Magazine

Power Costs Plummet in Florida Garages


Like so many others in his profession, John Clark, CAAP, was looking for ways to gain some ground with regard to the cost of lighting the parking garages under his control at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
There are three parking garages located on campus, each having a capacity of at least 1,300 spaces. A fourth complex just completed construction, adding 1,300 parking spaces and bringing the total number of covered spaces under Clark's management to a little over 5,200.
Lighting garages comprises a very large part of the operating budget at UCF, and Clark was certain there must surely be room for improvement. Clark and his staff established a goal: Identify ways to reduce the cost of lighting, and then determine the method that provides the most bang for the buck.
Anyone who has delved into this field of research surely reached the same conclusion as Clark and his staff. Myriad solutions exist, and further examination is necessary in order to weed out those that are obviously labor intensive and cost prohibitive. All things considered, no easy task.
During a trade show in 2001, Clark and members of his staff had an opportunity to speak with PowerTec International. On the surface, it appeared that Power Tec's "LightLogix" lighting control device met the criteria established at the onset by the UCF team. Easy installation, little or no disruption to services, substantial savings in lighting cost, and a fast payback period. It almost sounded too good to be true.
After reviewing results of installations of the system throughout the nation, John agreed to have it installed at UCF's South Garage. If the results of the install were the same, or close to the same, as those produced at other locations, then UCF would purchase the machine and consider the purchase of three others for its remaining garages.
The technology is both patented and UL listed. The open-system component design provides facilities managers with maximum flexibility and ensures trouble-free operation and energy savings.
The system reduces the steady-state operating voltage of lighting circuits with magnetic ballasts up to 80 volts below line voltage. This reduces the line current and, consequently, power consumption from 25 to 40 percent. It can serve as a component -- or as the cornerstone -- in a total energy management system. Site-specific requirements (sensors, communications, zone control, etc.) are easily addressed and implemented.
An Allen-Bradley PLC, a programmable logic controller, controls the machine settings. The system monitors current and voltage and maintains them at the desired settings. LightLogix controls up to three phases independently and (depending on the wiring of the lighting circuits) allows the customer to control perimeter or specific areas of lighting independently of other areas. The system is fully programmable to operate on daily or weekly settings. If weekly is selected, each day of the week will perform exactly the same (21 potential settings). If daily is selected, up to seven different set points are available for that particular day of the week, resulting in 147 settings over a week period.
Another key feature is the Restrike mode. Upon sensing an increase in current (the switching on of additional lights such as is done by means of photo cells or in the event of a power loss), it will provide an increased voltage out to the lights up to the full line voltage for a specified amount of time. Restrike capability is on an individual phase basis -- only the phase that senses the current rise will go into Restrike at full line voltage.
There are no regularly scheduled maintenance intervals for the LightLogix unit other than those performed automatically by the unit itself and the periodic replacement of a filter for the forced air ventilation. No special tooling is necessary in order to install, program, operate, or perform maintenance on the LightLogix unit.
Does John Clark and his team at UCF agree that the system is state-of-the-art lighting control? Well, they are now the proud owners of four Lighting Control Devices.
You can get more information on LightLogix products at www.lightlogix.com

Article Abstract from March, 2003




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