote for TED Magazine recently describes the emergence of the NEMA Premium Ballast. Basically, this is a program, with a mark, that identifies the industry’s most efficient fluorescent electronic ballasts available for 4-ft. T8 lamps.

It’s a great idea, even if simply to avoid confusion. Everybody calls their electronic ballasts “high efficiency” products, so how are we supposed to easily tell the efficient standard ballasts from the super-efficient new-generation ballasts? Then there’s the added benefit of calling out the most efficient products for those interested in maximizing energy savings.

Now you can look for the NEMA Premium mark, which looks like this:

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A NEMA Premium ballast:

* Provides same light output as a similar standard electronic ballast; BUT
* Does so more efficiently—reducing lighting power by another 2W to 5W (typically 3W), as shown below:

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Ballasts are available:

* instant-start or programmed-start
* dimmable models
* Low (<.86), normal (.86-1), and high (greater than 1) ballast factor * Universal voltage * One, two, three or four lamps * Value-added features such as antistriation and anti-arcing The tradeoff: * Can cost 10-20% more than standard electronic ballasts Manufacturers include: * Advance (Philips Electronics) * Sylvania * GE * Universal Lighting Technologies * Robertson Worldwide * Espen Technologies * American Ballast * Technical Consumer Products * Acuity Brand (Accupro Brand) The NEMA Premium Ballast program may expand in the future to include T4, T5, and HID ballasts and possibly also LED drivers and power supplies. Click here for more information about the program (PDF), including a list of manufacturers and qualifying products by model number.

Click here to read the entire article at TED Magazine’s website.

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NYC Landmarks to Turn Out Lights for WWF’s Earth Hour

Several of New York City’s most recognizable buildings and landmarks have committed to turn off their lights for World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour. Beginning at 8:30 PM on March 28,…

Several of New York City’s most recognizable buildings and landmarks have committed to turn off their lights for World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour.

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Beginning at 8:30 PM on March 28, individuals and organizations around New York City will turn off non-essential lighting on some of the most iconic structures that make up the Manhattan skyline. New Yorkers will join the global movement that has spread to more than 1,000 cities in 80 countries. In the U.S., New York joins Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville and San Francisco in dimming its skyline to cast a vote for action on the climate crisis.

During Earth Hour 2009, lights are slated to go out in some of New York City’s most renowned buildings and landmarks including:

Empire State Building
Citigroup Center
Coca-Cola Billboard in Times Square
New York Life
Time Warner Center
The New York Public Library
7 World Trade Center and the other Silverstein Properties buildings
The Helmsley Building and other Monday Properties buildings
Grand Hyatt New York
Joining these properties are top New York City organizations and institutions including Columbia University, PACE University, the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York, the U.S. Green Building Council New York, Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz’s Angels + Kings, and many more.

Around the world, icons committed to Earth Hour include:

The Las Vegas Strip
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Sears Tower in Chicago
Eiffel Tower in Paris
Notre Dame in Paris
Sydney Opera House
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Niagara Falls
Stockholm Castle
Burj Dubai
Oscar nominated actor and New York City resident Edward Norton is the official ambassador for Earth Hour 2009 with support from Nobel Prize Laurite Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actresses Janeane Garofalo and Jennette McCurdy, fashionistas Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, as well as musicians Linkin Park, Alanis Morissette, Coldplay, Jo Dee Messina, Big Kenny (Big & Rich), Gavin DeGraw, KT Tunstall, Mary Mary, Dierks Bently, Wynonna Judd, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Lady Antebellum, SHeDAISY, Finger Eleven, Simple Plan, Justin Nozuka, The Veronicas and Rise Against.

WWF officials are stressing the importance of safety during Earth Hour, noting that all lighting related to public safety will remain on.

Click here to learn more about Earth Hour.

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Load-shedding Ballasts Lighten the Load

I recently wrote an article for TED Magazine about load-shedding ballasts, available online here. A building’s demand for electric power is the sum of the power required to run its…

I recently wrote an article for TED Magazine about load-shedding ballasts, available online here.

