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Sperber, A. N., Elmore, A. C., Crow, M. L., & Cawlfield, J. D. (2012). Performance evaluation of energy efficient lighting associated with renewable energy applications. Renewable Energy, 44, 423–430.
Abstract: Energy efficiency is a primary consideration when designing off-grid renewable energy systems including portable micro-grids. This study focuses on characterizing the potential benefits associated with using energy efficient exterior area lighting commonly associated with remote installations. Light emitting diode (LED) luminaires are becoming more commercially available, and this study compares two LED products designed for exterior lighting to traditional metal halide lamps. The characterization focuses on the use of a diesel generator, battery bank, and a bank of ultra capacitors (UCAPs) to power the lights because these systems are also used to generate or store energy at renewable energy-powered micro-grids. This field-based study quantifies the illuminance provided by each lighting system, diesel consumption rates associated with powering the lights and/or charging the batteries and UCAPs, and the time of operation for each lighting system when powered by a single discharge cycle of the batteries and UCAPs. The energy efficiency benefit of the LED luminaires is offset by their lower illuminance. However, a comparison of lighting standards for specific purposes such as security lighting indicates that LEDs may be appropriate for applications where a metal halide system would provide significantly more illumination than required at a much higher energy cost. For those purposes where higher levels of illuminance are required, the data presented in the paper may be useful in designing a renewable energy-powered micro-grid that uses multiple LED fixtures to illuminate an exterior area that is currently illuminated by a single metal halide light stand.