Rensselaer Research Review Spring/Summer 2010
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 DaySwitch® Demonstrates Simple Daylight Harvesting Technology to Save Energy
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Daylighting Controls Not Widely Accepted
*  DaySwitch® Demonstrates Simple Daylight Harvesting Technology to Save Energy

The DaySwitch senses when sufficient daylight is available to take the place of the electric light in the space and turns off the light fixture. When daylight decreases below the set point, the device switches the electric light back on.

Lighting accounts for about one-quarter of the electricity consumed by the commercial sector in the United States, and energy-efficient lamps, ballasts, and lighting controls represent significant opportunities to save energy, money, and reduce CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuel electric generation. Lighting control manufacturers have developed dimming systems designed to dim/turn off lamps and reduce energy use from electric lighting when daylight is available. However, according to Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center (LRC), these daylighting controls have not gained widespread acceptance in the market due to high initial cost, difficulties installing and programming the devices, and consumers’ lack of awareness of the technology.

The LRC has been working on a daylight-switching device called the DaySwitch®, designed for existing lighting fixtures and featuring simple setup and commissioning. With $198,745 co-funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC research team collaborated with manufacturing partners to build DaySwitch prototypes and recently field tested the devices in a wide range of locations across the Rensselaer campus in Troy, N.Y., through a $398,248 project at the LRC which demonstrates and evaluates lighting technologies and applications (DELTA). The demonstration results are summarized and published in Field Test DELTA: Daylight-Harvesting Switch.

An Easy Retro-fit Technology

NYSERDA President and CEO, Francis J. Murray, Jr. said: “This easy retro-fit technology offers a significant opportunity for savings and efficiency, by integrating daylighting controls with the existing building lighting systems. NYSERDA is proud to be involved with the development of this technology and pleased that several manufacturers, including New York companies, are in negotiations to commercialize this technology in a way that will help build New York’s clean energy economy.”

To test the DaySwitch in diverse, real-world conditions (public spaces, open-plan offices, and private offices), calculate energy savings, assess occupant acceptance, and gather installation feedback from electricians, DaySwitch devices were installed in 72 locations across campus, each with varying degrees of daylight access from windows or skylights. The primary market for the DaySwitch is commercial retrofit, although it can also be incorporated into new luminaires.

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“DaySwitch® Demonstrates Simple Daylight Harvesting
Technology to Save Energy”
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Rensselaer Research Review Bulletin
  Front Page | Back Issues    Spring/Summer 2010
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* Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Research Review
Copyright © 2007-10 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180  (518) 276-6000  
http://www.rpi.edu

Subscribe/Unsubscribe to the
Rensselaer Research Review Bulletin
  Front Page | Back Issues    Spring/Summer 2010
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* Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Research Review
Copyright © 2007-10 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180  (518) 276-6000  
http://www.rpi.edu