DALI – An Emerging Energy-Conserving Lighting Solution

The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) : An Emerging Energy-Conserving Lighting Solution

by Odile Ronat, International Rectifier

Digitally controlled dimming of lighting is emerging as a key energy savings system in Europe and spreading to the rest of the world. The key drivers are energy shortages, increased energy costs, and environmental concerns. The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) standard is emerging as the preferred fluorescent controlling method due to its many advantages.

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DALI – An Emerging Energy-Conserving Lighting Solution

Why DALI is Needed

Increased energy demand has been driven by an explosion in information technology and unprecedented economic growth over the past few years. The supply of energy has not increased with demand in many areas, especially in rapidly growing economies. This has led to daily outages in some areas. Europe has a strong public and government environmental awareness of the need for energy conservation. European public policies that promote conservation, including higher energy taxes, have led to high energy costs.

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DALI controls enable increased productivity by making lighting an active part of the work environment, deliver a 20 to 30 percent reduction in energy use, reduce maintenance costs, and improves building aesthetics.

DALI provides significant advantages over existing analog control systems including:

  • Two-way communications for obtaining operating status and performance of luminaries. This ability to generate reports showing location of failed lamps and additional fixture performance items helps reduce maintenance and energy costs.
  • Individual fixture addressing of up to 64 addresses provides cost-effective control of individual fixtures and allows re-configuring space lighting groups without re-wiring.
  • With 16 programmable scenes and groups stored in the ballast, the user can define lighting scenes based on occupant tasks while groups provide the ability to control individual fixtures included in multiple control zones.
  • Control compatibility across multiple suppliers letting users to mex and match and obtain consistent control operation.
  • Simple control wiring allowing maximum flexibility, ease of installation, and convenience

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Why a Facilities Management Approach to Commercial Roofing Repair and Preventive Maintenance Works Best

On one level the practice of facilities management is the constant prioritizing and reassessing of which necessary facility repairs warrant immediate budget expenditures.

A commercial roofing contractor needs to understand this to effectively maintain and repair a facility’s roofing system(s).

The contractor must help the facilities manager walk the fine line between major repairs of older roofing systems and the minor repairs of new roofing systems that could become major repairs if neglected.  The idea is to maintain the newer roofing system(s) while over time bringing the older system(s) into an acceptable level of repair and performance.  It is also important for the facilities manager to understand when it is time to replace an older roofing system.  Typically that time is when too much money is being spent on the repair of an older roofing system, while too little is being spent on the necessary maintenance of newer roofing systems to prolong their life cycle.

Eventually, every commercial roofing system must be replaced. But, with inspection, maintenance and repair, building owners can extend a roofing system’s life cycle to maximize their return on investment.

According to the National Roofing Contractors Association preventive maintenance adds 30%-100% service life to a commercial roofing system. That means repair costs could be triple the cost of a preventive maintenance program over the life cycle of a commercial roofing system.

Another facilities management factor to consider in maintaining roofing systems is energy management.  Wet insulation in a roofing system loses energy.  According to the Building Owners and Managers Institute, good maintenance practices and good energy management go hand in hand. Some of the highest rates of return on energy conservation are generated simply by performing maintenance.

The key element to an effective facility asset management process is having professionals inspect those assets on a regular basis. On a periodic schedule determined with the building owner or manager the following should be done;

* Inspect the entire roofing system including flashings, drains or gutters and leaders, masonry, etc.

* Document each inspection (roof plan, inspection forms, and photo documentation). Each technician should carry a digital camera to document noteworthy roof conditions. Digital photos can be included with inspection reports.

* Perform infrared testing as needed to provide thermal energy reports to identify moisture within a roof system

* Remove all debris, clean gutters, leaders and drains

* Make minor repairs at the time of inspection.

* Provide estimates for roof repairs (or replacement if necessary)

* Comply with and document compliance with the maintenance requirements of any roofing system manufacturer warranties in effect.

Physical rooftop inspections and color infrared camera surveys are the keys to the effective documentation and analysis of energy loss, roof repair and maintenance issues.

In addition to the information gathered during roof inspections, the importance of maintaining warranty, design, installer, as-built materials data, and repair history information should be emphasized.  Contractors will benefit from assisting in the compilation of this additional data.

If this process is followed, the repair, maintenance and energy conservation of commercial roofing systems will be as cost-effective as possible.  And with this process, facilities-manager clients know years in advance of when a roofing system will have to be replaced, and what its projected expense will be.

For more information, www.flagshiproofing.com

Mel Thompson is a commercial roofing consultant for Flagship Roofing and Sheet Metal Co., Inc. in southeastern Massachusetts
www.flagshiproofing.com