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TO THE LAB !!!!!!!!

The time limitations of our research period have prevented us from counting the Park Science building, however, we felt it advantageous for the community to consider the Chemistry Wing as a candidate for LED replacement. This section of the building houses many offices, labs, classrooms, and hallways with hundreds of bulbs. The analysis of the Chemistry Wing expresses the huge impact that a retrofit of the entire building would have on the campus’ electrical consumption.

How do you get in? This question plagued us for some time. The common spaces and classrooms of the wing are easy to access but the labs were the issue. Many undergraduates and graduates currently are conducting research in the majority of the labs. In addition, these spaces are filled with valuable equipment and supplies. The doors would not be wide open for us.

To remedy this dilemma, we contacted General Chemistry Lab Professor Kyrnn Lukacs. She was more than happy to unlock the labs and other inaccessible areas for us as well as assisting with the counting. An extra set of eyes was extremely helpful. The Chemistry Wing contains mostly T8s with a few PAR 38s. Most of the PAR 38s were found in classrooms, providing spot lighting on blackboards and projector screens. We left the Chemistry Wing feeling somewhat accomplished only to return to crunching numbers.


Chemistry Wing

Initial Investment


Initial Investment less Incentive


Total Return/Year


CO2 Emission Reduction/Year


Payback Period in Years


Posted in Uncategorized.

Thomas & Health Center

Due to some time constraints, we decided that our analysis should contain approximately 4 buildings from each of the three categories. We separated the campus up into Dormitories, Academic, and Administrative buildings. Two buildings of significant interest were Thomas and the Health Center.

First, we tackled the Health Center. Deemed the campus building in desperate need of a face lift, the Health Center currently remains unoccupied for the summer. Such an advantageous environment led us to believe our presence would be short in duration. However, we were shocked to find that the rooms of this dark and deserted dwelling were locked. Even our facilities loaned master key could not grant us entrance. For the first time, we two sustainability pioneers could not complete a count. We headed back to Jim McGaffin for some advise.

The wrong key. That’s all it was. We returned to the HC with Jim to open these doors. We found that the majority of the lighting consisted of old T12s. Our calculations were looking very good with such aged technology. Despite this fact, the building’s electrical consumption (hours of operation) could not compete with the high priced LED bulbs. We deduced that the investment was sound but does not acquire the fastest payback. Happily done with this building, we set off to greet Athena in Thomas.

Dearest Athena,

Please grant us a speedy count, high wattage bulbs, and numerous operation hours so that we may conduct a superb building analysis.

Your devoted women of Bryn Mawr,

Katie and Yufan

Hesitant to continue, Yufan and I left the Ward building with our key card to count the historic Thomas. With so many nooks and crannies as well as offices, classrooms, and underground passageways, this task seemed endless. We found coil bulbs, T8s, Par 38s, and T12s of all shapes and size. Down below in the dark, T12s dimly lit the majority of the passageways. Rooms like Quita Woodward and London Room as well as the Graduate Student Lounge and Office needed our full attention as well. After a couple of hours, we had done it. Thomas was complete and we paid homage to Athena on our way out.


Health Center


Initial Investment



Initial Investment less Incentive



Total Return/Year



CO2 Emission Reduction/Year

700 lbs

5,100 lbs

Payback Period in Years



Posted in Uncategorized.


Canaday tackled and on to Merion. Merion Hall made it to the long list of buildings for analysis. Due to the building’s age, we felt there would be some serious replacement potential. We did, however, come across a couple of snags along the way.

First, how do we get in? Usually we have had no trouble getting access to these buildings. Most of the time it takes a swipe of a card, a quick greeting with explanation of the project, and some serious counting skills. Merion falls into another category due to summer activity. Summer means one thing to the Conferences & Events department. CAMPS!!!!!

Many camps use the campus during the summer. We have encountered academic, music, sports, and fitness camps throughout the entire summer. Most of these campers, surprisingly, reside in Merion. Access to rooms was very limited requiring us to look at the poor common area lighting.

We concluded after our initial count that the building could not be a candidate for LED replacement. The building had very few fixtures to begin with and many of them had side ballasts. This means that the entire fixture as well as the bulb would have to be replaced. The cost of this procedure would be too great to be considered a good investment.

This being our first building to fall into this category, we wanted to look farther into the matter. LED replacements for side ballast fixtures, sadly, are nowhere to be found. We predict with the coming years that the required bulbs will show up on the market. The college will have to decide whether to wait for the technology or save for the larger investment of replacement.

Posted in Uncategorized.

