Energy Source LLC Partners with AvCarb Material Solutions On LED Energy Conservation Project

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Materials manufacturer responsible for Apollo space craft hear shields partners with energy conservation firm on high tech lighting initiative

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AvCarb plant interior

"...the client has the ability to maximize every savings opportunity by remotely scheduling and controlling overall light levels to match activity at the plant." -Jeremy O'keefe

AvCarb of Lowell, Ma is well known within the advanced materials industry for innovation, including its pioneering work on the heat shields used in the Apollo space program. The company recently partnered with leading energy conservation firm, Energy Source of Providence, on a high tech energy conservation project that brought the Space Age powerhouse’s lighting systems into the Digital Age.

The Initiative was launched at the 50 year old company’s facility in Lowell, MA. It targeted the entire plant’s interior and exterior lighting system. The project included the replacement of hundreds of fluorescent fixtures with half that number in state of the art LED. The new set-up will cover the entire manufacturing, warehouse and grounds with consistent, aesthetically pleasing light while conserving nearly 500,000 kWh annually, adding almost $70,000 to the bottom line.

Given AvCarb’s long history of pushing the envelope in engineering and smart design, it is not surprising that the company decided to adopt additional technologies recommended by Energy Source that would leverage technology to deliver even greater savings. One such feature was the addition of a web based control system that enables facility staff to operate the entire lighting system from any web enabled device in real time.

Web based controls are extremely effective when used in conjunction with LED lighting because they take advantage of LED’s inherent ability to efficiently dim and brighten based on need. Additionally, the ability to control lighting remotely offers the convenience of supervision and control in dynamic environments without the need to be physically present.

Jeremy O’Keefe, who managed the project for Energy Source, proposed the control technology and was pleased that the tech-forward staff at AvCarb saw its utility.

“Web based lighting controls were a perfect addition to this LED conversion, especially when considering AvCarb’s variable production schedule. Now the client has the ability to maximize every savings opportunity by remotely scheduling and controlling overall light levels to match activity at the plant.” O’Keefe said.

Now completed, the project began with an energy audit performed by Energy Source in 2014. which revealed that by replacing the outdated fluorescent lighting with state of the Art LED the facility could realize significant savings.

Energy Source is a National Grid Project Expeditor which means the firm is able to secure considerable utility incentives and rebates to make the financing of their projects very attractive to clients. In this case, the energy savings combined with utility incentives secured on their behalf, AvCarb will enjoy a rapid payback of less than 2 years.

About AvCarb
AvCarb’s history began as Avco Lowell in the mid-1960s as a materials development branch of a large aerospace company. The space race and military advancements required advanced materials that would out-perform any known materials of the time. Many successes were achieved including the novel heat shield material for all Apollo Space vehicles as well as many additional military and commercial products. Thus began the legacy that we carry on today.

Textron purchased the group in 1985 and continued with advanced materials development, as well as building a strong position in advanced material supply to the automotive industry that continues to this day. Ballard Power System’s ownership from 2001 to 2013 allowed the group to expand its leadership position in the development and supply of fuel cell and other electrochemical carbon materials.

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Gabriel Andreson
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