Load-shedding ballasts were installed at the Spence School in New York City in a demonstration project funded by NYSERDA. The ballasts are linked to a building management system, allowing the school to reduce lighting energy consumption by 30 percent when desired. At the click of a button on a laptop or mobile phone, Spence School can temporarily reduce demand by 261 kW during emergency grid events. “The success of this project shows the huge potential of our new Demand Response Platform,” says Stephen Lynch, president of ACE Energy Company, Inc. “This technology will not only reduce Spence School’s energy cost but will also make the world a greener, more energy-smart place.” Photo courtesy of OSRAM SYLVANIA, Inc.

Load-shedding ballasts were installed at the Spence School in New York City in a demonstration project funded by NYSERDA. The ballasts are linked to a building management system, allowing the school to reduce lighting energy consumption by 30 percent when desired. At the click of a button on a laptop or mobile phone, Spence School can temporarily reduce demand by 261 kW during emergency grid events. “The success of this project shows the huge potential of our new Demand Response Platform,” says Stephen Lynch, president of ACE Energy Company, Inc. “This technology will not only reduce Spence School’s energy cost but will also make the world a greener, more energy-smart place.” Photo courtesy of OSRAM SYLVANIA, Inc.

A building’s demand for electric power is the sum of the power required to run its electrical equipment in operation at any given time. Demand rises and falls as equipment is turned on and off. Peak demand is the highest level of demand over a given period. It’s the most expensive power the utility must produce, and these high costs are passed along to customers. Demand charges can represent 25% of a commercial building’s electric energy costs.

To encourage its customers to reduce demand during peak demand periods, utilities, independent system operators (ISOs), and other power providers are offering demand-response programs that provide financial incentives to building owners who agree to curtail load on request—either at scheduled times or during an emergency.

Building owners can significantly reduce their electric utility costs, therefore, if they can curtail load on a schedule, in response to price signals, or on demand by a utility—a strategy called load shedding. When it comes to lighting, this means switching or dimming. To address this need, the major manufacturers have begun introducing load-shedding ballast products.

Load-shedding ballasts:

* Provide a way to reduce input power upon an external demand
* Can be instant-start or program-start
* Can be bi-level switching, bi-level dimming or continuous dimming

Dimming or switching/ Generally, dimming is preferable to switching in occupied spaces in which users perform stationary or critical tasks—i.e., where changes in light output should be unnoticeable to a high degree.

How low can light levels go before occupants object? In developing a prototype for load-shedding ballast technology subsequently commercialized by lamp and ballast maker OSRAM SYLVANIA, the Lighting Research Center studied the question and concluded that they could dim the lamps by as much as 40% for brief periods without upsetting 70% of the building’s occupants or hindering their productivity. LRC studies also showed that nine out of 10 occupants accepted the reduction when they were told that it was being done to reduce peak demand.

Solutions are generally classified as low voltage (respond to a control signal from low-voltage wiring) or line voltage (respond to a control signal from line-voltage wiring). Low-voltage solutions enable integration of the ballast with other control strategies such as daylighting control and scheduling. Line-voltage solutions are well suited for retrofit because no low-voltage wiring needs be installed, just a signal transmitter.

You can read the entire article here.

Here are a few additional notes not covered in the online article:

Low-voltage solutions, both analog and digital, include SYLVANIA’s QUICKTRONIC POWERSENSE ballasts (continuous dimming), GE’s UltraStart (continuous dimming) and UltraMax Load-Shedding Instant Start ballasts (bi-level or 0-10V dimming ballast, 1.18 to 0.71 ballast factor, a 40 percent reduction in both power and light output), Advance’s Mark 7 and ROVR ballasts (continuous dimming), and Universal’s SuperDim, DaliPro and AddressPro (continuous dimming) and Ballastar ballasts (step-switching and dimming).

Line-voltage solutions, ideal for retrofit, including Universal’s DemandFlex ballasts and Demand Control Lighting (DCL) control system (enabling individual circuit control so that the load on some circuits can be reduced further than on other circuits—or turned off), Advance’s Mark 10 ballasts (continuous dimming), GE’s UltraMax Bi-Level Switching or 0-10V Load Shed Instant Start ballasts (step-switching from 1.18 to 0.71 BF), and SYLVANIA’s PowerSHED ballast (step-dimming with a one-third reduction in power, operates with a control signal transmitter, located at the control panel, capable of serving hundreds of ballasts).

