Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It may be possible to reduce upfront as well as running costs of an electrical backup inverter system by including LED illumination bulbs in the viability calculations

Suppose a guy wants a guaranteed X lumens of light for Y seconds during power failures [for a total of Z lumens of light, where Z=X*Y]. Suppose that this amount of light can be obtained by using an electrical inverter of power rating P VA and a battery of capacity Q Ah, when this backup system is operated along with standard fluorescent tubelights.

Now, since the luminous efficacy of LED bulbs is higher than that of fluorescent tubelights, but since LED lamps are significantly costlier than fluorescent tubelights [especially for higher power rating LEDs], we have an opportunity for optimization/trade-off here.

I theorize that it should be possible, at least in some cases, to achieve the same amount of light output [in lumens] for the same desired/required duration with a lower total equipment cost [cost of inverter + battery + bulbs] by using LED lamps instead of fluorescent tubelights [LEDs will raise the equipment cost] coupled with a smaller/cheaper sized inverter system and a smaller/cheaper battery [LEDs consume less electricity per lumen of light delivered], thus lowering overall equipment costs. It is to be noted that usually, power-efficient illumination sources like CFLs are sold with the promise of long-term/overall lower costs, and not lower upfront costs. This is the key difference here. By using expensive LEDs coupled with cheaper smaller-sized inverter and battery, we might also achieve lower upfront cost.

Finally, it should be noted that even if the upfront equipment cost is higher when LEDs are used instead of fluorescent tubelights, it's possible/likely that the lifetime TCO is lower for the LED-based system for the following reasons:
  • LEDs have longer life than fluorescent tubelights.
  • Electricity delivered by an inverter system is significantly more expensive than the electricity we receive from the utility company, because there are lots of energy losses in chemically storing energy in the inverter battery as well as when electrical power is drawn from this battery and also when it's converted from DC to AC, etc. Since LEDs consume much less power than fluorescent tubelights, naturally much less of this more expensive power is consumed, thus lowering running costs.

No comments:

Post a Comment