93% reduction in energy costs for David Wilson Library office

Posted by chj6 at Oct 21, 2016 10:35 AM |
The running cost of lighting for the Careers Development Service office in the David Wilson has been slashed by 93%, from £2600 to just £200 a year, as the result of an Estates energy-saving project.
93% reduction in energy costs for David Wilson Library office

David Wilson Library

The project arose due to complaints regarding the year-round high level of heat in the office, which created an uncomfortable working environment for staff. This was in part due to fluorescent lighting, which hung low over the desks and gave off a significant amount of heat. Replacing this lighting with LED in July 2016 has resulted in significant improvements in the working environment, with both a reduction in temperature and better quality lighting.

LEDs VS Fluorescents

“You can see the lighting is a lot whiter - it is replicating the light coming in from the natural daylight.” Says Estates Technician, Adrian Hinks. “It is a lot better to work with, much more comfortable, and it emits a fraction of the heat.”

Energy Savings

Alongside the creation of a more comfortable office environment, an energy saving of 93% has been made. Changing the switching of the lights has also contributed significantly to this, as previously the lights were connected to a switchboard for the whole of the second floor. This offered little flexibility for staff members to turn off lights, and often meant lights stayed on 24/7. However the new lights have come with a ‘Smart’ system.

“On each separate light fitting we’ve got a sensor that detects movement. If it doesn’t detect anybody moving in a certain time period, which you can set, it then reduces to 10% of its maximum brilliance. And if it detects no movement after a further 10 minutes it turns off completely.”sensor

Not only this but each light has yet another automatic method to reduce its energy usage. A photoelectric cell detects the ambient light of the room, reducing the lightbulb brilliance if a large amount of daylight is coming through the windows. This maintains a consistent brightness, the level of which is specified by the office occupants.

As a result, the long-lived LED lights are expected to save over £25,000 in energy costs over their lifespan.

Student Interest

And it hasn’t only been office staff with an interest in making the switch. Last year, a student project, as part of the Sustainable Development Programme, led an investigation into the lighting in the library. They calculated that lighting accounts for 40.9% of the total energy consumption of the library, costing £65,900 annually. By replacing the entire library’s fluorescent lights with 18W LED lights, this cost could be more than halved to £30,600. Petitioning outside the library during Go Green Week, the project gathered support of 300 students in only 3 hours.

Whilst further investigation into the potential financial savings would be needed, there is no doubt that the Career’s office project could be replicated on a larger scale. A wider project looking at replicating this throughout the whole library is now underway, however this will be subject to successful funding.

With payback for this project expected to be under 5 years, LED lighting is certainly an area of interest in helping the university to achieve its carbon reduction plan of 60% by 2020.

Be a part of reducing our carbon footprint and let us know of any opportunities for energy savings in your department here.

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