SPOTLIGHT ON: Sustainability

Solid-state lighting took center stage at the SPECS Sustainability session, “LEDs: Perception and Reality.”

Speaker Leigh Savage, national accounts manager, GE Lighting, debunked many of the myths that surround LED lighting. They included:

• LEDs produce no heat at all. FALSE

• LEDs are more efficient than any other light source. NOT NECESSARILY.

• LEDs are still too expensive to use in retail applications. FALSE

• LEDs look too “blue” for use in retail. FALSE

• And they last forever. FALSE

• All LEDs are basically the same. FALSE

• It is not important for an LED company to be a U.S. DOE (Department of Energy) quality advocate. FALSE

“Being registered as a DOE Quality Advocate ensures that the company you are working with will be held accountable,” Savage said.

Renewable energy: Available options for renewable energy systems were reviewed at the session, “Alternative Energy: What’s on the Horizon?” with Sam Khalilieh, senior VP, architecture and engineering, WD Partners.

Khalilieh also discussed the successful use of fuel cell technology at Stop & Shop’s store in East Torrington, Conn. The project was a collaboration involving Stop & Shop, WD Partners and United Technologies. The fuel cell, a UTC Power PureCell System Model 400, was commissioned in June 2010.

“We’ve maintained about 96% up-time, and have provided over 90% of the store’s total electric energy consumption through the fuel cell,” Khalilieh said. “We could actually provide a greater percentage of the store’s electric energy requirements, but we’ve left the fuel cell in load-following mode, rather than producing a constant 400 kW.”

Khalilieh noted that the world’s energy resources and environment will be under tremendous pressure during the next 20 years when 2 billion people in China, India and the Middle East start their ascend to the middle class.

“By 2035, worldwide electricity demand will be 80% higher than it was in 2010,” he said.

Given that scenario, all avenues with regard to energy use should be explored and collectively put to use where it makes sense, he added.

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