Vancouver Wharves

Vancouver Company Sits in the Limelight

Lighting Upgrades Help Deliver the Goods

Attention to lighting detail proved to be a boon at Vancouver Wharves Ltd., a bulk material handling facility located along Burrard Inlet in British Columbia. Lighting upgrades recently conducted within over 300,000 sf of storage space resulted in vastly improved light levels and quality while significantly reducing energy consumption and costs.

Following an assessment of their lighting situation in 2004, the management team at Vancouver Wharves decided their facility could benefit from an upgrade of its 25-30 year-old 400-W low-bay MH fixtures. The system had become outmoded over time and light levels throughout the six open-air pulp storage buildings in question were neither standardized nor optimal.

After investigating their options, the team opted for a progressive combination of four-lamp, 54-W T5/HO electronic ballasts (supplied by Advance) driving 54-W T5/HO lamps from Philips Lighting-all used in conjunction with a control system that would help curb energy consumption by addressing light levels when and where needed.

"Though considered somewhat non-traditional for a warehouse/industrial application, we realized that a T5/HO fluorescent lighting system would deliver the optimal package of features and benefits to support Vancouver Wharves' lighting needs," says John Bertrand, COO and project manager at Luminessence Inc., the Edmonton-based luminaire manufacturer that provided the customized fixtures for the project.

While T5/HO fixtures were installed in a portion of the facility to increase light levels, the entire space benefited from the installation of lighting controls, ultimately helping drive appropriate light levels upon occupancy of the various unloading, storage and intersection sites within the facility.

Upon completion of the upgrade in Spring 2005, roughly 750 new 54-W T5/HO lamps and 225 electronic ballasts had been installed. Hooked into the site's industrial automation system (IAS) and linked with a fibre optic communication network, the facility's upgraded lighting system-and all of its individual circuits-can now be controlled through a wireless tablet PC, enabling Vancouver Wharves' service technicians to identify and address problems remotely.

Other results of the project have been equally gratifying. The new T5/HO system has increased light levels throughout the upgraded areas by an average of over 50 per cent while driving energy consumption from 2.3 million kWh to less than 0.6 million kWh (a 75-per cent reduction). Use of T5/HO fluorescent technology also permitted a five-per cent reduction in electrical demand and avoided a costly upgrade to the company's pulp shed power feeders. To the additional delight of the Vancouver Wharves team, a rebate from BC Hydro ultimately covered 60 per cent of the project costs, further escalating the project's already attractive return on investment.

Concludes Bertrand, "We are thrilled to have helped create an easy-to-maintain and diagnostically friendly system for Vancouver Wharves that is also safe and energy efficient. The system has been embraced by the longshore workers and management team, and has created a renewed sense of energy awareness and project ownership at the site."

Based on the success of the recent upgrades within its pulp storage area, Vancouver Wharves intends to address additional facility space with fixture upgrades and the installation of controls, thereby continuing to reap the many benefits that lighting upgrades have offered this industrial application.

Phil Verge is Advance's director of sales for the Canadian region.