Pleasanton Library Cuts Energy Use By 46% With Adura Technologies Wireless Lighting Controls

Dec 6, 2011 Adura® Technologies, a leading provider of wireless lighting controls and energy management systems, has added the Pleasanton Public Library in Pleasanton, California to the list of public and commercial buildings benefiting from its wireless lighting control system. The Adura system and the fixture retrofit combined have reduced the library’s lighting energy use by 46 percent while enhancing user comfort and safety. The installation was completed as part of a retrofit project supported by the Energy Technology Assistance Program (ETAP), which is part of the statewide Energy Upgrade California™ program.
“The Adura Wireless Lighting Control System offers a great solution to the unusual challenges presented by libraries,” said Mark Golan, Adura CEO. “Adura’s proven technology is nimble enough to meet the lighting needs of a public facility with multiple uses from meeting and reading spaces to less-frequented collection areas. We were pleased to work with the City of Pleasanton and the ETAP program on this installation.”

When Pleasanton developed a Climate Action Plan (CAP), replacing or upgrading existing lighting systems in public buildings was one of its priorities. The Pleasanton Public Library, a 30,300 square foot facility built in 1987, used one of the largest energy loads of all of Pleasanton’s public facilities so it was an easy choice for the first lighting upgrade project.

“The installation of the Adura control system has been a real eye-opener. Watching our lighting energy use fluctuate from between 30-70% throughout the day, compared to our previous usage, shows that it is really working. Plus it’s a great diagnostic tool. The on-screen data allows us to track our daily usage and know exactly where problems occur in real-time,” said Chris Rizzoli, Pleasanton Supervisor of Support Services.

The ETAP program provided free technical support in the form of identifying the project opportunity for the City, and subsequently providing an economic feasibility and onsite audit analysis, implementation assistance, and a rebate for energy savings that covered approximately 20 percent of the cost of the installation. ETAP serves other public and non-profit agencies in California, stimulating the economy by supporting locally developed technologies, creating and retaining jobs in California via worker training seminars, and reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions through its implementation program. Currently, ETAP directly serves 75 agencies and is on track to help these agencies reduce energy use by over 19 million kWh annually and save over $2.5 million in energy costs by the end of the program.

“We’re very pleased that the taxpayer dollars funding our technical assistance and rebates have been so effectively used to directly benefit the public in this outstanding Pleasanton library project,” said Ann Guy, the ETAP Director.  “Not only is the public benefiting by having the City’s operating costs reduced at this facility, they are also enjoying higher quality lighting in this public space.”

Libraries have traditionally found it difficult to utilize lighting controls such as occupancy sensors due to the fact that the sensors typically have to be hard wired to the fixtures they control and tall shelving often interferes with their effectiveness. In Pleasanton’s case, despite several skylights, large windows, and differing levels of occupancy by staff and patrons, the library’s 661 lights were on from when the first staff arrived in the morning until the last person left at night – approximately 13 hours a day, seven days a week.

The library’s controls were limited to three main switches, which controlled the majority of the building’s lighting, and there were no timers or automation. This resulted in an all-on scenario, regardless of occupancy or available daylight. The following control strategies were made available by Adura’s lighting control system through use of its smart wireless mesh network:

•    Daylight harvesting: Adura’s system uses photocells that communicate through the wireless mesh network. The existing fixtures near skylights and clerestory windows were upgraded with dimming and long-life lamps. These fixtures respond to input from the photocells to dim when daylight is detected.
•    Occupancy Detection: The sensor density of the library was designed with the knowledge that most library patrons are near motionless much of the time. The addition of a “transition scene” of gradual dimming means no immediate switch from full light to no light, ensuring user comfort. High stacks also ceased to be an issue because the wireless mesh network allows lights to receive input from multiple sensors and also for sensors to control multiple lights.
•    Smart Scheduling:  Occupancy time-out periods are shorter during staff-only periods than when the library is open to the public, resulting in the lights being off in public areas while still on in staff-only ones.
•    Task Tuning: New lamps were set at 80 percent of maximum, saving 20 percent of energy uses from the start. This can be adjusted as fixtures age and light output depreciates.

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