Energy Management Projects
Energy management projects are normally run by mechanical engineers. They are
fairly good at managing co-generation and other mechanical-based projects. When
it comes to electrical energy utilization, their lack of solid knowledge of this
discipline manifests in improper, energy inefficient, designs and retrofits. The
biggest inefficiency happens on lighting-related energy management projects, and
this is not only if these are run by the energy management department, but also
the electrical engineering department.
The electrical designer is usually a person, who has little knowledge of
lighting theory and he normally designs the systems for raw footcandles. Veiling
reflections and direct glare are responsible that although the footcandle level
is within the reference standard, the visual efficiency may be up to 10x lower
than in a properly designed system - that means that up to 90% energy is wasted.
Another problem is that despite the fact that past and current research from
major institutions has already for half a century indicated importance of color
on visual and work performance, the electrical designer is unaware of it. In our
opinion the main reason is that major light bulb manufacturers have been making
excellent profits in selling illuminants with the wrong color temperature and
spectrum. These are the companies whose employees are sitting in various
committees and unfortunately are responsible for setting national standards.
The lighting equipment suppliers often become "the experts" who often run
the lighting calculations the electrical consulting engineers, or they
supply the software, should the consultants want to do the calculations
themselves. Few of the better consultants are fully aware of the faults in
the system. Great majority of them don't realize the real-world-inefficiency
of e.g. both low and high pressure sodium lamps, which are used primarily
for outdoor lighting. The actual efficiency of these lamps is quite low,
despite the fact that "the official" efficiency in Lumens/Watt is very high
high. Changing color temperature of the illuminant can again, in some
applications, especially the outdoor ones, increase efficiency of the system
by a factor of up to 10.
We have all been in parking lots with yellow low pressure lights. The light is
monochrome. It is lacking color spectrum and the blue component. Lack of the
blue component is responsible that our pupils open more and the average eye
becomes, at these low lighting levels, unfocused as a result. In addition to
that the color contrast is totally gone. Although the light meter may read
sufficient footcandle value, the ability to see and perform visual tasks in such
light is very poor.
Where we can help most is in evaluating energy management projects, the work of
electrical departments, and to suggest solutions, or help in creating the