PowerAire is Here
Blue Frog is happy to announce our partnership with Alternergy and the distribution and installation of the PowerAire product.
PowerAire is the only ‘micro’ sized Micro-Trigeneration (‘M-CCHP’) system available today. It is designed and sized to provide all the benefits of Trigeneration to smaller footprint properties such as retail stores, restaurants, warehouses and office buildings.

Patented Technology

PowerAire’s unique, patented design offers true Micro-Trigeneration, providing cooling for the first time in a micro-sized system. This game changing technology provides all the power, heating and cooling for retail, commercial and industrial buildings.PowerAire further enhances the efficiency of its Trigeneration system with a patent pending design that captures and re-uses the engine’s thermal heat otherwise lost during operation to generate additional cooling and heating.

Cooling Without A Chiller

Large-scale Trigeneration combines Cogeneration (Power and Heating or CHP) with absorption chillers that produce chilled water by heating two substances in thermal equilibrium to separation then reuniting them through heat removal. This is a complex, expensive process.PowerAire instead uses a mechanical compressor to push refrigerant directly to produce heating or cooling, using a belt-driven compressor to pump refrigerant to a cooling system. The cycle is reversed for heating and/or a hydronic coil can be used for hydronic heating.

Modular And Flexible

PowerAire’s ultra-flexible and modular design allows it to be easily configured to match the exact requirements for any site’s specific size, power, cooling and heating load for uninterruptable, low cost, power, cooling and heating.PowerAire integrates with both solar and wind power generation, including the sell back of power to the grid. Furthermore, it is designed to quickly and securely connect to the building’s existing electrical panel and HVAC system.

Benefits of LED Lighting

LED lighting has several advantages for businesses and commercial settings. This blog will review the main advantages of LEDs vs. traditional lighting types.

Energy Use

LEDs consume much lower amounts of energy than current incandescent, fluorescent and HID lighting. Many LEDs consume 70-80 percent less energy than the lights they are replacing. This leads to tremendous savings on your utility bills.

Longevity

LEDs typically last 40-50 percent longer than the lights they are replacing and many times they last longer than this. LEDs do not “die” or “burn out.” They lose lighting output over time. Since they are usually brighter and produce more output than the lights they are replacing, they tend to be effective past the manufacturer’s listed life.

The longevity of LEDs also results in eliminating replacement cost that were incurred with previous types of lighting, no more bulb and ballast replacement and equipment and installation costs.

Lower IR Heat Emission

It is often misunderstood that LEDs do not produce heat. Lights emit three things: light, IR and heat. Incandescent and fluorescent lighting emit elevated levels of infrared radiation (IR), but LEDs emit none. Incandescent lights emit 95 percent of the energy being used as IR and heat (85 percent IR and 10 percent heat) and fluorescents emit 90 percent (80 percent IR and 10 percent heat). LEDs are around 0 percent for IR.

The heat can be dissipated much more easily than the IR resulting in a much cooler temperature in the surrounding area. This leads to a reduced load on your HVAC system during cooling months. The savings can be substantial depending on the size of your facility being cooled and the amount of cooling months in your specific location (Miami vs Minnesota).

Directional

LEDs emit light in a direction not 360 percent like other “gas” based sources. This makes it easier for applications where the light is needed for directional purposes such as downlighting, up lighting, “showcasing” areas, etc. This eliminates the need for reflective and specialty fixtures used in other lighting types.

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

LEDs have a much better CRI rating than do most incandescent light replacements. This is a measure of how true a color appears compared to a natural light source (the sun or daylight). Incandescent worked very well for CRI but have been slowly phased out as new energy regulations out of DC have made it more economical to manufacture fluorescents and LEDs instead of incandescent.

LEDs typically have a rendering between 70-80 percent with a high CRI of 90 percent. These can be further modified to highlight a certain color of light such as a red or a blue to enhance that color wavelength.

Cloud Panels

Bring the outdoors in with Beyond’s Cloud Panels. Now available in 2×4 LED panels. They are dimmable and can be recessed in a drop ceiling or surface mounted. Cloud panels are perfect in entrances, cafeterias, fitness centers, conference rooms and anywhere else you need a mood changer.

These panels can be purchased in sets of two to six panels and come with a 5-year warranty. Contact us for more information on how to wow your customers or create a great workplace atmosphere for your employees.

Ballast Factor 101

Ballast Factor

What is ballast factor? Ballast factor is something the Lighting Gods devised to make sure we must keep using our brains! It is the calculation of the lumen output of a luminaire in combination with a ballast against the reference ballast and luminaire when designed and manufactured.

There are typically three ballast factors; low (.78), normal (.88) and high (1.2). For example, a standard T-8 fluorescent tube that is rated at 2,000 lumens would on a low ballast factor produce 1,560 lumens (2,000x .78). This is important to know as the ballast affects the light output of the lamp it is used with and must be taken into consideration for the deployment and purpose of the light.

This also affects the energy use. The same 32-watt tube would only consume 24.96 watts with low ballast factor while also producing less light. This is important to calculate effective ROI for a lighting retrofit.

Knowing Your Ballast Factor:

Good luck! Many personnel responsible for maintenance and facilities will not have this knowledge. In commercial real estate properties, sell and management contracts switch many times over with the engineering staff turning over, too. This turnover is lower in corporate facilities and public facilities, but still exists.

A rule of thumb to know your ballast factor is that interior lights and fixtures are typically at the low or normal factor, while exterior, high bay or garage fixtures are at the high factor. Another way to know is by checking the ballast in the fixture. While I do not recommend checking the 500 fixtures in your parking garage, a spot check of four or five fixtures spread throughout the garage would be a start. If the ballast is the same, then you can assume that factor is uniform throughout.

LEDs and Ballast

The Lighting Gods went into overtime when it comes to LEDs and ballast. Remember the ratios and calculations used above to determine lumen output and energy use? With LEDs, that is out the window. The formulas above work for fluorescent lighting and ballast, but LEDs are affected completely different by ballast. You must refer to the manufacturer’s “spec sheet” to determine how the ballast factor will affect lumens and wattage. The best part is that not many manufacturers list this on their sheets and it differs between manufacturers.

That is why I always recommend going with Ballast Bypass LEDs vs. Ballast Compatible. You will pay a little more in installation, but will have accurate lighting and wattage numbers. Ballast can add as much as 50-60 percent to the wattage of an LED light.