New California rules require smart lighting

New California rules require smart lighting

New California lighting efficiency regulations that took effect recently mandated DR functionality,
occupancy-sensing lighting controls and automatic daylight harvesting controls, among several approaches designed to cut energy use at times by up to 50% in public and commercial spaces. Since lighting accounts for nearly 30% of California's power use, the extensive use of lighting controls is absolutely essential to meeting these net-zero goals, Michael Siminovitch, director of the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at the Univ of California-Davis (UC Davis), told Smart Grid Today.

The California PUC called for a 60-80% statewide reduction in electrical lighting consumption by 2020 in its Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. That would be over and above the goal to make all new residential construction net-zero by 2020 and commercial construction net-zero by 2030.

For the lighting and building automation industries, as well as Silicon Valley, this is strictly good news. It is likely to drive demand for new hardware and software solutions and to instantly make conventional lighting solutions unacceptably retro.

It also has the support of both the regional electric utilities and environmental advocates.

The mandated changes included:

DR controls: Lighting systems in commercial buildings with at least 10,000 square feet have to be able to respond to DR requests cutting power levels by at least 15% from their usual levels. Building operators are responsible for programming the lighting controls to automatically cut lighting power use in response to DR signals.

Occupant-sensing lighting controls: For the first time, occupancy sensors and controls will be required in aisles and open areas within warehouses, in garages, in loading zones, in library book stacks and in nonresidential corridors and stairwells. Controls have to cut lighting in these spaces by at least 50% during unoccupied periods.

Automatic daylight-harvesting controls: The new rules apply to buildings over 5,000 square feet in size virtually all commercial facilities with windows and skylights and mandate that the floor plan specify daylight harvesting controls for 75% of the space. The practice requires sensors to dim lights when outside light is available.

Dimming of LED and other light sources: Installed LED lighting in non-residential spaces of at least 100 square feet have to now incorporate dimmers that can adjust light output levels from 100% down to just 10%. Light sources other than LED also have to be "dimmable," but the standards for LED lighting were the most demanding.

New outdoor lighting regulations: Motion sensors and photo controls now are required in addition to scheduling controls for all outdoor lighting mounted 24 feet above the ground or lower and for any incandescent luminaires over 100 W. Controls have to reduce lighting power to each luminary by at least 40% when the lights are not in use for example, nobody is walking or driving in the area.

There was little surprise in the energy sector that these stringent standards were enacted in the Golden State, which not only has been in the forefront of environmental progress but has the size and the clout to influence other parts of the country.

"Title 24 has always had a major impact on energy savings within the state of California and California tends to be on the leading edge of energy efficiency, pushing other areas of the country to consider similar, innovative legislation," Frank Sharp, senior technical leader for the Palo Alto, Calif-based EPRI, told us yesterday. "Under this new mandate, LED lighting can provide significant savings of 40%, 50%, even 70%. Beyond that, the control systems will offer the opportunity to realize additional savings."

Xicato, a San Jose-based manufacturer of "superior light quality" LED bulbs told SGT this week it ratcheted up efforts to meet the new market demand for LED luminaires combined with controls." The firm introduced a new Intelligent LED module earlier this year that integrates the light source with the electronics necessary to address the requirements of Title 24 in California," and similar requirements in other parts of the world, Xicato's Director of Marketing Communications Steve Landau told us.

"This represents a complete paradigm shift in lighting," he added. "The light source [the bulb] performed a very singular task up until now and sensors and controls have been installed separately, on walls and ceilings, and then hopefully all successfully connected together.

"Xicato's competitive advantage is through integration and simplification. By integrating the LEDs and the controls that are now required under Title 24, a true digital lighting solution is possible and more easily commissioned and managed using wired or wireless protocols," Landau said.

Not only does the new equipment have to be put into place it has to be deployed properly. "For the first time, Title 24 requires that state-certified acceptance test technicians verify controls are properly installed and function in compliance an immensely important addition to the code," Kelly Cunningham, outreach director, California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC), told us.

Big energy savings seen

"This latest iteration of Title 24, Part 6, is expected to save tremendous amounts of energy by requiring a variety of lighting controls in more buildings and outdoor areas. These include daylight harvesting controls, as well as occupancy controls in spaces like corridors, stairwells and parking garages," Cunningham said.

The CLTC at UC Davis is a not-for-profit research facility dedicated to accelerating the development and commercialization of next-generation, energy-efficient lighting and daylighting technologies. As the revisions for Title 24 were being considered, "CLTC collaborated on numerous demonstration projects and case studies measuring the significant energy savings that lighting controls can achieve when properly installed and commissioned," Siminovitch said.

"These demonstrations many of which showed energy savings of 50% or more provided compelling evidence in support of the new control requirements in Title 24, Part 6," he added.

"We also helped create the curriculum used to train acceptance-test technicians through the California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (CALCTP). CLTC has been leading educational workshops to help lighting designers and builders prepare for the new standards."

Compliance help available

"Now we're looking forward to seeing our efforts translate into real-world energy savings on a statewide scale and we'll continue to help professionals navigate the new lighting-code requirements and learn about the latest lighting and controls technologies," Siminovitch said.

To assist the industry in meeting the new standards, the state's Energy Commission developed public domain software to assist with compliance. The California Building Energy Code Compliance (CBECC) software is a free, open source program that models buildings, giving businesses a better understanding of what is needed to be in compliance.

The CBECC platform provides more consistent simulation results and facilitates compliance analysis within third-party building energy design tools. In addition to CBECC, there are three other vendor software programs to help designers, builders, contractors and others measure and evaluate results.

CEC weighs in

"These new Title 24 standards will help California buildings function beautifully and economically," Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who oversees the Energy Commission's energy efficiency division, told us by email. "The most effective way to optimize building performance is during construction," he added.

"Standards are a foundational part of California's long-term goals for meeting our energy needs, conserving resources and protecting the environment. The development, adoption and rollout of the Title 24 standards have been a major priority for the Energy Commission," McAllister said.

"They are a critical piece of any strategy for California to reach our emission-reduction targets in 2020 and beyond."

The new standards included updated requirements for residential lighting. California's first building-energy efficiency standards went into effect in 1978 and the standards are periodically updated to let new energy-efficient technologies and construction methods be considered and incorporated.

Source: Smart Grid Today

SMART GRID Bulletin March 2017


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