Daily Archives: February 18, 2013

Use of Occupancy Sensors in LED Parking Lot and Garage Applications: Early Experiences

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Occupancy sensor systems are gaining traction as an effective technological approach to reducing energy use in exterior commercial lighting applications. Done correctly, occupancy sensors can substantially enhance the savings from an already efficient lighting system. However, this technology is confronted by several potential challenges and pitfalls that can leave a significant amount of the prospective savings on the table. This report describes anecdotal experiences from field installations of occupancy sensor controlled light-emitting diode (LED) lighting at two parking structures and two parking lots. The relative levels of success at these installations reflect a marked range of potential outcomes: from an additional 76% in energy savings to virtually no additional savings. Several issues that influenced savings were encountered in these early stage installations and are detailed in the report. Ultimately, care must be taken in the design, selection, and commissioning of a sensor-controlled lighting installation, else the only guaranteed result may be its cost.


Demonstration Assessment of LED Roadway Lighting: NE Cully Boulevard Portland, OR

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A new roadway lighting demonstration project was initiated in late 2010, which was planned in conjunction with other upgrades to NE Cully Boulevard, a residential collector road in the northeast area of Portland, OR. With the NE Cully Boulevard project, the Portland Bureau of Transportation hoped to demonstrate different light source technologies and different luminaires side-by-side. This report documents the initial performance of six different newly installed luminaires, including three LED products, one induction product, one ceramic metal halide product, and one high-pressure sodium (HPS) product that represented the baseline solution. It includes reported, calculated, and measured performance; evaluates the economic feasibility of each of the alternative luminaires; and documents user feedback collected from a group of local Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) members that toured the site. This report does not contain any long-term performance evaluations or laboratory measurements of luminaire performance. Although not all of the installed products performed equally, the alternative luminaires generally offered higher efficacy, more appropriate luminous intensity distributions, and favorable color quality when compared to the baseline HPS luminaire. However, some products did not provide sufficient illumination to all areas—vehicular drive lanes, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks—or would likely fail to meet design criteria over the life of the installation due to expected depreciation in lumen output. While the overall performance of the alternative luminaires was generally better than the baseline HPS luminaire, cost remains a significant barrier to widespread adoption. Based on the cost of the small quantity of luminaires purchased for this demonstration, the shortest calculated payback period for one of the alternative luminaire types was 17.3 years. The luminaire prices were notably higher than typical prices for currently available luminaires purchased in larger quantities. At prices that are more typical, the payback would be less than 10 years. In addition to the demonstration luminaires, a networked control system was installed for additional evaluation and demonstration purposes. The capability of control system to measure luminaire input power was explored in this study. A more exhaustive demonstration and evaluation of the control system will be the subject of future GATEWAY report(s).


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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Lighting, Local initiatives, Publications


Commercial Building Energy Asset Score System: Program Overview and Technical Protocol (Version 1.0)

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is developing a national voluntary energy asset score system that includes an energy asset score tool to help building owners evaluate their buildings with respect to the score system. The goal of the energy asset score system is to facilitate cost-effective investment in energy efficiency improvements of commercial buildings. The system will allow building owners and managers to compare their building infrastructure against peers and track building upgrade progress over time. The system can also help other building stakeholders (e.g., building operators, tenants, financiers, and appraisers) understand the relative efficiency of different buildings in a way that is independent from their operations and occupancy. This report outlines the technical protocol used to generate the energy asset score, explains the scoring methodology, and provides additional details regarding the energy asset score tool. This report also describes alternative methods that were considered prior to developing the current approach. Finally, this report describes a few features of the program where alternative approaches are still under evaluation.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Green building, Publications


Recent developments in the production of liquid fuels via catalytic conversion of microalgae: experiments and simulations

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Due to continuing high demand, depletion of non-renewable resources and increasing concerns about climate change, the use of fossil fuel-derived transportation fuels faces relentless challenges both from a world markets and an environmental perspective. The production of renewable transportation fuel from microalgae continues to attract much attention because of its potential for fast growth rates, high oil content, ability to grow in unconventional scenarios, and inherent carbon neutrality. Moreover, the use of microalgae would minimize ‘‘food versus fuel’’ concerns associated with several biomass strategies, as microalgae do not compete with food crops in the food chain. This paper reviews the progress of recent research on the production of transportation fuels via homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic conversions of microalgae. This review also describes the development of tools that may allow for a more fundamental understanding of catalyst selection and conversion processes using computational modelling. The catalytic conversion reaction pathways that have been investigated are fully discussed based on both experimental and theoretical approaches. Finally, this work makes several projections for the potential of various thermocatalytic pathways to produce alternative transportation fuels from algae, and identifies key areas where the authors feel that computational modelling should be directed to elucidate key information to optimize the process.


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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Biofuels, Publications


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