The inherent flexibility of Chalmor’s recently launched two-channel BlueWave lighting control is helping the company to safeguard operatives working in plant rooms at its Manchester site while ensuring that lights are not left on unnecessarily.
The company’s representative explains: “It is quite common for lighting in plant rooms to be left on when engineers have finished working and this can be very wasteful of energy. Presence detectors are an option but there is always the danger of an engineer being hidden from the sensors behind an item of plant and being plunged into darkness.
“To address these issues we wanted a system that would ensure lighting is turned off when the plant room is unoccupied while safeguarding any operatives working in the space. BlueWave has proved to be a very flexible and cost-effective way of achieving this. As a backstop to ensure total safety, we have rigged a small number of permanently lit lights, which give a strategic way out if someone was not totally aware of the system,” they added.
The final solution makes use of BlueWave two channels to operate two separate countdown timers and activate a visual and audible alert to engineers five minutes before the lights are switched off automatically. A good indication that the system is working efficiently is that on most systems the total hours run from installation is nearing 2500, with only 60+ hrs actually in the switched on state.
At the various entry points to each plant room there are two push-to-make switches for controlling the lighting, one to switch the lighting on and off, the other to extend the lighting period. When someone enters the plant room they press the on/off switch to turn the lights on. At this point the sounder and flashing beacons operate momentarily to remind the user of how the system works.
At the same time, the two timers begin their pre-set countdowns – channel 1 (lighting channel) is set for 60 minutes and channel 2 (sounder/beacon channel) is set for 55 minutes.
If the lights have not been switched off after 55 minutes, channel 2 activates the sounder and beacons to warn that the lighting will be switched off within 5 minutes. Any person in the space can then press the ‘extend’ button to re-set the timers. If the plant room has already been vacated and the ‘extend’ button is not activated, the lights are switched off.
In the event of a controls circuit or fuse failure the lighting will failsafe to ‘on’.
BlueWave controllers are easy to configure on site and to re-configure at any time, so the company has the ability to fine-tune the control strategy to suit the needs of individual plant rooms if required. For example, the default ‘on’ period can be set to different times for each plant room.
The controller also provides at-a-glance status indication at all times, as well as monitoring functions such as hours-run during automatic operation and total lamp hours run. The latter function is useful in optimising schedules for group lamp replacement.
BlueWave controllers have been designed to offer a high level of flexibility in controlling lighting in relation to occupancy, light levels and timer controls in one or two zones. In varying these combinations of inputs, end users are able to apply BlueWave for a wide range of control strategies.
BlueWave controllers have now been installed in eight plant rooms at the site and the company plans to roll out this control strategy to other plant rooms.
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