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Tompkins Regional Airport Project

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This research project recommends the use of LED lighting over incandescent lighting and shows the immense financial cost savings over time.

This research project recommends the use of LED lighting over incandescent lighting and shows the immense financial cost savings over time.


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  • 1. The Change Towards Sustainability By Jason Park April 26, 2010 Professor Sprangel Tompkins Regional Airport Project
  • 2. Table of Contents Purpose Pg. 3 Objective Pg. 3 Methodology Pg. 3 Incandescent light bulbs Pg. 3 Benefits and Costs of using CFL lighting Pg. 4 Benefits & Costs of using LED lighting Pg. 6 Cost Savings Model Pg. 8 The Change Towards Sustainability Pg. 11 Work Cited Pg. 12 2
  • 3. Purpose The purpose of this research project is to recommend the use of CFL/LED lighting at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport and to show the reduction in the airport's energy consumption while having a positive impact on the environment. In addition, this will allow the airport to create a sustainable image while benefitting from the financial cost savings of using CFL/LED lighting. Objectives The objective is to research and show how CFL/LED lighting can help the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport be more sustainable while maintaining a cost effective budget through a model that compares costs of incandescent lighting vs. CFL/LED lighting. Methodology The methodology needed for this research project is to, first, reach out to the contact representative at the airport to answer a specific questions in dealing with the airport's lighting system to get an idea of what equipment or service is being used. In addition, by taking a tour of the airport, it will help me observe and understand the layout of the airport and the necessary changes that may be needed. Afterwards, with enough information I plan to create a model to show the benefits and costs of using incandescent, CFL and LED lighting at the airport. Incandescent light bulbs Approximately, 25% of the electricity consumed in the U.S. comes directly from lighting. Commercial buildings use roughly 40% of the electricity in lighting. Electricity is one of the biggest contributors of CO2 emissions and incandescent light bulbs have been the traditional source of lighting, which dates back to the 1800's. Incandescent light bulbs are manufactured in a 3
  • 4. wide variety of watts and sizes ranging from 1.5 to 300 volts. It does not require any additional regulating equipment and the low manufacturing costs make incandescent bulbs a popular source of lighting to many consumers. Historically, consumers have stuck with incandescent lighting due to low costs involved and the fact that it can fit into most light fixtures. Recently, the use of incandescent lighting are being replaced by the source of electric light such as CFLs and LEDs. These types of lightings are said to emit less heat while offering brighter quality with the same or less amount of energy. Benefits and Costs of using CFL lighting Compact fluorescent lighting is a type of fluorescent lamp that have been gaining popularity in the consumer market and now, many are manufactured to replace original incandescent lamps. CFLs come in different sizes, shapes and colors. However, most CFLs contain two similar components, the bulb and the ballast. The way a CFL works is that an electrical current flows through the ballast into the bulb which creates ultraviolet light. With the combination of ultraviolet light and phosphor inside the bulb, visible light is created. Many CFLs are manufactured so they can replace incandescent light bulbs by fitting right into light fixtures that are designed for incandescent light bulbs. Comparing a CFL with incandescent lighting, CFLs tend to cost on average twice to up to ten times as much than a standard incandescent light bulb, but consumes less energy and has a longer life span. Financially, it is estimated that after 500 hours of usage, the higher price of purchasing a CFL is paid for and the average consumer will start saving money by switching over from an incandescent light bulb. In the long term, it would be more efficient to use CFLs over incandescent light bulbs. 4
  • 5. Incandescent lighting does a poor job in converting the energy used in to light. Rather, a big portion of the energy used is emitted in the form of heat. On the contrary, it is estimated that a CFL uses less than 75% of its energy, converts more energy into light and turns less into heat than incandescent bulbs. For instance, a 15 watt CFL can generate the same amount of lighting as of a 60 watt incandescent bulb. The table below depicts the wattage ratings for light output. In essence, by converting to CFLs, a consumer will be consuming less energy that prevents less electricity from being used which will reduce the pollution from creating electricity. Incandescent 40 W 60 W 75 W 100 W CFL 9W 15 W 20 W 27 W With all the noted benefits mentioned before, there are some downsides of using CFL lighting. The major concern in using CFL is the fact that it contains mercury and many consumers are puzzled on how CFLs should be disposed of or how it should be recycled. There are state and federal regulations on how mercury containing light bulbs should be recycled. The consumers would need to reach out to their local recycling centers to find out how to recycle their light bulbs. In addition, CFLs cannot be used with lighting systems that use a standard dimming circuit due to safety issues. Therefore, the current dimmer switch would need to be replaced by a standard switch before CFLs can be used or require the use of special dimming controls that have been recently introduced. And lastly, CFLs were designed to work efficiently in a closed space. In relation to the Ithaca airport, it may be difficult to use CFLs for the threshold lights used on the runways as CFLs are not designed for cold temperatures. However, recent developments have allowed electronically ballasted CFLs to operate in colder temperatures. 5
