Fall 2012 Forum    


September 21, 2012
Portland Community College, Newberg, Oregon

Oregon APEM’s Fall Forum was held at Portland Community College Newberg Center and the topic of the day was LED lighting.  The PCC Newberg Center is a recently constructed net-zero building which served as a wonderful setting for the day’s activities.  The day was jam-packed with opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge about LED lighting.  Several speakers taught the group about utilizing LED technology and shared case studies of real world applications.  The breaks between speakers were used for networking and for learning from several knowledgeable vendors who had tables full of state-of-the-art LED lighting fixtures and accompanying literature.   

On an administrative note, it was also announced that the APEM board is now asking for nominations for new board members and nominations for 2012’s Energy Manager of the Year.  Please send an email to board@oregonapem.com for more information or to submit a nomination.

Greg Hansen - Balzhiser & Hubbard Engineers.  Greg Hansen started the day off with an overview of the history of electric lights, leading up to the appearance of LED lighting in the last few years.   After focusing on the major historical advancements in lighting and putting into perspective how drastically different LED lighting is from the other forms of lighting that came before, Greg discussed the “Do’s and Don’ts” of LED lighting today.  Greg recommended use of LED lights for down lighting, site lighting, landscape lighting, low level lighting and track lighting.  However, in Greg’s opinion, some types of LED technology need more time to mature prior to being ready for mainstream integration, including linear fluorescent tube replacement and possibly high bay lighting.  See His Presentation

Doug Oppedal – Northwest Trade Ally Network – Evergreen Consulting Group
Doug described the major LED trends that that have appeared in the market in the last few years.  LED downlights were introduced in 2010 and are now so popular they are one third of the cost that they were 2 years ago.  Since 2011, LEDs have been commonly used in display, retail and track lighting.  Currently, Doug is seeing a trend of installing LED lighting in gas station canopies, parking garages, and sign lighting. 

Much of Doug’s presentation focused on current LED lighting from a utility’s point of view.  Doug explained that when utilities offer incentives, they are essentially paying their customers for the energy saved by the incentivized technology.  Because of this, utilities need to be confident about the savings associated with any technology that they are going to incentivize. 
Doug discussed the types of LED technology that are currently incentivized by local utilities.  Incentives are offered for directional replacement lamps like incandescent PAR lamps used in track lighting and downlights.  Other types of lighting, like omni-directional lighting, fluorescent tube replacements, and exterior high bay lighting do not yet have standard track incentives because the technology still needs a little more time to mature (however custom incentives may be available for these applications.)  See His Presentation

Naomi Miller – DOE Gateway
Naomi introduced the US Department of Energy Gateway Demonstrations program which showcases high-performance LED products in a variety of commercial and residential applications.  These documented results provide real-world information on solid-state lighting product performance and cost effectiveness. These results provide buyers with reliable data on product performance.
Naomi emphasized that the Gateway projects compare LEDs with incumbent technology, like incandescents, CFLs, metal halides, and linear fluorescents.  Naomi discussed several case studies from which lessons about LEDs can be learned.
In one project, several metal halide (MH) luminaires were replaced with new LED luminaires incorporating bi-level operation controlled by motion detectors.  After the installation was complete it was discovered that the occupancy sensors placed on each of the luminaires were unable to sense movement in the entire area than the LEDs illuminated; this resulted in situations where the parking lot lights did not fully illuminate when occupants were present.
Another project Naomi discussed was the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, where 90 watt PAR flood lamps used for accent lighting were replaced with 12 watt LED PAR replacement lamps for a special exhibition.  The museum also staged a side-by-side comparison of three different LED PAR replacement lamps against their standard halogen lamp.  Patrons were asked to evaluate the different lighting options and their responses showed that museum goers actually preferred the LED lighting in many respects to the traditional halogen lighting.
Other projects discussed in the presentation included a street lighting in Portland, a museum in California, a hotel in California, and a parking garage in Oregon.  Naomi let us know that there are plans to do more projects in the future and that more information and full reports can be found on the DOE website. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/gatewaydemos_results.html       See Her Presentation

Erica Dunn & John McMichael – PCC Newberg architect and engineer
This portion of the forum featured members the PCC Newberg campus design team who taught us about the net-zero building in which the fall forum was held.  First Erica Dunn discussed how Hennebery Eddy Architects were hired to create the master plan for the whole Newberg campus; if completed this would consist of six buildings, though currently only one building has been constructed.  PCC specifically wanted to explore sustainable building options and it was suggested they pursue a net zero building.
Erica and John McMichael, an engineer from Interface Engineering, then discussed how the building was designed with many features to reduce building energy use.  Firstly, the advantages of building siting were maximized by orienting the long side of the building in the East-West direction to allow for plenty of day lighting.  Long over-hangs and shades prevent excess heat from entering the building in the summer and the envelope was designed to reduce heat loss.
Secondly, the HVAC systems in the building were designed to be as energy efficient as possible.  The building has no mechanical cooling; passive ventilation is used and ceiling fans provide air movement which makes the building feel cooler.  The effect of summertime high temperatures in the building and the amount of heating needed in the winter is reduced by leveraging the building’s thermal mass to regulate indoor air temperatures.  Heating, when needed, is achieved via radiant floor heat. 
Third, the building produces some of its own energy through a 100 kW photovoltaic array.
The building also has an advanced monitoring system which allows for detailed study of the behavior of the systems within the building.  Michael showed us several examples of data graphs from typical days which illustrated everything from lighting and plug loads to the pump behavior and water loop temperatures.  See Their Presentation

Michael Poplawski – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – City of Portland’s Cully Boulevard Street-Lighting Test
Michael presented a case study of an LED street lighting installation in Portland.  Michael explained how the upgrade partially resulted from the City of Portland’s desire to revitalize the Northeast neighborhoods.  First, the City of Portland resurfaced the roads and the existing street lamps were removed.  Then, new poles with new luminaries featuring LED lights were installed which matched the city’s current design guidelines.
Three types of technologies (LED, induction, and ceramic metal halide) were tested along a roadway against a baseline fixture (High Pressure Sodium) using six different luminaires.  The different types of lighting were grouped with about four or five poles in a row which had the same technology.  Several types of outdoor lighting control systems were also tested in this project.   Currently most control systems are proprietary and different controls can be located in a variety of locations like mounted in the fixture, on the pole or in the ground.
While the overall performance of the LED luminaires was generally better than the baseline luminaire, high cost of LED replacement remains a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of this technology across the city.  See His Presentation

Thank you to everyone that attended this great forum.  Hopefully we will see you in December at the Winter Forum on Heat Recovery.


Greg Hansen, Balzhiser & Hubbard Engineers

Doug Oppedal, Northwest Trade Ally Network

Naomi Miller, DOE Gateway

Erica Dunn & John McMichael, PCC Newberg

Michael Poplawski, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory