-- £140,000 pilot program successfully completed
-- 20 million kWh saving estimated for nationwide roll-out
Ulverston, UK -- Following a successful trial of an innovative LED rail carriage lighting technology from Marl, Porterbrook Leasing Company estimates that the technology could not only save 20 million kWh, but also improve the ambiance and reduce maintenance costs.
The announcement follows the completion of a £140,000 trial contract of Marl Sci-Light technology, arranged by distributor EAO, in which a 3-car Class 323 unit was equipped with the electronically controlled lights as well as data monitoring equipment to enable performance and energy consumption to be evaluated in detail.
Marl Sci-Light technology takes advantage of the controllability of LED lighting technology to adjust and supplement carriage lighting as ambient lighting conditions change. A 17W Sci-Light fitting replaces a 36W or 40W tube.
Lighting is reduced to a minimum of 7W in daylight, ensuring that the carriage appears lit and welcoming to boarding passengers, and only turned on fully at night time or when the train enters a tunnel or other dark area. The trial is ongoing, but between February to May 2009, Porterbrook found that on average the lights normally drew between 15W and 21W (approximately a 40% to 60% saving).
Sci-Light relies on high speed sensors, and innovative control software using smart algorithms to eliminate spurious responses to temporary minor obstructions like trees, ensuring that passengers are unaware that the light level is being changed.
According to Ian Walmsley, Engineering Development Manager at Porterbrook who approved the trial, “When travelling on the trial unit, the only way you can tell the light level is changing is by using a light meter. To the casual passenger, a constant, welcoming ambiance is maintained for the entire journey.
“Porterbrook has led the industry with a thorough evaluation of this emerging carriage lighting technology that improves the ambiance for the travelling public, reduces energy consumption and saves operating costs. LED lighting uses less energy than halogen, and is now as efficient as fluorescent. It also eliminates the need to dispose of fluorescent tubes, which are classed as hazardous waste.”
A further benefit is the reduced maintenance cost, said Ian Walmsley. “The lifetime of these lights is 10-15 years, making them maintenance free. They are also sealed units, which eliminates the time consuming task of removing dead insects from the diffusers.”
He estimates the potential energy saving as 2,000kWh per carriage or 20 million kWh across the network per year, if the technology is applied to all 10,000 rail carriages in use in the UK today. This equates to reducing CO2 emissions by 9200 tonnes and is equivalent to taking 3,300 cars off the road. The reductions in maintenance costs enhance the financial appeal of the technology.
Adrian Rawlinson, Managing Director of Marl International, said, “We are excited at the success of this major evaluation of LED lighting in the rail environment with one of the leaders in rail vehicle supply in the UK. Recent advances in LED technology have led to much greater light output allied to higher efficiency. LED has the potential to become the light source of choice for rail interiors.”
Susan Jacques, Managing Director of EAO, added, “Marl Sci-Light technology is an extremely attractive option, helping to reduce the lifetime installation and operating cost of new and retrofitted carriages. The energy savings and maintenance costs justify retrofit to existing carriages. LED lights are fit and forget – they are highly resistant to accidental or deliberate damage, and last as long as the rest of the carriage interior.”
The Class 323 unit involved in the trial is being used in normal service in the West Midlands area, operating from Birmingham New Street station. No adverse comments were received from the travelling public during the trial.
About Porterbrook Leasing
Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited ("Porterbrook") is a leading player in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet of over 5,500 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes about 4,000 passenger vehicles. Porterbrook has been highly successful in winning new train orders since privatisation, investing in over 1,700 new passenger vehicles and over 2,000 freight locomotives and wagons, and in the refurbishment of much of its in-fleet equipment. The company also provides ongoing train maintenance services. In October 2008 the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Antin Infrastructure Partners (the BNP Paribas sponsored infrastructure fund), Deutsche Bank, Lloyds TSB and OP Trust.
EAO is a global manufacturer of high-quality Human Machine Interface products and solutions, from switches, keypads and keyboards to complete custom-built control panels. Founded in 1947, EAO has established a global reputation for being an expert partner for Human Machine Interfaces across a range of target industries including: http://www.eao.com/global/en/products/marketsegments/liftingandmoving/liftingandmoving.asp transportation; http://www.eao.com/global/en/products/marketsegments/machinery/machinery.asp machinery, telecommunications; http://www.eao.com/global/en/products/marketsegments/processcontrol/processcontrol.asp process control, lifting and moving and automotive.
EAO’s products have been developed by world-class industrial specialists and tested to international standards. They are synonymous with EAO’s reputation for creativity, innovation and excellence.
EAO’s 12 specialised Sales and Customer Service Centres around the world, and a network of trained specialist agents and representatives in more than 50 countries bring experience, skill and dedication to customer projects. For more information, please visit: www.eao.com
Marl has specialised in the design and manufacture of visible LED indication and illumination components and systems for over 35 years, to customers in the electronic, power generation, defence and telecommunications industries. Its highly trained and experienced team of over 100 design and manufacturing specialists operate from a dedicated technology park in Ulverston, England and stand ready to offer its customers a solution to any requirement. They are able to offer a range of standard products, customised to suit individual projects, or even design a specific component from scratch. Marl is a quality company. It is registered to BS EN ISO 9001:2000 standard and fully RoHS and WEEE compliant.
Photo caption: The new Sci-Light LED technology from Marl adjusts as ambient lighting changes to maintain a constant light level, and when trialled in a 3-car Class 323 train carriage over four months, an energy saving of approximately 40 to 60% was recorded.
Marl International Limited, Marl Business Park, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 9BN, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1229 582430; Fax: +44 (0)1229 585155 Press Contact: Peter van der Sluijs Neesham Public Relations Tel: +44 (0) 1296 628180 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org