Representing OSRAM SYLVANIA, product marketing manager Mike Williams discussed the technology of the load shed ballast system to the energy service company community. Each summer, electric utilities face periods of peak demand that approach or exceed available supplies and these can result in blackouts, crippling businesses within a city, state or entire region. “This new system offers an alternative to costly peak power generation, as it can immediately and predictably reduce power consumption in response to peak demand alerts. It is a great breakthrough for businesses seeking to manage peak demand charges or reduce consumption during peak electric rate periods,” Williams said.
A load-shed ballast is a high-efficiency, instant-start bi-level ballast with a built in power line carrier signal receiver for automated dimming response. Until now, controlling fluorescent
lighting loads required customized solutions with expensive hardware and installation. The load-shed ballast uses existing wiring and avoids the cost and complexity associated with traditional lighting control methods.
This new technology responds to automated peak signal alerts. System operators trigger the load-shed sites through a communications source, such as the internet, to the lighting distribution panel where a powerline signal is sent to individual ballasts. It can also be configured to accept a signal from telephone lines, radio, pagers, cell phones or other wired protocols.
In load-shed mode, power is reduced by 33 percent during peak periods, but light levels remain suitable for most tasks. A study conducted by the Lighting Research Center determined dimming electric lighting by up to 40 percent for brief periods was acceptable to occupants in an office setting. The results of survey work at the demonstration site indicated that the building occupants noticed the changes in light levels as the load-shedding system was turned on and off. However, they accepted the lower light levels while the load-shedding system was on continuously and did not find it a detriment to their productivity. The SYLVANIA QUICKTRONIC® load-shed universal-voltage electronic ballast for 32W T8 lamps will be available in 2007.
For more information about OSRAM SYLVANIA, visit www.sylvania.com.