10/01/2007

Load Shedding Leads to Major Savings

While HVAC is often a prime candidate for load shedding, lighting should also be considered

 

The Conditions for Automated Demand Response
According to a recent study by San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co., as part of the 2008 California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Codes and Standards Enhancement Initiative (CASE), a utility could distribute two types of automated demand-response signals to a commercial building's lighting-control system based on diverse conditions:

  • Economic: The cost of electricity has advanced beyond a pre-determined amount to which the customer and the utility have agreed. Response is voluntary.
  • Emergency: The utility's reserve power capacity is critically low and power dedicated to lighting must be shed to avoid a brownout or blackout. Response is mandatory.

By Scott Jordan

Lighting can account for 30 percent or more of the total electrical load in commercial buildings, which is why energy-efficiency initiatives typically focus on making sure lights are off when they aren't needed. One strategy that is receiving increased attention is load shedding, where selected electrical loads in a commercial building, including lighting, are reduced at various times during the day.

In its simplest form, load shedding involves reducing the electrical load by a certain percentage in response to a request from the electric utility. This situation typically occurs during summer months, when electrical loads are strained due to excessive air-conditioning usage. Users who opt to conform with the utility often enjoy the benefits of lower electrical rates.

While HVAC is often a prime candidate for load shedding, lighting should also be considered. Lighting can account for as much of a commercial building's electrical load as air-conditioning - a 2006 study found that commercial lighting accounts for 30 percent of the total electrical load in California during the summer peak period of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., while air-conditioning accounts for 32 percent. Often, lighting loads can be reduced by up to 30 percent without undue discomfort to building occupants. Further, by reducing lighting loads, the HVAC load is also reduced because heat gain by lighting is reduced.

Typical load-shed requests come from the utility via a phone call or e-mail, or by monitoring a website. Typically, building management must be in a position to respond quickly to the load-shed request. Whole-building, schedule-based lighting-control systems that are Web-enabled are perhaps best positioned for this effort because a facility manager can access the system via a common Web browser at any time. For owners of multiple buildings, Web-enabled lighting control can seamlessly perform load shedding at each building from one central location. Building management can quickly respond to a utility request and ascertain if the planned reduction in load has been accomplished.

Automated Demand Response
Load shedding could soon become more sophisticated through automated demand response. In most load-shed applications today, the utility will call or e-mail building management with an energy-reduction request, typically in the morning or the previous day. But, with automated demand response, the utility would send a signal to a building's power meter or building-automation system, which would then turn off pre-selected lighting loads automatically.

Though such systems have yet to be deployed, automated demand response could be the next technological step toward greater energy savings. A study by San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. indicates that the energy and cost savings could be significant - for example, a high-end specialty retail store could shed as much as 40 percent of its lighting load. An additional benefit could be an improved rate structure for building owners who choose to participate in a voluntary load-shedding program compared to owners who do not.

Building owners and facility managers can learn more by investigating suppliers with extensive background in lighting control and experience in implementing demand-side management systems. Focusing on suppliers that will be sensitive to a building's unique needs is also important. 

Scott Jordan is product marketing manager at Palatine, IL-based Square D/Schneider Electric (www.us.squared.com).

 


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Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 


 
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