IES Consulting appointed to examine the new Somfy – Philips Light Balancing System and its potential impact on energy savings.
Somfy - Philips ‘light balancing’ system is a dynamic solar shading and lighting control system, which reacts by taking into account the occupant presence and external climatic conditions in order to achieve visual comfort when a space is occupied and energy saving when the space is vacant.
In general, visual comfort is the key if the space is occupied. In this sense, solar shading is positioned automatically to avoid glare whilst still allowing natural daylight to penetrate the space, allowing the luminaire photo sensor to dim the light. The lighting system adjusts the level of light automatically based on the incoming daylight level. Occupants can override the system and control the position of the solar shading manually via their real-time strategy remote control. If the space is vacant, the luminaires are turned off and the solar shading will be either completely open or closed depending on the heating and cooling needs and the external climatic conditions.
The main focus of this product validation project was to analyse the Somfy - Philips ‘light balancing’ system and to examine its potential impact on energy savings.
In order to better understand the ‘light balancing’ dynamic shading and lighting control system and to explore its potential benefit on the heating, cooling and lighting energy demands, a range of shading controls comprising both manual and automated blind controls and a set of lighting controls including manual, occupancy-sensing and dimming controls were explored based on an office building model created in the IES Virtual Environment for 5 different climatic locations - Abu Dhabi, Paris, Beijing, San Francisco and Singapore.
The impact of these control strategies on the building energy performance were quantified individually based on a seven-storey office building model using advanced dynamic simulation tool, IES Virtual Environment.
The Study showed that the Somfy - Philips Light Balancing can reduce overall energy consumption by a minimum of 2.2% to 7.7% through a reduction in both lighting energy usage and internal cooling loads. Note that these savings were predicted based on a specific reference case and the Somfy - Philips Light Balancing system was modelled in an automated but not fully integrated fashion. For full details please refer to the full case study at the link below.
The reductions in energy consumption vary dependent upon location and climatic conditions. The study identified that these were the minimum savings that could be achieved. Higher savings could be achieved by considering many other factors, such as the quality of the shading, occupant behaviour, occupation rate and the application of the building, and the efficiency of the lighting system.
Click here to read and download the full Somfy - Philips Light Balancing case study whitepaper.