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Old School Try.

Improve cost savings and quality of light with an innovative lighting approach.

Brighton, CO's Brighton Charter School has launched a breakthrough approach to its building lighting system -- the first of its kind in the country. Upon completion of this retrofit project, both improved lighting and some $9,000 in expected annual savings from reduced lighting costs will result. So far, the project has achieved a 54-percent reduction of 47 kilowatts. A total decrease of 130,035 kilowatt-hours is anticipated annually in this facility that remains lighted only 2,500 operating hours a year.

In addition to such reductions, increased light levels were achieved -- 35 percent on average throughout the facility, from 25 to 50 footcandles in some areas, while in other areas lighting levels were reduced and standardized.

This breakthrough approach involves the local power utility using controllable ballasts, manufactured by Newark, CA's Electronic Lighting Inc. (ELI), to dim lighting. Remote powerline carrier control signals were used during peak utility demand periods. ELI was responsible for the development and engineering of the entire retrofit project. In exchange for allowing the utility control over its lighting, Brighton Charter School also received the benefit of a lower electric rate schedule.

The school is also lowering its energy costs on a local level by taking advantage of daylight harvesting and demand limiting strategies. All the while it enjoys an improved quality of light in the workplace through improved lamp and ballast technology. Additional savings to the school of at least another 10 percent are expected through a special load reduction electrical power rate.

The project includes almost every energy-efficiency and light-enhancing technology available, ranging from energy-efficient lamps, controllable electronic ballasts, and load management controls, to photosensors in building perimeter areas for daylighting and occupancy sensors. Load management, which is the modification of energy usage patterns, historically has focused on interruptible loads, such as air-conditioners and hot water heaters. But when incorporated as a building lighting strategy, the school sees a much larger impact: Facilities managers can monitor demand or energy prices as they rise and then gradually dim the lights by up to 30 percent.

Brighton Charter School is one of the first in the country to employ the lighting load management strategy in this manner in which the utility exercises some control. This project's anticipated savings of 50 to 60 percent over existing systems compares to an average 25-percent savings in standard lighting retrofits. School administrators were excited about the retrofit project and the resulting economic and environmental opportunities. "We inherited an older building built in the early '60s and we had to renovate some lighting anyway, so we decided if we had to do it, let's do it right and save some money," says Jim Greule, lead administrator, Brighton Charter School.

Glendora, CA's Parke Industries, a leader in the energy-efficient lighting industry, was responsible for project installation, which was simplified because of ELI's QuickLink' connection system. "This project is probably the most advanced lighting system on a facility-wide basis west of the Mississippi," adds Otto Hottendorf, Rocky Mountain States regional manager, Parke Industries.

The building itself, a 40-year-old, 63,000-square-foot, brown concrete block complex, opened its doors last year to 350 students in grades six through 10. Adds Greule, "In Colorado, 'green' is topical. We have to start modeling that as a school. If we don't model energy efficiency and recycling and all those things, then we can't expect our kids to do it."

Joseph F. Desmond is president and CEO of Electronic Lighting Inc., a Newark. CA. leader in the design and manufacture of controllable electronic ballasts and related control devices.

Energy Highlights

According to Joseph F. Desmond, president and CEO, Electronic Lighting Inc. (ELI) Newark, CA, Brighton Charter School of Brighton, CO, has benefited in several areas after its lighting upgrade:

* The customer benefits by taking advantage of demand limiting and daylight harvesting strategies.

* The utility is able to send power-line carrier (PLC) signals to dim lighting based on the utility system's coincident peak which, in this case, happens to be different from the customer's building peak.

* The customer benefits by enjoying a lower rate structure, which offers savings on every kilowatt-hour consumed throughout the entire facility.

* The school benefits through qualitative improvements in lighting for students and teachers including reduction in glare, control of light levels for multi-media presentations and other specific task applications, and other light quality benefits.
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Author:Desmond, Joseph F.
Publication:Buildings
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:731
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