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Orion Energy Systems intelligent sensor technology

Posted: 21 July 2009

PepsiAmericas and Sysco Foods reduce energy waste and improve lamp and ballast reliability with Orion’s new technology

Orion Energy Systems Inc. has developed intelligent occupancy sensor technology designed to save energy while enhancing lamp and ballast longevity.

After two years of developing and testing the cutting-edge technology, Orion is deploying these advanced occupancy sensors at facilities for PepsiAmericas and Sysco Foods as well as other commercial and industrial customers.

Designed to easily integrate with existing fixtures, Orion is positioned to upgrade its install base and that of competitors with this new technology.

Orion’s new intelligent occupancy sensors collect data regarding the presence of people who routinely move through a space during a 24-hour period.

The sensors have the unique ability to adapt the lighting schedule based on this intelligence and to automatically adjust the settings of each fixture to stay on longer or turn off sooner to save even more energy.

Orion’s new sensor technology also features an adjustable field of view, allowing users to easily change the direction the sensor focuses, increasing its reliability to turn on when needed.

"The dynamic nature of this technology allows for aggressive energy-saving strategies with overriding algorithms that prevent excessive cycling on a daily basis," said Orion President and CEO Neal Verfuerth.

"When coupled with the InteLite host, the technology has the intelligence to collect and statistically process data, and then to apply that knowledge to more effectively manage lighting systems, allowing commercial and industrial companies to lower their energy and maintenance costs."

In a project completed recently, the actual cost to operate the lighting system was reduced from $285 per high-intensity discharge fixture to $44 per fixture a year when the occupancy sensor was used with Orion’s Compact Modular lighting platform and InteLite control system.

In other areas of the facility, the addition of Orion’s Apollo Solar Light Pipe decreased operating costs nearly to zero during peak hours of the day.

"The development of this cutting-edge technology demonstrates Orion’s promise to continue to develop and deploy energy saving technology that delivers permanent distributed load reductions to the market and to our customers in the 4,500 facilities that are already saving with Orion’s phase 1 Compact Modular technology. And, as always, without compromising their operations," Verfuerth said.

A Sysco Foods facility in Walnut, Calif., installed the new smart sensor technology on more than 1,000 of Orion’s Compact Modular fixtures previously installed at the facility. The InteLite occupancy sensors alone are estimated to help the facility reduce energy waste by nearly 1.3 million kilowatt-hours.

At a PepsiAmericas production and warehouse facility in Reserve, La., the beverage giant is installing the intelligent occupancy sensors on 155 of the Orion Compact Modular fixtures also being implemented. The Compact Modular system alone will save PepsiAmericas 334,000 kilowatt-hours. The addition of the occupancy sensors will increase the savings by another 211,000 kilowatt-hours annually.

As a result of the annual kilowatt-hour reductions at Sysco’s Walnut, Calif., facility and PepsiAmerica’s Reserve, La., facility, the companies will displace a combined 19,706 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the sensor technology. The companies also are reducing sulfur dioxide emissions by nearly 80 tons and nitrogen oxides by almost 30 tons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The InteLite occupancy sensor technology is a new addition to Orion’s Phase II InteLite family of products. When the sensors are used in conjunction with Orion’s InteLite control system, facility personnel can control, monitor and adjust the settings of each light fixture remotely. The system also includes technology that measures and verifies energy savings, which can lead to additional revenue streams when monetized as emissions offsets on the carbon market.

Orion’s innovation and technology recently won the praise of President Barack Obama, who applauded Orion in a White House speech promoting clean energy, the creation of green collar jobs and the importance of energy efficiency.

Obama challenged Orion and other clean energy companies to "mount a historic effort to end once and for all our dependence on foreign oil."

Orion has deployed its energy management systems in 4,581 facilities across North America. Since 2001, Orion technology has displaced more than 435 megawatts, saving customers more than $577 million and reducing indirect carbon dioxide emissions by 4.9 million tons. Orion’s technology was recently internationally recognized with a Platts Global Energy Award for the single most innovative and sustainable green technology of 2008.




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