Lighting control systems can help microgrids shed load, improve demand response, use resources efficiently, and offer greater overall reliability.
>” [...] Lighting Control Facilitates Load-shed Strategies
Load shed, or the ability to quickly reduce electricity use during peak periods, is critical to ensuring microgrid reliability. Because lighting uses a considerable proportion of building peak electrical loads (30% of peak electricity),1 and because reduced light levels deliver immediate reductions in electricity, lighting control is one of the simplest and most predictable demand response solutions.
The reduction of lighting load also provides a reduction in HVAC cooling load during the summer, which is the most common peak electrical period. Furthermore, since dimming is typically unobtrusive when it is executed over a period of time (as little as 10 seconds), lighting control is a viable option for immediate emergency response.
Dimming as a load shed strategy is highly effective because the human visual system has the ability to accommodate a wide variety of light levels with minimal effect on the occupants2,3. When a demand reduction is required a gradual dimming of electric lighting can reduce light levels by 35 percent before 20 percent of the occupants attempt to intervene. Response time is essentially instantaneous, typically has little impact on occupant comfort, and demand savings from lighting are more predictable than those from HVAC response.
Light management systems have the capability to automatically trigger a demand response event from a utility signal or from time clock scheduling. Therefore, a predictable and effective demand response strategy can be automatically implemented while going virtually unnoticed to the building occupants.
Energy codes, standards, and green building certifications such as ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) 90.1, IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), California Title 24, ASHRAE 189, IgCC (International Green Construction Code), or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) now include lighting controls as a part of a whole-building energy strategy.
There are subtle differences for each code/standard/certification, but some general requirements and/or credits include: required lighting control for most areas (manual or automatic), automatic lighting shut-off, some automatic receptacle shut-off, daylight controls for daylit spaces, automatic shut-off of exterior lighting during daytime hours, and various levels of occupancy/vacancy control. As a result of buildings updating their basic lighting control infrastructure to meet code, they are increasingly becoming capable of connecting to a microgrid, without the need for additional significant investments.