Shining a light on energy savings
In 1994, much of the traditional industrial lighting performed poorly and industry was looking for greater energy efficiency. This is what inspired what was to become EELCO, the Energy Efficient Lighting Company.
“Until recently, Australian industry has been poorly served for energy-efficient lighting when compared with the US and Europe,” said EELCO Managing Director Mathew Fear. EELCO began manufacturing linear fluorescent lighting systems in Australia to provide a viable, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to the ‘energy-hungry’, standard high- and low-bay systems.
Among the many companies that have turned to EELCO for a lighting solution is Adelaide-based auto components manufacturer Hirotec. Earlier this year, the company management established a priority to minimise energy costs when planning a 5000 m2 extension to its existing facility.
“With the carbon tax just around the corner, there was a strong incentive to look more closely at energy efficiency,” said Facilities & Services Co-ordinator Andrew Pearson. “We knew we didn’t want the 400 W metal halide lamps we have in the older section of the building.”
Acting on the advice of its lighting contractor, Hirotec installed 60 EELCO linear fluorescent high-bay lights, which has resulted in a CO2e emissions reduction of 72.1 tonnes a year and an energy savings of 67,500 kWh annually. Complete return on investment is expected in around 30 months.
“These are long-lasting, low-maintenance lights, specifically designed to operate effectively in industrial environments with wide temperature ranges and, at times, high moisture levels,” said Fear. “The lighting systems are adaptable to high- and low-bay environments.”
Not only is the new extension using less energy, it is also providing brighter, better quality light. This, in turn, makes the working environment easier and safer for staff, particularly night shift workers.
One of the few Australian manufacturers of linear fluorescent, high- and low-bay lighting, EELCO has undertaken considerable research to produce a range of lighting products that are suited to Australia’s often harsh environment. By selecting technologies from the US and Europe and adapting them to Australian conditions, EELCO has developed a product range that can be tailored to the individual needs of client facilities.
Green’s General Foods, known for its cake and pancake mixes, also wanted an energy-efficient alternative to the standard high bays, as well as an upgrade of emergency lighting to comply with the Australian Standards AS/NZS 2293.
“Initially, we needed to upgrade emergency lighting in three warehouses,” said Magdon Ismail, Green’s. “But EELCO came up with a solution that replaced our existing high-bay lighting with lower-wattage lamps and doubled as emergency lighting when needed.”
Australian-made EELCO 1848A_4LT5_EM high bays, with built-in emergency lights, were installed, making an immediate and dramatic improvement in both lighting quality and LUX levels.
“They saved us from spending extra on standard emergency lighting that would only be used during a power outage,” said Ismail.
The CO2 emissions reduction is projected to exceed 55 tonnes a year, while electricity cost savings are said to amount to over $10,000 annually. According to EELCO, the retrofit also qualified for certificates under the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS).
“In the majority of large commercial and industrial facilities, our linear fluorescent lighting systems are one of the most viable solutions to cutting lighting and maintenance bills, improving workplace lighting and creating a safer work environment,” Fear said.
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