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AUT learns how to save $52,000 a year on lighting - Energy

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AUT learns how to save
$52,000 a year on lighting
Client: Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
EnergyMaster: Le Roux Nel, ECOsystems
Challenge: Improve outdated technology and
wasted lighting energy in two buildings and
a car park.
Solution: New fittings and controls, dimming
sensors, electronic ballasts and the increased
use of natural light.
In brief: ECOsystems carried out audits of the
lighting at two of AUT’s facilities, providing
lighting and controls upgrade solutions that:
• Delivered total savings of $52,000 per
annum and cut carbon emissions by 49
tonnes. There was a 60 per cent reduction
in operational costs for the AF Building and
51.5 per cent reduction for the WL Building
and car park.
• Improved lighting functionality, changing
obsolete fittings for the latest technology
and controls while maximising the use of
natural light.
• Will enable the university to recover costs
for both projects in less than 4 years.
The project
The AUT projects began with detailed audits of the
existing lighting. AUT was experiencing increasing
energy and maintenance costs associated with the
lighting, which was more than 20 years old.
until evening, even when classes were empty.
Motion sensors were installed to turn lights on
automatically when people entered a room or
corridor and switch them off when they vacated.
“The existing lighting was obsolete and very
inefficient,” said ECOsystems General Manager
Grant Winfield. “We calculated the significant
energy savings that could be made and how long
it would take to recover the costs of the project.”
Fluorescent �wall-washer’ lights, originally designed
to illuminate chalk blackboards, were removed
as they were unnecessary and caused glare on
the new whiteboards. Obsolete magnetic ballasts,
used to drive fluorescent lamps, were causing the
lighting to hum and flicker. These were replaced
with electronic ballasts, which solved the problem.
Problems included over-lighting, and the fact
that the original power factor correction (PFC)
capacitors, which reduce electrical load and
minimise wasted energy, had deteriorated and
were ineffective. Night time security was also an
issue, with staff concerned about unlit corridors
when leaving the building after working late.
The solution
A number of innovative approaches were used.
One solution was to install new highly efficient T5
fluorescent fittings with a 96 per cent light output
ratio (LOR). These cost less to run as they are more
efficient at transforming energy into light.
Lighting codes have changed since the building
was constructed, so with the use of computer
screens, less light is required now. The building
also gets good natural daylight. The team found
sufficient light could be provided by lighting
classrooms and corridors to the current lighting
standard while at the same time significantly
reducing the amount of electrical lighting required.
This proved particularly effective in corridors.
The number of lights needed was halved. Rotating
lights in the AF Building by 90 degrees also
allowed more light to spread the length of the
corridor, solving the security issue.
Daylight dimming sensors were introduced into
classrooms to measure the amount of light on the
desks, the level of artificial light was then adjusted
to maintain the required intensity.
Overuse of lighting was also an issue, with lights
switched on in the morning and usually left on
Weatherproof fittings for the car park allow the
lamps to run at their ideal temperature, boosting
LOR to 102 per cent and improving the quality of
the light.
“Above and beyond the improved
lighting ambience in each of
the refurbished spaces, we have
benefited from a dramatic reduction
in our maintenance costs in these
areas due to the cessation of the
previously frequent replacement of
dead lamps in these areas. In the
car park building, where we do have
an appropriate level of metering in
place, it is great to see that the actual
realised savings are very close to
what the predicted savings were”
Russell Baillie, Director Building Services and
Environment at AUT
The company
Energy savings specialists ECOsystems’ vision
is to reduce energy use in commercial buildings
by 30 to 50 per cent. Over the past 15 years, they
have successfully achieved this on a number of
projects. ECOsystem’s work covers supermarkets,
schools, office buildings, hospitals, service stations,
museums and banks.
EnergyMasters is the flagship accreditation programme of the Energy Management Association of New Zealand.
EnergyMasters accredits individuals for their levels of technical competence in a range of disciplines.
Go to www.emanz.org.nz/energymasters-accreditation for more details.
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