LOOKING UP: Canaday Electrical Lighting Consumption Analysis

HELLO ALL!!!! It’s been quite some time since we last posted. Many factors contributed but the main deterrent to our update was the enormous size of CANDAY LIBRARY!!! With 5 floors and thousands of fixtures, the library engulfed us into a world of extreme luminance. To our surprise, the 2nd floor of the building was under construction. Our study does not contain the lighting for the entire 2nd floor. Despite this fact, we feel the investment in LED replacements for this building would be feasible. Here are our results!!!!

Initial Investment

Initial Investment


Total Return / yr

CO2 Emission Reduction / Yr

Payback Period


CO2 (lbs) / dollar






24,000 lbs


0.106 lbs

So, Canaday is an excellent investment, but an expensive one. Yufan and I feel that more profitable buildings should be worked on first. The return on these investments could fund the Canaday project and reduce the $250,000 cost.

For a more detailed analysis, CLICK HERE

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Next Week (or next 2 weeks)


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Denbigh, Radnor, Haffner (and Carpenter Revisited)

It has been long since we last updated our last entry on LED project, but here we’re again. After a week of heavy work on geothermal system, we are now continuing on with what we left off for college’s energy saving! The campus in summer is quite busy, and dorms are filled with people for conferences and events. This made Katie and I looked like little strangers when we hopped into these buildings, with notepads in our arms.

With the help from Jim and several meetings in previous weeks, we’re less confused about lighting specifics as we once were during the first week — and of course, got to know more fun variations and technology standards. We also received an interesting device, a light meter, which measures the amount of illumination inside a certain radius (a.k.a. foot-candles).

Denbigh Hall

Denbigh, as many of you have noticed, has had LED installed in 2008 in all hallways, except one part of third floor which is already equipped with energy efficient T5s burning no more than 20W each.  Simply with these replacements in hallways, it reduces Denbigh’s CO2 emission by a significant amount of 4470 lbs — a reduction of approximately 50% from previous year’s number 9460 lbs!

Radnor Hall

Three buildings to the northeast of Denbigh stands Radnor, another dormitory. What we found in this building was mostly T12’s, the least energy efficient 4-ft lamp. Aside from the call for conserving energy, Radnor is in need of a higher lighting level in hallways, which was measured at 10 foot-candles (only 1/3 of the building code!) before the installation took place a week ago. Hence more LEDs are necessary to address the improvements of lighting level. Instead of having a 1 for 1 replacement such as the ones in Denbigh, the Facilities Department decided to go with a 2 LEDs for 1 T12.

Haffner Hall

Haffner has lots of recessed lighting, which are not commonly seen in other dorms, but are good candidates for LED replacements.

Finally, we paid a second visit to our old friend Carpenter to look for the 12 LEDs in level A — if you happen to be assigned to a carrel near the window, make sure you look up at least once for those cool lamps!

Detailed Calculation as follows (well, it has been abbreviated a lot from previous versions):

Rhys Carpenter




Initial Investment





Initial Investment less Incentive





Total Return/Year





CO2 Emission Reduction/Year

460 lbs

9100 lbs

3800 lbs

4400 lbs

Payback Period in Years





Posted in Uncategorized.

Geothermal: HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!

What’s This About?

For the past couple of weeks, Yufan and I have been involved in the proposed Geothermal project for the Haverford Township Recreation and Environmental Center. This heavily debated project has stood the test of 10 years and finally will be realized in November 2010. HREC , as our friends at Parks & Recreation like to call it, is one part of an overall Climate Action Plan instituted by the township.

In September 2008 the township adopted a Climate Action Plan for the purpose of reducing carbon use in the township by 30% by 2020. Part of that plan involved educating the public. It also includes the township showing leadership by example in its facilities and operations. This facility is intended to be a model of a green building with many energy saving components and serve as a teaching facility. Installing a geothermal system at the Center will help the Township meet its carbon reduction plan and save the taxpayers money.

Included in the components of the 35,000 square foot Community Recreation and Environmental Center which is scheduled to begin construction this October and open in January 2012 are; a double gymnasium, an elevated walking track, rooms for senior wellness classes, after-school programs and community use, and an environmental nature education area.


Victor Donnay as well as Ass’t Township Manager, Tim Denny, came to us with the task of writing a PEDA Geothermal Grant. The thought of writing this daunting document, though exciting, frightened we two inexperienced fledglings. To begin the process, we looked to the people. It was the hope of many residents that the center would house the most eco-friendly technology available. A geothermal system would create overall energy savings of $2.25 mil over the next 50 years and 20.8 mil pounds of carbon emission savings over the same time period. Despite the extravagant upfront cost, this is a solid investment.

Supporters like Martin Kimmel, the project’s architect, engineer Michael Barr, and Victor Donnay presented a strong case to the board of commissioners on Monday June 7th at the township’s work session. As two non-residents, we were anxious at the reaction of the board members as well as the meeting’s attendants. To our surprise, all except a few seemed to be in strong favor of the geothermal project. Triumphant in the overall consensus, we left the township building eager for the project’s vote, an issue to be discussed at a later date.