  • 6. Benefits & Costs of using LED lighting Light Emitting Diodes have been discovered as early as the 1930s and provide one of the most energy efficient light bulbs with one of the longest life spans. Throughout the past ten years, LEDs have started to gain popularity in the consumer markets due to its efficiency and its cost savings in the long run. LED lighting can be one of the most expensive light bulbs to buy but it uses even less energy and lasts longer than a CFLs that the consumers are starting to prefer LED over CFL. An LED light bulb has the ability to reduce energy consumption by almost 90% and can last somewhere between 60,000-100,000 hours. While some light bulbs may take a couple seconds or minutes to light up, an LED light bulb is said to emit light faster than a standard incandescent light bulb and CFLs. This will beneficial if used with the Threshold lights on the Ithaca airport runways where lighting is crucial to direct pilots flying into Ithaca especially on a foggy night. If the Threshold lights are on 24 hours a day, then it can also be another good reason to change to LED lighting due to the long term cost savings. In terms of heating, CFL/LED light bulbs have the tendency of emitting less heat compared to incandescent bulbs. Theoretically, by converting to CFL/LEDs, the light bulbs will generate less heat inside the airport. During the summer, this will require less cooling which will reduce the usage of the cooling systems such as the A/C and will keep the airport cooler. In addition, during the winter, the heating system can heat up airport which can offset the difference in emitting less heat and can also reduce the energy consumption used by LED lighting. However, this would depend on the costs involved in the heating system because the costs saved through LED lighting can be offset by the heating system. In addition, the significant increase in the light bulb's life span by using CFL/LEDs can also reduce the labor costs involved in changing the light bulbs. The average life of an 6
  • 7. incandescent light bulb is 1,000 hours where CFL/LEDs can last approximately 10,000/60,000 hours. By using CFL/LED lighting, the light bulbs will need less frequent replacement which results in less labor hours needed to change the light bulbs. While researching LED lighting, I came across Albeo Technologies, who is a manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting systems. The Bowden Ice Arena in Alberta recently installed Albeo's C series High-Bay LED lighting in its ice rink stadium. The lighting system is said to be more efficient than fluorescent and HID lighting systems. After installation, they tested the quality and efficiency of the new lighting system and found that the illumination levels were 160% brighter while energy consumption was decreased by approximately 30%. Installing an LED lighting system inside the airport could potentially increase illumination levels while reducing the energy consumption levels which will result in long term savings. There are a variety of LED lighting systems that Albeo offers and more information can be found on www.albeotech.com. 7
  • 8. Cost Savings Model Through my research, I was able to formulate a direct cost savings model that compares the different financial savings generated from switching from an incandescent lighting system to a CFL/LED lighting system. This model can be seen below. Cost Savings Model CFL LED (Compact (Light-Emitting Fluorescent Light Diode Light Incandescent Light Bulbs Bulbs) Bulbs) Life Span (in hours) 1,000 10,000 60,000 Watts 60 15 6 Cost $1.25 $3.22 $39.95 KWh of electricty used over 60k hours 3,600 900 360 Electricity Cost (@ $0.11 per KWh) $396.00 $99.00 $39.60 Bulbs needed for 60k hours of usage 60 6 1 Equivalent 60k hour bulb expense $75.00 $19.32 $39.95 Total Lighting Expenses At 60,000 Hours $471.00 $118.32 $79.55 Ultimately, I had to make certain assumptions in order to create this model. First, based on my research, the majority of articles estimates the average life span of an incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs were about 1,000, 10,000, and 60,000 hours respectively. (Some light bulbs may have a shorter life cycle while others may last longer than the average time period.) In addition, the incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs that were being used were to have 60, 15, and 6 watts and would cost approximately $1.25, $3.22, and $39.95 respectively. (The price of these light bulbs were found on Wal-Mart and from Amazon.com) If this was the case, through my analysis, it would take about 3,600 kilowatt hours of electricity over 60,000 hours, 900 KWh for a CFL light bulb and 360 KWh for an LED light bulb. As I was not able to acquire an accurate electricity bill from the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, I estimated that it would cost approximately $0.11 per KWh based on my NYSEG (New York State Electricity & Gas) bill in Ithaca, NY. Through basic algebra, I was able to determine that I would need 60 incandescent 8
