LD+A Research Matters: Integral Metering & Reporting Capabilities of Networked Lighting Controls

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Networked lighting control (NLC) systems have proven they can successfully reduce demand and save energy in real-world applications through a combination of basic and advanced control strategies. However, the potential of NLCs’ integral metering and reporting capabilities to provide cost effective energy-use data for incentive programs and outcome-based code opportunities has not been fully realized. This is, in part, due to the variety of metering and reporting approaches used by today’s NLCs.

To address this issue, the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis partnered with RMS Energy Consulting, LLC, and Southern California Edison to assess the accuracy of today’s commercially available NLCs’ integral energy meters and compare their performance to current utility requirements, such as revenue-grade metering.

This is the second phase of an ongoing effort, where the initial phase included the development of a test procedure for evaluating the integral metering and reporting capabilities of NLCs as well as the associated results for three NLC systems. The initial NLCs tested used varying approaches to energy metering, including correlated, apparent and true power. A key outcome from Phase 1 was that the “true power” approach was the most accurate and should be explored further to understand if it was appropriate for use in “pay-for-performance” incentive programs. See LD+A November 2015 “Research” for results from the initial project.

During the second phase of this effort, the preliminary test procedure was refined to address new standards published since Phase 1 and updated market assessments. Three representative NLC systems and one revenue-grade system were evaluated using this updated test procedure. As recommended in Phase 1, all four tested systems utilized the “true power” approach for energy metering.

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