"Across all levels of the organization, Scotiabankers are leading important work to create a more sustainable and inclusive world through the Bank’s ESG efforts" - Aaron Regent, Chair of Scotiabank's Board of Directors
A large part of Scotiabank's ESG strategy includes reducing their GHG emissions in their operations. Finding an electrical system that would reduce their carbon footprint (saving them energy and operating costs), goes a long way in helping them reach this goal.
Scotiabank's challenge was to find an LED light panel option that was energy efficient, and elegant enough to be displayed in the front windows of their building. LED lights require direct current (DC) power to operate, but power grids supply alternating current (AC) power, so LED fixtures typically need to convert the AC power they get, into the DC power they need. This is often an inefficient process, so Scotiabank needed an electrical system that directly provided their LED lighting with the DC power it needed (so that no inefficient conversions were necessary). Additionally, the solution needed to have the potential for intelligence to be added down the road, so that further energy savings could be achieved with automations.
Scotiabank partnered with Omnify Lighting and Cence Power, for their lighting needs, and to support their ESG goals.
Omnify Lighting provided Scotiabank with elegant, energy efficient LED panels (their OmniBlade product). Omnify partnered with us, here at Cence, to power these LED panels efficiently with DC power. We decided that implementing the Cence LVDC (low-voltage direct current) Digital Current™ system would be the best solution to fulfill Scotiabank's request for an electrical system that powers LED lighting efficiently, and has support for intelligent automations.
DC power distribution (supplied by Cence LVDC), reduces the carbon emissions associated with powering LED lighting. We also provided a digital commissioning platform, which is essentially a digital twin of the Cence panel. With this, Scotiabank can monitor connections of LED panels, to Cence LM1 drivers (LM1s - Lighting Modules - 100W). There are provisions in place to implement daylighting harvesting in the system as well, satisfying Scotiabank's request for intelligence support.
By connecting Omnify's OmniBlade product (LED lighting) to the Cence LVDC panel, we enabled Scotiabank to supply DC power to their LED panels. This reduces the energy waste that would've been caused by AC to DC conversions.
Eliminate inefficient AC to DC conversions
Cence LVDC supplies DC power directly to Scotiabank's LED panels (OmniBlade). Without Cence LVDC, the panels would receive AC power (because that's what power grids deliver), and so the panels would need to convert the AC power they would get, into the DC power they need, which can be an inefficient process. Supplying DC power directly to Omnify's LED panels, saves about 19% of energy consumed by devices. Without DC power distribution, this energy would've been wasted by AC to DC conversions.
LED light fixtures last about 2x longer with Cence (Cence drivers have a 10 year lifetime)
An inherent benefit of DC power distribution is that it lengthens the lifetime of LED fixtures. Typical LED fixtures don't last longer than 25,000 - 50,000 hours (even though they are often advertised to last up to 100,000 hours). The reason they don't last as long as advertised is not necessarily because the luminaire dies prematurely, but really because its driver dies prematurely. To explain further, if any AC to DC conversions are necessary, heat emitted from any inefficiencies causes thermal runaway in the driver, which eventually leads to its failure. If you'd like to learn more about this, we've written an entire blog post on the topic: LEDs don't last as long as advertised, here's why.
Centralized power system
When it comes to centralized vs. decentralized power distribution systems in buildings, our existing decentralized power systems are actually the problem. When drivers are decentralized, and integrated into individual devices, AC to DC conversions are made at the load level, wasting energy consumed by a load because of thermal runaway and inefficient AC to DC conversions. Having a centralized power system means that drivers for loads are located in a central location, and usually regulate power for multiple loads. If a centralized power system supplies DC power to devices that need it (like LED lighting), it brings the number of AC to DC conversions needed down to just one (as opposed to one for every individual load). The single AC to DC conversion would occur within a centralized rectifier (integrated into Cence LVDC, for example) connected to the traditional electrical panel of the building. Cence LVDC executes this AC to DC conversion with an efficiency of 95%.
Remote drivers allow devices to be more efficient than devices with integrated drivers
When drivers are integrated into an LED fixture, it’s likely that they were an afterthought for the manufacturer. In fact, integrated drivers for LED lighting can waste up to 40% of the energy consumed by a load. This makes them much less efficient than a typical remote driver, which often have efficiencies greater than 94%.
Remote drivers are easier to maintain or replace than integrated drivers
Remote drivers are typically located in an accessible place such as a utility closet, cabinet, basement, or attic up to 300 ft. away from the fixture.
Daisy chain devices connected to a single remote driver
Daisy chaining reduces cables costs because it makes less cable "home-runs" necessary. This is a feature of remote drivers because remote drivers aren't integrated into a single load (like integrated drivers are). So, as long as remote drivers have the ability to regulate voltages and current for a string of LED devices, they support daisy chaining.
All in all, since the implementation of our system, Scotiabank has been able to save energy costs, reduce emissions, and decrease the frequency LED fixtures need to be replaced.