  • 9. light bulbs and 6 CFL in order to maintain at least 60,000 hours of usage. In addition, it would cost an incandescent light bulb $75, $19.32 for a CFL, and $39.95 for an LED light bulb to last at least 60,000 hours. Through the combination of these assumptions and calculations, the total expenses that would incur (including both the electricity costs and the expenses for the light bulbs) would be approximately $471, $118.32, and $79.55 respectively. At 60,000 hours or in approximately 6.85 years, there is clearly a difference in the costs associated with using these light bulbs. I formulated another model which can be seen below which contains an in depth model relating more closely to the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. However, more assumptions had to be made for this model to be possible. I assumed that there were approximately 2,000 light bulbs at the airport and had to determine that the lights were going to be used for approximately 15 hours each day. I also assumed that there were 30 days in a month as the calculations would become complicated if I took in to account of the different numbers of days in each month. With the combination of these assumptions and the total lighting expense from the model above, I was able to calculate the total expenses (electricity costs and replacement costs) of all three types of light bulbs. The cost savings in this model is immense! By the end of the 60,000th hour or in 6.85 years, there would be over $700,000 of savings using CFL lighting system from an incandescent lighting system. By changing from a CFL to LED lighting system, the costs that are saved is over $75,000. I took the calculations more in depth by calculating the monthly and yearly energy savings which can be depicted in the following page. 9
  • 10. Energy Savings At Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport CFL (Compact LED Fluorescent Light (Light-Emitting Incandescent Light Bulbs Bulbs) Diode Light Bulbs) # of light bulbs 2,000 2,000 2,000 Estimated daily usage (hours) 15 15 15 Days in month 30 30 30 Savings over 60,000 hours (energy + replacement) Total cost $942,000.00 $236,640.00 $159,100.00 Savings by switching from Incandescent $0.00 $705,360.00 $782,900.00 Monthly energy savings KWh used per month 54,000 13,500 5,400 Electricity Cost (@ $0.11 per KWh) $5,940.00 $1,485.00 $594.00 Savings by switching from Incandescent $0.00 $4,455.00 $5,346.00 Yearly energy savings KWh used per year 657,000 164,250 65,700 Electricity Cost (@ $0.11 per KWh) $72,270.00 $18,067.50 $7,227.00 Savings by switching from Incandescent $0.00 $54,202.50 $65,043.00 One flaw that I noticed in this model, is that it fails to take into account of the extra costs that may incur from switching over from an Incandescent/CFL lighting system to an LED lighting system. However, the CFL/LED light bulb that I came across on Amazon allowed the simple replacement of just the light bulbs without the extra costs of creating a new light system. In addition, the assumptions used in this model may not be the actual representation of the data and would change actual cost savings amount. However, I believe this shows an accurate representation of the cost savings that could be generated from switching over to CFL/LED lighting with the current data. 10
  • 11. The Change Towards Sustainability In recent times, governments around the world have been in the process of phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs so that it can strive towards the use of energy efficient lighting. For instance, the E.U. is currently in the process of phasing out the incandescent light bulbs whereas many countries such as the U.S., Argentina, and Canada are planning to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs sometimes in the future. In certain countries such as Brazil and Australia, incandescent light bulbs have already been phased out. If every single American replaced an incandescent light bulb to an energy efficient light bulb, the amount of energy saved can provide enough electricity to approximately 2.5 million homes in the U.S. This can help the prevention of emission of greenhouse gases which is approximately 800,000 cars. New technologies have allowed businesses to be more sustainable towards the environment while being able to reduce costs. An easy way to be save costs while being environmentally friendly is the use of energy efficient lighting. Through my research project, a clear example can be seen through the use of CFL/LED lighting, which will have a big impact on the environment while leading to long term cost savings. 11
  • 12. Work Cited "Compact Fluorescent Lighting." Common Wealth of Pennsylvania . N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <www.p2pays.org/ref/01/00149.pdf>. "Green Lighting." Planet Green. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://planetgreen.discovery.com/go-green/green-lighting/green-lighting- statistics.html>. "LED Lights." LED Lighting & Supply Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.albeotech.com/products.html>. Michaels, Patricia. "The Pros and Cons of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)." Green Nature. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://greennature.com/article256.html>. O'neill, Robert. "Incandescent vs. CFL vs. LED Light Bulb Challenge." Productdose. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.productdose.com/article.php?article_id=1142>. Reuters. "Canada to ban incandescent light bulbs by 2012." Reuters. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2529253520070425>. Wikipedia. "Phase-out of incandescent light bulbs." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-out_of_incandescent_light_bulbs>. 12