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Determining the difference between predicted vs. actual lighting use in higher education corridors

van Someren, K. L., Beaman, C. P. and Shao, L. (2017) Determining the difference between predicted vs. actual lighting use in higher education corridors. Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, 3. 11. ISSN 2297-3079

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fmech.2017.00011


The performance gap is a measure of the difference between design assumptions and actual in field data. Estimating terms, specifically the operational hours of use, when making such design assumptions in order to predict the impact of lighting upgrades can potentially result in either an overestimate or underestimate of the savings to be made. In this paper, the background of performance gap measurement is outlined and field measurements are gathered and applied retrospectively to lighting upgrades in corridors. The lighting upgrade projects in three university buildings and their assumptions are explained in relation to the operational hours proposed using the industry ‘Energy assessment and reporting method’. We then describe a simple and relatively inexpensive means of taking in field measurements using small unobtrusive environmental loggers to record the lighting use and occupancy. This method, which can be implemented prior to upgrade works or energy efficiency retrofits, reveals substantially different patterns of annual electricity consumption and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from those assumed by a priori estimates. Patterns of use emerge that include additional hours of use by cleaners, out of hours working, and weekend working not anticipated in original estimates. These results also suggest a valuable distinction between lighting on hours and occupancy hours not captured in the current ‘Energy assessment and reporting method’. The results find the differences between predicted vs. actual data are considerably different, with lights on hours ranging from -67% lower to 25% and 138% higher when compared to predicted operational hours. We conclude that the estimates the industry uses in calculating energy efficiency upgrades should be accompanied by clear and adequate information about occupancy use. In our study, the consequence of reporting energy savings using assumptions and estimates in calculations resulted in a substantial overall underestimate of the savings achieved in practice.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:73335
Publisher:Frontiers Media


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