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ASHRAE to launch building energy labeling program

More than 2,800 people attended ASHRAE‘s 2009 Winter Conference, held Jan. 24-28, Chicago. Also taking place in conjunction with the meeting was the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, which attracted 54,000…

More than 2,800 people attended ASHRAE‘s 2009 Winter Conference, held Jan. 24-28, Chicago. Also taking place in conjunction with the meeting was the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, which attracted 54,000 registered visitors and exhibitor personnel.

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A major announcement was ASHRAE’s proposed building energy labeling program, which the Society expects to launch at the 2009 Annual Conference in Louisville, KY. Uniform metrics are vital to making buildings more energy efficient, according to Ron Jarnagin, chair of the committee overseeing the program, who updated attendees.

The ASHRAE program will include a method for rating the energy performance of buildings covered by Standard 90.1; qualification criteria for raters and assessors; provision of both Asset and Operational ratings to cover both design and operations; and a process for approving alternative methods. It is expected that the labeling requirements will be based on the ENERGY STAR requirements, and then expand beyond.

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For more information on the proposal, click here.

Costar Group also has an excellent article published online about the program, here.

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New Survey Suggests Typical Lighting Control Energy Savings in Office Buildings

The Lighting Controls Association authorized ZING Communications, Inc. to conduct a survey of a group of nearly 900 lighting designers, more than 730 electrical engineers and more than 530 lighting/energy…

The Lighting Controls Association authorized ZING Communications, Inc. to conduct a survey of a group of nearly 900 lighting designers, more than 730 electrical engineers and more than 530 lighting/energy consultants subscribing to the LightNOW lighting industry and lightingCONTROL lighting control e-newsletters. The survey, conducted online based on three email invitations distributed in December 2008 and February 2009, produced a 6% response. Of this response, 95 respondents qualified to complete the survey, an overall 4.4% response.

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The survey covers advanced lighting controls in the office building new construction and existing buildings retrofit markets, asking respondents to indicate how often they specify certain strategies, how they perform, whether energy savings are verified, and if so, how much energy they save on average.

Note that this is not a universe study. The results should not be attributed to the construction industry overall. The respondents, by virtue of their interest in lighting controls, subscription to lightingCONTROL, and their interest in and ability to complete a very detailed survey about lighting controls, suggests that they are in the high end of the lighting controls market. This introduces a bias with some of the results. For example, their satisfaction with controls may be higher than other construction professionals because they may design control systems better than their competitors. The data point that is most transferable across the market is average energy savings realized for certain control strategies.

How often are advanced controls specified and installed?

The subscribers divided themselves into two groups—those who focus on new construction, and those who focus on retrofits. They were asked to report the percentage of new construction or retrofit office building projects over the past two years for which they specified certain control strategies. They were then asked the same question, but concerning projects in which the controls were actually installed, not just specified. All resulting numbers are rough estimates (+5%), as respondents were asked to express their answers as a range (1-10%, 11-20%, etc.), which were defaulted to the middle as an assumption (5%, 15%, etc.). The numbers suggest rates of adoption for new construction and retrofit office building projects and substitution rates.

The results suggest that for new construction projects, occupancy sensors and bilevel switching are the most popular lighting control strategies. It is encouraging to see that the most progressive controls specifiers are specifying personal dimming control for one out of five projects, and the substitution rate, while higher than the other strategies, is still reasonable. The data appears to confirm that daylight harvesting is becoming more popular. However, there was one surprise: Occupancy sensors and scheduling controls would be expected to be installed in more projects.

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How often are advanced controls specified and installed into existing buildings?

The results suggest that for office building lighting retrofit projects, occupancy sensors and bilevel switching are the most popular lighting control strategies. The level of adoption of bilevel switching in existing buildings is surprising given the added cost and difficulties to the project. Bilevel switching is required by the Commercial Buildings Deduction, which may be more influential in office building retrofit projects over the past two years than we had supposed.

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Do specifiers regarding lighting control strategies as relatively problem-free?

Subscribers were asked to rate various lighting control strategies on a 1-5 scale based on how problematic the installed controls were during operation. A 1 indicated the installation was very problematic, a 3 somewhat problematic, and a 5 indicated that the controls are problem-free. No control types were identified as particularly problematic. These results are were expected.

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Why do specifiers specify advanced control strategies in their office projects?

Subscribers were asked to rate various reasons to specify advanced control strategies on a 1-5 scale based on their significance. A 1 indicated the possible reason is very significant, a 3 somewhat significant, and a 5 very significant. Energy codes and energy cost savings are identified as very highly significant as drivers to specify, which is not surprising. One interesting result is the importance of LEED and sustainability, identified as very significant (>4.0 rating), almost as significant as energy codes and energy cost savings.

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How often is the energy savings performance of office lighting control projects verified using monitoring or some other method?

Respondents were asked to identify the percentage of their office projects that include automatic lighting controls and in which energy savings were verified using monitoring or some other method. Nearly one-third of respondents said this occurs on their projects—an estimated 22% of projects, based on a weighted average of the responses with a +5% margin of error. These subscribers formed a subgroup to which another question was asked, which was to identify average lighting energy savings resulting from popular automatic lighting control strategies.

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How much lighting energy savings do popular automatic lighting control strategies produce?

Respondents were asked to identify average lighting energy savings resulting from installation of popular automatic lighting control strategies, as measured in their verification projects. All resulting numbers are rough estimates (+5%), as respondents were asked to express their answers as a range (1-10%, 11-20%, etc.), which were defaulted to the middle as an assumption (5%, 15%, etc.). The numbers suggest typical energy savings for popular lighting controls. Personal dimming control was eliminated due to insufficient data sample that was producing a suspicious result (25% energy savings, much higher than previous research).

The results for the remaining control types contradict conventional wisdom in the case of occupancy sensors, which were expected to be higher (around 35-45%), and scheduling controls, which were expected to be lower (around 5-10%).

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Do verified energy savings meet or exceed specifier expectations?

Respondents were asked to rate how well various control strategies installed in their office projects over the past two years met their energy savings expectations on a 1-5 scale. A 1 indicates it did not meet expectation, a 3 that it met expectations, and a 5 that it exceeded expectations. Occupancy sensor, scheduling and daylighting control strategies were ranked very highly by respondents. Personal dimming was eliminated due to insufficient response.

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Thoughts on Bi-Level Switching

Multilevel switching and personal dimming are often lumped together because the goal is the same–providing users a manual choice of light levels. The 2003 Advanced Lighting Guidelines, published by the…

Multilevel switching and personal dimming are often lumped together because the goal is the same–providing users a manual choice of light levels. The 2003 Advanced Lighting Guidelines, published by the New Buildings Institute, says they both save about 30% in energy.

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There is evidence that bi-level switching saves much more energy than personal dimming control, but personal dimming control is more comfortable and satisfying to users.

And when I say bi-level switching, I mean multi-level switching, where the inboard and outboard lamps in 3-lamp fixtures are separately circuited and independently controlled via switches. This allows there light and power levels, not two, specifically 33%, 66% and 100% besides OFF.

In previous research, it demonstrated energy savings of 8-22% (8% classrooms, 16% open offices, 22% private offices, ADM Associates, 2002) and 24% (San Francisco Federal Building project/study).

Personal dimming control has demonstrated energy savings of 6% (National Center for Atmospheric Research or NCAR study) and 11% (National Research Council Canada or NRC study, 2007). The savings are around 10%.

I think people are happier with personal dimming control and tend to stick with light levels they’ve chosen, which are retained in memory. But the energy savings just aren’t as high as when people are forced every time they enter their workspace to make a choice between stark lighting increments that also produce higher savings increments.

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Saving Electricity Will Not Get Us Off Middle Eastern Oil

It’s a myth that reducing electric energy consumption by installing energy-efficient lighting will have a significant impact on oil consumption. According to the Energy Information Administration, oil accounted for only…

It’s a myth that reducing electric energy consumption by installing energy-efficient lighting will have a significant impact on oil consumption.

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According to the Energy Information Administration, oil accounted for only 1.6% of electric power generation in the United States in 2007.

Coal is the largest producer of electric power in the U.S. at 48.5% of electric power generation, followed by natural gas (21.6%) and nuclear (19.4%).

Energy-efficient lighting and controls offer numerous benefits, but unfortunately reducing America’s oil dependence is not one of them.

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