Partnership opens new doors for Convia system

The Dashboard is the most recent addition to the Convia system, which is expected to benefit from a new partnership with Wiremold/Legrand.

The Dashboard is the most recent addition to the Convia system, which is expected to benefit from a new partnership with Wiremold/Legrand.

Office furniture designer/manufacturer Herman Miller Inc., Zeeland, MI, took a huge step when it recently formed a strategic partnership between its Convia Inc. (Buffalo Grove, IL), company and Wiremold/Legrand, West Hartford, CT. This partnership helps Convia expand its portfolio of forward-thinking building technologies and energy-management solutions for the commercial building industry. “With key influencers both in and beyond the architecture and design industry taking great strides to improve the efficiency of commercial buildings, and increasing amounts of federal money pouring into energy projects, there is rich market opportunity for solutions that manage and reduce energy consumption,” said Randy Storch, president of Convia.
As part of the agreement, the Convia technology—which encompasses a facility’s power delivery and other infrastructure and applications, including lighting, HVAC, and occupancy and daylight-harvesting sensors, into an energy efficient, easy-to-manage platform—is integrated into Wiremold wire and cable management systems (modular wiring systems, floor boxes, poke-through devices and architectural columns) for a true end-to-end power application. In an industry first, the enhanced “Conviaenabled Wiremold” systems add control and monitoring of office plug loads (the amount of energy drawn by devices from an electrical outlet) and lighting loads.
Leveraging the advanced plug load monitoring and control capabilities made possible through the alliance, Convia introduced its Energy Dashboard application at the NeoCon show, held June 15 to 17 in Chicago. The Energy Dashboard provides real-time  energy-consumption figures for a given space, allowing users to instantly measure, monitor, and track savings. Powered through Convia’s Global Gateway, the Energy Dashboard allows users to quickly create reports that illustrate energy consumption and actual voltage use of total power, plug loads, lighting, and occupancy as it is occurring. To learn more about the Convia system, read “Renovate Buildings with Flexible Platforms,” originally published in our April issue.—Gary L. Parr

XCT technology drives Lutron Radio Powr Savr occupancy sensor

The Lutron Radio Powr Savr occupancy sensor advances motion-sensing technology.

The Lutron Radio Powr Savr occupancy sensor advances motion-sensing technology.

When I visited the Lutron booth (Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., Coopersburg, PA) at the Lightfair show in early May, I was told about an upcoming occupancy sensor that would use new technology and overcome many of the shortcomings of conventional sensors. Namely, this sensor would be able to detect small movements, such as typing, and keep the lights on. Conventional sensors would turn the lights off after the programmed period, leaving the person in the dark.
   Today, Lutron introduced that sensor, calling it the Radio Powr Savr occupancy/vacancy sensor. The unit is a wireless device that is installed on the ceiling and paired with a compatible Lutron dimmer or switch. The sensor doesn’t require any wiring.
   The exciting part of this introduction is the company’s XCT Technology which uses algorithms that enable the device to detect small motions and reliably distinguish them from background noise or interference that typically cause false ons/offs with conventional sensors. This enhanced signal-processing ability enables Radio Powr Savr to keep the lights on when someone is typing, writing, or flipping pages and to turn the lights off only when the space is truly empty.
   Occupancy sensors typically generate an annual energy savings of $85. That savings is great until you’re the person sitting in a room having to wave your arm in the air every 10 min. to keep the lights on. This new introduction overcomes that problem. Obviously, if you couple the sensor with a dimmer, additional energy savings can be realized. According to Lutron, depending on the overall system configuration, Radio Powr Savr can take 25% to 40% off of the lighting electricity used in a given space.
   It’s these kinds of developments that, bit-by-bit, are helping commercial building designers, builders, and owners put more “green” in their facilities. The “green” part is a feel good. The money savings make a difference to the bottom line, which, ultimately is what matters.—Gary L. Parr