Energy savings in this crystal ball: Fusion Energy & Nedco suit up hotel with LEDs & more
By Renée Francoeur
January 20, 2017 – With a name like Hotel Le Crystal, this five-star Montreal building is all about the luminosity. So when the time came to revamp its lighting in Summer 2015, only “state-of-the-art technology” was an option, according to Francois Guité, Hotel Le Crystal administrator.
So not only did the upgrade have to include the latest high-quality luminaires for a luxurious atmosphere, but it also had to decrease the hotel’s overall energy use.
“As an establishment aware of its impact on the environment, we are proud to be at the forefront of Montreal’s green-friendly hotel community,” Guité says. “We saw an opportunity with our lighting to save energy while enhancing the guest experience at the hotel.”
Calling in ‘the specialist’
The hotel recruited Fusion Energy for the retrofit job, after Fusion approached them with an energy management presentation.
“We offer complete turnkey projects, going from the performance analysis of a building, engineering, sourcing, building and delivering to, finally, the supervising of the performance,” says Jean-Pierre Huppé, business development manager at Fusion. “Our projects include control and monitoring of all HVAC, water circuit equipment, pool & spa equipment, as well as retrofitting or upgrading all lighting lamps and tubes, and obtaining available grants or incentives.”
Established in 1994, Fusion doesn’t pretend to be a lighting specialist, Huppé says; for that, they call in the professionals at Nedco.
“Whenever we come across old-technology lighting equipment on a potential project, we ask Nedco’s lighting specialist, André Gagné, to come along. André will help us do a complete inventory of all the existing lighting equipment,” Huppé explains.
It was Gagné who suggested updating Hotel Le Crystal with Ledvance’s (form. Osram Sylvania) Orios MR16 LEDs and SubstiTube IPS T8 LEDs (both under the Sylvania brand) to replace almost 3000 old lamps throughout the hotel’s rooms, offices, front lobby and parking garage.
“Once a project is accepted by a customer, Nedco will provide us with samples of all proposed lamps and tube models,” Huppé says. “This is in order to proceed with our customer approval process before going on with the all-out installation stage. We always want to make sure that our customers are fully satisfied with the lighting coverage and colour temperature.”
The hotel wanted to ensure the light distribution and colour temperature weren’t going to change with the new lamps, Huppé points out. Fusion and Nedco also needed to ensure the new lights would work well with the existing dimmers.
“My mandate as a specialist in lighting is to provide savings of maintenance and energy without changing the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing system—especially for an upscale hotel application where the performance of the lighting is very important,” Gagné says.
Got to be Nedco
“When we buy [Ledvance] products from Nedco, we know that if we experience any type of problem during installation, they will be there.”
Gagné says Nedco stocks a full-range of Ledvance product and, if they don’t have it, Ledvance is good at getting it to them quickly. Their 24-hour delivery service also makes things smooth for Nedco clients, he adds.
“Things went very well. There weren’t really any challenges. We’re really pleased with Nedco and we’ve done over 40 big projects with them now,” Huppé says.
No mercury, better safety & longer life
The 4100K fluorescent lamps in the parking garage were replaced with SubstiTube 5000K T8s for a “brighter, whiter light that can help facilitate quick vehicle identification and increase pedestrian visibility, enhancing safety and feelings of comfort in the garage,” Ledvance states.
The same T8s—but at 3000K—were installed in individual hotel and conference rooms, in addition to the office areas, to maintain a warn colour and dimming options.
These mercury-free LEDs are engineered to operate on existing instant start and select programmed rapid start (parallel-wiring) electronic T8 ballasts, according to Ledvance, providing energy savings up to 40% over T8 fluorescents.
Meantime, 6W 3000K Orios MR16s replaced 35W halogens throughout the hotel (about 200 in the lobby and 800 in 131 suites), keeping lighting aesthetics the same. These lamps translate into savings up to 84%, Ledvance claims, compared to 30W MR16 halogens, and last seven times longer. They are also suitable for use in damp locations, dimmable to 10% and free of UV and IR radiation, “minimizing discolouration and fading of materials”.
Huppé notes these may not have to be changed for up to five years, meaning less money and time spent hiring people to change the bulbs, especially in the 35-ft lobby ceiling where lifts need to be rented to do that work.
All lights were installed over three weeks by Laval-based St. Martin Électrique, an electrical contractor affiliated with Fusion. The rest of the energy management overhaul at Hotel Le Crystal took roughly two months.
“We had about six guys working there every day to get the work done,” Huppé says.
Savings higher than expected
Fusion installed a “Strato Automation” BMS (building management system) so the company could use its own algorithms and monitor pressure, humidity, temperature, occupancy, velocity and more to provide the hotel with the energy it needs in real-time without any over-consumption.
A total of 296 sensors were placed in the Hotel Le Crystal project.
“We’ve done this in three hotels now,” Huppé says. “It’s very important for these clients to conserve energy, but it’s even more important to keep their patrons comfortable. If you’re not comfortable at home, you don’t complain, but if you’re not comfortable at a five-star hotel, that’s another story. It’ll be up on Trip Advisor within half an hour.”
Huppé says Fusion initially proposed a project with 29% guaranteed in energy savings and a ROI of three years for Hotel Le Crystal. He says the reality is that, a year later, the building is seeing 44% in energy savings. He notes the results point to 37% electrical energy reduction and 60% gas utilization reduction.
Ledvance also reports an annual saving of 365,158 kWh for the hotel, translating into $24,985 and an avoidance of 265,013 kg of CO2 emissions. In addition, because of the long life of the lighting systems, the hotel also expects to save approximately $27,159 in maintenance costs per year.
“We are very proud of the Hotel Le Crystal,” concludes Guité, “and appreciate how the new [Ledvance] lighting enhances our beautiful location and helps us meet our sustainability objectives by saving energy”.