Intelligent Building Management with Holistic Digital Lighting

Jan Zirnstein | Honeywell International Inc.



Light has a profound impact on people. Beyond basic visual needs, light also influences the health and wellness of building occupants. Light directly consumes about 30% (Bureau of Economic Analysis [BEA]) of the energy in typical office buildings and up to 60% in typical non-refrigerated warehouse buildings. As many buildings in the Department of Defense (DoD) portfolio start to age, lighting retrofit projects become cost effective, but not all solutions offer the same savings. The opportunity cost of realizing only mediocre savings with an energy retrofit represents 15 to 20 years of lost opportunity. With the proposed dense sensor network, an 80% reduction in lighting energy usage is within reach and the occupancy data integration into the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control logic compounds the savings by providing up to a 30% reduction in HVAC-related energy use.

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Technology Description

This project, EW-201720, will aim to demonstrate the deep energy savings possible by going beyond simple lamp replacements and instead incorporating advanced lighting controls enabled by a fine grained sensor network with Light Emitting Diode (LED) luminaires. The project will develop a holistic method to lighting retrofits, applicable to both high bay and office environments on military installations. This holistic method will incorporate integrating sensed occupancy needed for the advanced lighting controls into the building automation system and optimizing the HVAC control accordingly.

Other lighting retrofits incorporate ambient light sensors and occupancy sensors, but at a much coarser level. While those attempts need to control a zone of lighting around each sensor, this innovative approach to combine the sensor with the luminaire allows for finer level of control which translates into deeper energy savings.

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This project will deliver a data-driven approach to holistic lighting retrofits that is broadly applicable to office spaces and high bay environments across the DoD portfolio. The dense network of sensors performs fine-grained control of light levels based on measured occupancy and provides a rich stream of building data for use in optimizing HVAC control. A General Services Administration (GSA) study [GPG15] has found that LED fixtures with integrated controls produce 75% savings against a national average. The life cycle cost analysis compared the proposed technology against a basic LED retrofit with no occupancy control. Because of the deep energy savings with the lighting and HVAC solution, simple payback for the additional investment is reached in six years in a low electricity price region (e.g. Tinker AFB in Oklahoma), and is reached within three years in high electricity price states such as Connecticut or California. In addition, granular control provides the ability to tune light levels for increased productivity and visual comfort for the occupants.

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Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Pedro Davalos

Honeywell International Inc.

Phone: 763-203-1976

Program Manager

Energy and Water