We continued to work on the grant, hoping that on Mon. June 14th the decision for GEOTHERMAL would be in our favor. We spent many a night on calculations and executive summaries. Hoping I would not have to the phrase “Project Description” for a long time, Yufan and I went to the final township meeting. This was it. We had all the cards in our favor. One local brought in her nephew, an eager boy scout willing to make a statement in favor of our work. After the floor was cleared, the vote began. There was one YES, then two, and then four. The concluding result was a unanimous vote in favor of GEOTHERMAL!!!!!!


With the deadline approaching with lighting speed, we spent the next 24 hours preparing this living document for a 4pm online submission deadline. It took 5 people, a slow MAC, and a working PC to submit what will be the application for half of the project’s costs.

We move forward on!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized.

TO COME!!!!!!

We are currently in the process of completing the analysis for three more buildings/dormitories on campus. This week we adventure to Radnor, Denbigh and Haffner Halls. We took a tour to these three buildings, finding installations going on in some of them — and we’ll surely come back to formally work on our project.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Gateway, Helfarian, and Cartref

So many light bulbs and so little time!!!! This week we completed the initial counts for three administrative buildings on campus: Benham GatewayHelfarian, and Cartref. In our search for ultimate illumination, we found that Gateway, the college’s admissions building, has a total of 105 T-8s, 22 PAR 38s and 286 of a new type of bulb, the T-5. This T-5 is a 3-foot custom bulb that uses 30W of power. Most of the fixtures we found utilize 4 of these bulbs. A suitable LED replacement for this bulb that is priced at $40.50 would be the best choice.

Benham Gateway

Yufan and I moved on to Helfarian and Cartref, two older buildings. Helfarian is the building on campus that contains the Resources department. Offices for the Comptroller and Dining Services are found in Cartref. Here there were two main types of bulbs: T-8s and PAR38. Cartref, on the other hand, only had one type of bulb, the T-8.



After careful calculation, we came up with the following results.






PAR 38


3 Ft T5









Initial Investment (Labor & Material)







Return on Energy Saving/Yr ($)







Return on Labor Cost/Yr ($)







Total Return/Yr ($)







SmartIdeas Incentive ($)







Years to Breakeven







Carbon Emission Reduction/Yr (lbs)







TOTAL Carbon Emission Reduction/Yr (lbs)




Posted in Uncategorized.

Rhys Carpenter Library

An Analysis of Return on Investment (ROI) and Carbon Footprint Reduction

Rhys Carpenter Library

Rhys Carpenter Library

After counting 916 light bulbs in Rhys Carpenter Library last Thursday, we complied the data and ran some analysis on three major types of bulbs. The two most widely used bulbs in this building are T8 and U-Shaped T8. As for the art exhibition, Carpenter Library uses PAR 38 for dimmable illumination. All three types have existing LED replacements. The replacements for T8 and PAR 38 are LED 6114 and LED 1666 respectively, and Jim McGaffin helped us acquire some detailed information on these two models. We’ve found one manufacturer that produces LED replacement for U-shaped T8, and unfortunately, without price information listed on their website. Therefore we approximately the price as $100 each.

The ROI is composed of two parts — from energy savings and from labor cost savings of changing the bulbs as LED has an extended lifespan of approximately 50,000 hours.  The abbreviated formula for ROI is as follows:

ROI = Energy Savings/Year + Labor Cost Savings/Year – Cost (Material, Labor)

For complete ROI formula, breakdown of each section, and details on Carbon emission reduction calculations, please click here.

Carpenter Library


U-shaped T8

PAR 38













LED Replacement

LED 6114


LED 1666

LED Price ($)




Initial Investment (Labor & Material)




LED Watts




LED Lifespan(hrs)




Return on Energy Saving/Yr ($)




Return on Labor Cost/Yr ($)




Total Return/Yr ($)




SmartIdeas Incentive ($)




Total Cost – Incentive ($)




Years to Breakeven




Carbon Emission Reduction/Yr (lbs)




The result from Carbon emission reduction is quite encouraging. With the high market price for LED technology, however, the ROI alone does not appear to be very promising.  It could turn out better if we take into account the incentives received from PECO’s Smart Ideas Program.

If we replace all T8, U-Shaped T8 and PAR 38 in Carpenter, then about 7835.26 lbs of CO2 will be reduced each year, which is equivalent to 3.9 tons.

Follow this link for Carbon emission reduction calculations.

Carbon Emission Reduction

T8, U-shaped T8 & PAR38


Reduction of CO2 (lbs):


Reduction of CO (lbs):


Reduction of NOx (lbs):


Reduction of SO2 (lbs):


Reduction of Particulates (lbs):


Posted in LED Project, Summer Research Journal.

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