When I met with Adura Technologies, a 4-year-old wireless lighting management startup in San Francisco, in May, I wondered if it would be able to meet its ambitious plan of installing 100 million square feet of its wireless management systems by 2014. Well, if the company continues to churn out studies like the one it released this morning it could: Adura says that according to two studies its technology has been proven to reduce energy consumption from lighting by a whopping 70 percent.
The reports were created by the researchers at Energy Solutions for northern California utility PG&E, and looked at a local government building in Fremont. In the project, the workers in the building used a remote control to turn on and off the Adura lighting unit according to their needs. And looks like it gave them significant control over their energy consumption, because the workers’ energy consumption dropped by 70 percent in the study. PG&E also tested out Adura’s system for a demand response program and the utility was able to turn down use of the wireless lighting system during peak grid load.
The studies are important because they help validate some of Adura’s claims — namely that the company’s wireless mesh-based network and lighting control modules are among the lowest cost and easiest-to-install options for commercial buildings. Adura tries to keep costs low by using standard Zigbee-based wireless nodes, smart algorithms to manage the information, and an easy-to-read energy dashboard for commercial building owners. Using a web tool, a building owner can control the lighting and thus see their energy costs dramatically reduced.
Adura is also looking to use wireless lighting as a way into the larger energy building management space. Once the wireless mesh network is in place, the thought is this: Why wouldn’t a building owner see the benefit of adding on low-cost control capability to its other power-hogging systems? These studies should help the company prove its point, though we’ll continue to monitor how much progress it’s made towards its 100 million square feet goal.