A. Technological Objective
To develop an economically viable microprocessor based Lighting Load Detection System for centralized Energy Management System. This particular product will be able to detect electricity load change in industrial and commercial applications and relay the information to a centralized Lighting Control System the VoltMiser is a patented lighting controller system which reduces power to High Intensity Discharge Lamps and Fluorescent tubes by means of voltage reduction (0-25%).
B. Scientific or Technological Advancement
This microprocessor based Lighting Load Detection System will create virtual interface between the VoltMiser Lighting Controller and remote lighting switches.
In order for the lighting controller work properly and meet lamp and ballast manufacturer’s warranties, it mandatory for the lighting controller to apply nominal voltage to the electrical panels for a period of 15 minutes whenever the lights are tuned on. Typically such a system is connected to electrical panels and requires a light status feedback. In simple applications, this is done by means of hard wire between the lighting controller and the lighting switch. However, in more complex applications such as multistory buildings with hundred of offices or room, it is uneconomical to implement any lighting control system to reduce power. On the other hand the Lighting Load Detection System will sense lighting load in the electrical circuits and will force the lighting controller to go to nominal voltage whenever the lights are turned on. This Lighting Load Detection System can be used in Hotels, Offices, Schools, Hospitals and commercial building. A typical yearly savings for these locations are $ 20,000.00 – 80,000.00
Here are some advantages:
- Allows implementation of energy conservation multi office/rooms environment with 2 Year Payback
- Reduces Energy Demand and kWh cost
- Reduces Green House Effect
- Reduces Labor Cost (Installation time – 16 hour)
- Simplifies electrical control interface – Plug & Play concept
Scientific or technological uncertainty
The most uncertain and challenging obstacle is to detect a small lighting load 0.44 kW within O.5 second when the light is turned on. High Intensity Discharge Lamps and fluorescent lamps have different starting characteristic and it is very challenging for the R&D team to develop hardware and the software to insure stability, reliability and compliance with the ballast and lamp warranties. The hardware has been designed to remove major electrical noise and the software to process the incoming signal. The software has to have a complex algorithm to distinguish what is a valid signal and what is not. There is no room for error. If the software fails to detect a valid signal, the lamps will fail and the warranties of the lamps will be void. For example, a typical grocery store uses 240-350 lamps and if these lamps fail because our electrical load detection did not detect the valid signal (some of lights are turned on), it will cost $ 13,200.00 – $ 19,250.00 to replace the lamps.
Summary – The concept of lighting /electrical load detection in the commercial and industrial application creates technological uncertainty for the following reasons:
- To develop Electrical Load Detection software to be compatible with High Discharge & Fluorescent Lamps
- To develop Load Detection Algorithm which will be reliable in Commercial and Industrial Environment
- To develop universal input/output interface to be compatible with Energy Management System
- To develop Algorithm to perform noise rejection and filtering based on digital data processing