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01.04.2013

LED light justifies the means. Lighting economics in Housing & Public Utilities

In February 2013, installation of new lighting equipment was begun on the State Duma building in Moscow. Several highlighting scenarios imply even a possibility of lighting installation in the colours of the Russian flag. According to GUP "Mossvet", special attention will be paid to highlighting the top of the façade, which should emphasize the monumental architecture and importance of the building.

The Moscow city authorities plan to complete installation of architectural lighting systems on the buildings in all main streets and avenues of the capital by 2016. According to Vladimir Korobkov, the designer and author of the project, highlighting of the State Duma building will be in harmony with the overall improvement of Tverskaya street, which is going to become the first street in Moscow with unique architectural lighting systems.

The floodlights previously installed on building facades of the Moscow central streets have become outmoded. The static building illumination and the ability to control only the luminous power will sooner or later be replaced by new LEDs which use colours to the maximum extent and create numerous light compositions in various modes. Moreover, LED lamps are temperature and weather resistant, have long service life and do not require complicated and labour intensive maintenance or replacement procedures. On weekdays, the architectural lighting systems use various white colour tones - from cold to warm colours - to highlight building facades.

The necessity to modernize street lighting in Moscow was talked about as early as 2011. According to the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, the appropriate programme will help form the architectural character of our modern capital city.

It is worth mentioning that the renewed Moscow illumination was successfully tested in the autumn of 2012, when pedestrian crossings were illuminated with new lighting systems. According to Anastasiya Kalinkina, representative of the Traffic Management Centre at the Transportation Department of Moscow, the purpose of the new lighting system is to help drivers see zebra crossings through coloured lamps which create a ‘light corridor'. As is known, the Traffic Management Centre has already launched the programme to install near pedestrian crossings yellow solar-powered beacons, which flash on and off and thus attract the drivers' attention.

A very interesting project for the transition to LED light sources designed to illuminate highways was implemented by AtomSvet LLC. Thus, in the Ulan-Ude - Baykal airport highway lighting project, 100 conventional RKU-400 street lighting systems were replaced by the newest WAY 03-100-13600-140 (Sh1 LED lighting systems). As a result, 189,800 kWh of energy was saved on the 3.5 km section of the road within one year. It is more than 650,000 rubles in money terms. Moreover, AtomSvet products were selected as the best and optimal for operation in Buryatia's severe climate. January temperatures here drop down to minus 30°C, and in summer they may reach +40°C. And finally, LED lighting systems differ from the traditional lights by improved colour rendering. According to the experts, replacement of the conventional lighting systems by LED lighting systems on the Ulan-Ude - Baykal airport highway will justify investments in modernization of the illumination system in three years at the most. In fact, the lighting systems will properly operate for minimum 12 years, without requiring any labour intensive maintenance.

Under the earlier Federal Target Programme "Energy Efficiency in Russia", many regions developed their own energy saving concepts, with split programme sections according to the specific character and conditions of the region or municipal settlement. All these localized programmes provide for arrangements aimed at bringing city illumination systems in line with contemporary lighting requirements, including replacement of the mercury-vapour lamps with energy-saving devices, transition to separate day/night street lighting regimes, replacement of the existing electric wires with so-called ‘vandal proof' specially-insulated wires, introduction of a centralized light control systems using modern communication channels, and automatic control over each lighting point.

Reduction of energy consumption and saving up to 50-60% of energy became task No.1 for all the projects. The priority state project - "New Light" - actually became the national project of saving energy through illumination. We assume that gradual modernization of the technically obsolete light sources in Russia will release approx. 10% of power generating capacity and reduce the cost of electricity used for lighting on average by 60%.

