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Acuity Distribution Center

Plants Consolidated Edison

Prismatic lighting promotes safety,
energy savings at substation

Safety and security are always concerns at the Jamaica Substation, operated by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., in Jamaica Queens, New York. With electrical equipment on line around the clock, operators must have excellent visibility at all times, whether making routine inspections or troubleshooting a problem.
In the past, visibility within the 20,000-square-foot facility was hampered by large cylindrical-shaped electrical buses coming into the building from the front and side. Located at a 16-foot height, the 12 buses tend to create "rooms within a room," according to Andrew McInnes, project engineer, Con Edison.

"The buses are insulated and encased in steel, they are gray in color. The buses, along with an extensive trough system, tends to make interior areas dark. Light was also restricted by the narrow aisles in these areas," McInnes described.

Previously, the substation was lit by a combination of fluorescent, incandescent and high pressure sodium fixtures. Illumination levels ranged from five to 10 footcandles, with the 30-foot concrete ceiling gloomy and cavernous in appearance.

Reacting to employee requests for better lighting, the substation recently installed a 400 watt high pressure sodium prismatic lighting system from Holophane Corporation. High bay Prismalume® fixtures are mounted on I-beams on the 30-foot ceiling, with two to four PrismGlo® units installed in the aisles created by the electrical buses. PrismGlo fixtures are installed on structure beams at a 14-foot height. McInnes indicated that Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis software was used to determine footcandle levels and fixture spacing. A total of 20 Prismalume units and 17 PrismGlo fixtures are used.

"The Holophane units were selected because of their uplight," McInnes said. "Under the previous system, the environment was not as well lit, and different tones and colors were provided by the different fixtures. Now, because of the combination of direct and indirect illumination, the environment is uniformly lighted. The change is tremendous," McInnes said.

The levels of uplight provided by the Prismalume and PrismGlo units are 15 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Illumination levels have increased to 20 to 30 footcandles.

Since the facility has multiple areas that are not continually occupied, Holophane's Automatic Energy Reduction System (AERS®) was installed to maximize energy savings.

An occupancy sensor detects when someone is present in a zone and signals the lighting fixtures in that zone to switch from low mode (35 percent output) to normal mode (100 percent output). When the sensors no longer detect motion within the zone, the sensor signal stops and the luminaires switch back to low mode after a preset time delay (15 minutes).

"Indoor substations require continuous lighting for safety and security. By using HPS lighting with the AERS, we are able to attain the maximum lighting per watt when needed, yet continually save energy during times when the aisles of the station are quiet," McInnes said.

McInnes indicated that savings are estimated at $3500 per year (this varies based on energy costs per kilowatt).

Besides the Jamaica Queens facility, Holophane fixtures have been installed at two other Con Edison locations, Corona I and Corona II. The Corona I station is similar to the Jamaica Queens facility, with aisles created by cabinets and overhead troughs, and uses a combination of high bay and low bay fixtures. The Corona II has open aisles with Prismalume units installed throughout.


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