By: Rob Frenette
Last year, Rockwell Automation completed the first of two phases of a lighting retrofit at its Cambridge, Ontario warehouse. Following an energy saving audit, completed by Think Green Solutions, it was found that the current use of the traditional 400 watt metal halide fixtures was not in the best interest of the company for several reasons.
Rockwell Automation replaced 700 of their 400 watt Metal halide fixtures that each consumed over 435 watts to run with 700 new THINK Induction lights at only 200 watts each, with one hundred of the fixtures being equipped with motion sensors so that lighting stays off in unoccupied areas of the warehouse allowing the company not only save money but also lessen their carbon footprint.
Vince Kelly, a Team Manager at Rockwell Automation, feels that the upgrade in lighting with a major bonus for the company in multiple ways ranging from putting less of a carbon footprint to providing better light for their entire building. “We have been able to go from dark to light, it’s almost like coming out of a cave” said Kelly. Making reference to the improved over-all lighting conditions for the warehouse, “The change was immediate; everyone wanted to know if their department was going to be getting this improved lighting”.
COSTS AND SAVINGS:
The retrofit was completed with the assistance of, Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro’s Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program for businesses.
The retrofit was installed by THINK Green Solutions. The retrofit has resulted in a 1.6 million kWh reduction per year, which corresponds to the elimination of about 2.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This will have the equivalent impact of:
Saving about 115,600 gallons of gasoline from being burned every year
Planting about 44,450 trees per year, or close to 889,000 trees over 20 years
With the retrofit, Rockwell will realize a 43 percent cost savings per year on electrical costs. The payback for Phase 1 of Rockwell’s lighting retrofit was about 28 months.
Rockwell chose these fixtures, which are instant strike light fixtures, in part because there is no wait time for the lights to warm up after a power outage. In a facility that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this feature of the lights was considered quite valuable. As well, THINK induction lighting is said to outperform traditional fluorescent, sodium vapour and metal halide lighting in terms of hydro costs and maintenance costs (the lights have a 100,000 hour lifespan, so need to be replaced less often). The lighting is 100 per cent recyclable and has NO Volatile mercury content (solid amalgam non-volatile) form. Solid mercury is safer in case of lamp breakage and can be more easily recycled at no cost.
The lighting environment resulting from the retrofit has been a boon for employees. They report that they can see better, that the light is easier on the eyes and renders colour better, and that they enjoy the environment more than with the old lighting. Furthermore, the new lighting has solved a previous problem with flickers in the electricity that would occur two to three times a day. This flickering would shut everything down and it would take upwards of 20 minutes to return to normal. The THINK induction lights are flicker-free and require no waiting time between re-strike.
Challenges involved the strict deadlines and commitment from the organization during the rebate submittal. There were also significant challenges to install the lighting fixtures without any downtime of operations.
Reonac Energy System Inc.’s presented Rockwell with its Think Green Certification in March 2011 in recognition of the company’s THINK Induction Lighting Upgrade. Rockwell was also recognized by Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro Inc. in 2011 for its outstanding commitment to energy conservation and environmental sustainability by participating in the Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program.
Rockwell completed Phase 2 of the lighting project in May 2012. Phase 2 replaced lighting in one portion of the warehouse that was not upgraded as part of the original phyase. In that area, 69 existing Metal Halide HID lights were replaced with 49 new THINK induction lighting fixtures, 35 of which were installed with sensors.
Phase 2 is expected to reduce energy use by 197,144 kWh per year, resulting in the elimination of 270,087 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The payback for Phase 2 will be about a year. All of the spent lamps have been sent for recycling.
The basic technology for induction lamps is not particularly new. Essentially, an induction lamp is an electrodeless fluorescent. Without electrodes, the lamp relies on the fundamental principles of electromagnetic induction and gas discharge to create light. The elimination of filaments and electrodes results in a lamp of unmatched life. Lasting 100,000 hours, this system can outlast 100 incandescent, five HID, or five typical fluorescent lamp changes.
Based on these well-known principles, light can be generated via a gas discharge through simple magnetism. Electromagnetic transformers, which consist of rings with metal coils, create an electromagnetic field around a glass tube which contains the gas, using a high frequency that is generated by an electronic ballast. The discharge path, induced by the coils, forms a closed loop causing acceleration of free electrons, which collide with mercury atoms and excite the electrons. As the excited electrons from these atoms fall back from this higher energy state to a lower stable level, they emit ultraviolet radiation. The UV radiation created is converted to visible light as it passes through a phosphor coating on the surface of the tube. The unusual shape of an induction lamp maximizes the efficiency of the fields that are generated.
Although it is not breakthrough science, until recently, it has not been so commercially viable. New developments have broken down the barriers of costs and technological setbacks, such as EMC interference, lumen depreciation, ability to dim and a useful range of available wattages. Today, its obvious benefits make it the clear-cut choice for many lighting applications over traditional light sources or even other newer technologies that just don’t stand up as cost effective when all factors are considered.. Whatever aspect of lighting that you prioritize, THINK induction lamps are superior in many categories. Energy efficiency, life, color rendition, lumen depreciation, waste/heat output, glare… the list goes on. THINK lamps are truly the next generation of electric light that is set to displace several existing forms of electric lighting for Interior and Exterior applications.
Rockwell Automotive has made THINK Induction lighting work for their Cambridge, Ontario warehouse, and to learn how you can make it work for your business visit Think Green Solutions online at: www.thinkgreensolutions.ca
By: Rob Frenette – Special to Monster Commercial