Modernization of the city illumination system in St Petersburg may be called ‘general-to-specific' approach. Several years ago, the authorities were challenged with the problem of insufficient lighting of streets, parks and garden squares, and developed a long-term target plan named "On improving energy efficiency of outdoor lighting systems during construction and reconstruction of parks, gardens and squares". The city administrators were sorry to admit that 88 city parks had no illumination, and 60% of the lighting systems were worn out in 35 gardens and squares. Today the city has turned into a LED island: more than 370 LED street lighting systems are operated now in Kronstadt alone. In Petrovskiy Park, 80 lighting systems of a rather specific design were installed to reflect the style and esthetics of the epoch of Peter I. During the design and implementation of the project, the required illumination of the park was completely provided, while power consumption reduced 6-fold. At the same time, the modernized park lighting using LED lighting systems appears more discreet and less garish to onlookers. It was the first time when LED lighting systems were installed in the streets of St. Petersburg complying with the stricter lighting requirements. More than 70 of them illuminate the streets and 215 are used to light courtyards. According to the experts, the lighting systems have been widely recognized as the most efficient for the designated places. Total electricity saving was 44% while complying with the brightness and light intensity norms. In general, the project enabled electricity savings of 400,000 rubles.

The reduction of municipal budget costs for street lighting and improvement of the citizens' quality of life through the use of state-of-the-art energy saving lighting technologies have been included in the joint programmes of the Ministry of Energy, Housing & Public Utilities of Murmansk Region, and GBU "Murmansk region Energy Efficiency Agency", which held a taskforce meeting. The regional authorities are now involved in simultaneous implementation of several projects for modernization of street lighting in the regional towns and cities.

- "We give priority to those projects and companies which are ready to act not only as suppliers within the standard state procurement schemes, but also propose financial mechanisms for mobilization of extra-budgetary funds and are prepared to operate in the energy service", says Eduard Koltsov, Head of the Energy Efficiency, Economy & Finance Dept of the Ministry of Energy and Housing & Public Utilities of Murmansk Region.

LED floodlights and lighting systems are becoming most popular and widespread in all technical light applications. Built-in LED lights and suspended light fixtures can be seen in public and commercial buildings, street lighting systems, car parking areas, garages and even ambulance stations in any region of the country.
For example, we have successfully modernized lighting systems in the ambulance station of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

- In October 2012, we had to buy LED lighting systems for the garages and parking facilities of the Ambulance Station, say the employees of GBUZ YNAO "Novourengoyskaya Ambulance Service". As we are located in the Far North region, the main criteria we applied for the selection of lighting systems included energy efficiency, luminous efficiency ratings, size, and the lights' ability to operate at low temperatures. All these properties were found in the systems produced by AtomSvet LLC. The company experts installed the new lighting systems quickly and professionally. We noticed the difference immediately. Since it is too early to talk about economic benefits, we can say, however, that now we have more than enough illumination to read emergency call cards and repair our ambulances without using additional light sources, such as suspended lamps, as we had to do previously.

In spite of the hundreds of successful new lighting installed in our country, the number of projects is very small. The energy efficient technologies, particularly, LED technologies, will become widely used in the nearest future. Funding issue is of vital importance since, according to the experts, implementation of these projects is still dependent on their primary cost. There is no doubt that investments into the LED technologies will not be recovered immediately. However, the state energy efficiency programmes have also been worked out for a period longer than one year. At the present time, according to the experts, the energy saving and energy efficiency programme for the period until 2020 is under-financed by 40% in 2012, or more than 246 billion rubles. These data have been supplied by the auditors of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, who monitored the programme implementation process.

The Accounts Chamber considers that the main reason for this lies in insufficient non-budgetary financing on the part of energy generating companies and private entities. The auditors consider that the co-financing mechanism used to cover the expenditure obligations of the regional budgets in implementing regional energy saving programmes is ineffective. Moreover, the Accounts Chamber declared that the mandatory energy audit is being performed very slowly. A maximum of 30% of the institutions at the regional level and 20% at the municipal level were inspected with regard to Housing & Public Utilities activity.

According to the Russian energy strategy, power consumption in the country will decrease by 40-48% due to energy efficiency measures by 2020. Even if we consider the words of Ivan Grachev, Chairman of the Energy Committee of the State Duma, that "there must be no compulsory installation of electricity meters or energy saving lamps", these measures will to some extent help all regions of the country reach the goal which should be justified at the finish by the results of the general state programme.

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