Newsletter issue #4
Edison Project: participation and interest in the closing workshop

The squalls that hit the Eternal City did not prevent local administrators and other stakeholders to participate in the workshop-final event- of the Edison project, which was held on December 16th in Rome at the national headquarters of ANCI. The representatives of the municipalities coming from all over the Peninsula (mostly responsible for the environmental sector and innovation) have assisted with interest to the illustration of the technological system of advanced smart lighting for public buildings - developed thanks to a three-year project funded by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme, which will end next December 31st. Organized by on behalf of the Consortium that implemented and tested the Edison solution in twelve pilot buildings in different European countries, the conference touched on all major issues relating to energy saving measures, particularly with respect to the efficiency operations of buildings. In other words, thanks to the contribution of the project leader, Mr. Dario Di Zenobio of the Ugo Bordoni Foundation, were deeply discussed both the technical aspects as well as those related to finding the resources to finance the installation of the system in the buildings reported by potential customers. About this point especially useful has been the intervention of Dr. Andrea Gallo, publisher of (online magazine specialized in financial facilities), which outlined a brief, but comprehensive, overview on funding opportunities offered by the Funds and Programmes of the European Union, as well as related effects at national and regional level. Not surprisingly, several interventions from the audience asked clarification just on the issues concerned. "Our solution - reiterated with conviction repeatedly Mr. Di Zenobio - allows a reduction in energy consumption, which ranges between 60% and 70%. A lot of money can be saved thanks to a so lighter bill. In particular the municipalities, currently penalized by heavy cuts, can take advantage of the savings achieved by freeing up resources for services for citizens. However, the solution can be adopted by all involved parties and not only by public entities (companies, professionals, commercial centers, associations, etc.). For this reason, after the formal conclusion of the project, the Consortium intends to open a new phase of promotion/commercial deployment of our "product" on large scale. The Consortium is able to provide, "turnkey", a practical tool that helps to break down, at the same time, energy costs and CO2 emissions. A tangible example of green economy capable of harmonically decline the "environment" and "development" words. The ball goes now to stakeholders and their real willingness to turn the page on the past, proving to be innovative in facts and not just in words. In this endeavor we will involve all partners of the Edison consortium. Relevant will be the role that can and will play as "gateway" to the privileged system of local authorities, because of its twenty-year of support action to municipalities", concluded Di Zenobio.

The second part of the workshop was devoted to pilot experiences, giving voice to those who actually (in Belgium, UK, Italy) have adopted, installed and tested the Edison platform. Particularly significant statements have been provided by Professor Chris Steenhaut from Vrije University of Brussels, by Pierpaolo Caselli from Città della Scienza of Naples, from Romeo Ciammaichella, councilor to the budget of the City of Manoppello and representatives of SMK British company who managed the project in Belfast. All provided data extremely positive that, in some cases, have gone results better than expected: reduced energy consumption by 60-70%; flexibility and adaptability of the system; interoperability with further energy systems to improve efficiency (photovoltaic, heating / cooling, etc.); safer installations, thanks to the use of DC current instead of AC. Works ended with the announcement of a new global energy consulting service that, in collaboration with other partners, Ancitel, from January 2015, will provide to the interested municipalities.

EDISON results and performances

In the third period of the project, after more than one year of Pilots running and collection of energy consumption data, including ICT contributions, it was possible to analyze EDISON platform results in terms of relevant key performance indicators. Data analysis was conducted adopting the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) as it is the preferred guideline to write the Measurement and Verification (M&V) Plan within the Energy Performance Contracts. IPMVP is not only the most known M&V protocol around the world, but it is also the most prestigious within the international technical community. In particular the IPMVP - Option A has been adopted as it allows, in simple lighting retrofit, a more accurate estimation of savings. In fact Option A approach:

*Ensures that baseline conditions have been properly defined

*Confirms that the proper equipment/systems were installed and that they have the potential to generate predicted savings

*Verifies that the installed equipment/systems continue to have the capacity to yield the predicted savings during the term of the contract.

In Table 1 is reported an example of application of this approach, obtained processing data collected in the 2nd VUB Pilot (Dean's Offices and student welcome centre) during May 2014. Data related to energy consumption have been continuously updated on the project website ( From the analysis of the results achieved so far at the pilot sites, it has been possible to confirm and, in some cases, even to see improved the objectives fixed at the beginning of the project, for both energy savings results and environmental indicators. The Figures 1 and 2 provide a significant synthesis of these results.

The mentioned figures show the contribution due to ICT-EDISON solution. In particular the Figure 1 shows an energy saving gain ranging from 20% up to 40%. Starting from them and from the feedbacks to the dissemination activity as well as by people working and visiting the Pilot sites, the potential impact of the project, from a market perspective, appears really interesting.

In fact, apart the potential of remarkable energy savings, the service portfolio of EDISON middleware platform makes available an immediate monitoring and controlling system in building. The EDISON Smart Energy Platform (SEP) permits to easy collect different information (presence, temperature, video-monitoring), using the most common standard hardware interfaces. In this sense the SEP could be considered a multiservice platform able to contribute to meet the 4 targets endorsed by the European Council:

  • a binding EU target of at least 40% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990
  • a binding target of at least 27% of renewable energy used at EU level
  • an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%
  • the completion of the internal energy market by reaching an electricity interconnection target of 15% between member states and pushing forward important infrastructure projects.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Focus on a Pilot Action: Northern Ireland's Pilots

The Southern and Social Care Trust is administers all aspect of health and care to a population of approximately 325,000. The trust have hosted two pilots for the Edison Project, which involved the following buildings:

  • Lurgan Hospital Ward 1 – multi-bed ward area
  • Bocombra Lodge – administration area
Pilot 1: Lurgan Hospital Ward 1
The first pilot was deployed in the non-acute hospital in Lurgan and utilised Ward 1 of this hospital. Ward 1 is a 15 bed rehabilitation ward with a floor area of approximately 480m2. The ward is occupied 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.

The ward includes a mixed use space of: offices, meeting rooms, circulation areas, ancillary areas, toilets, multi-occupancy and single occupancy patient rooms. The pilot was run in parallel with a Lurgan Hospital Ward 2, which is of a similar size and energy density, but did not use the Edison solution.

The pilot includes 142 lighting points that are mainly T5 1449mm fluorescent tubes and 34 4-pin CFL lamps. The Edison solution involved directly replacing the fluorescent T5 tubes with the equivalent LED tubes and these are managed through remote stations and two different types of Central Power Control (CPC) devices: CPC Master and CPC Slave.

The number of CPC's and RS's installed are as seen in the table below:

The pilot has been running since the beginning of 2014 and so far has collected more than 10 months of data. The initial analysis of the data indicates that the Edison solution uses 36% less energy when compared to the same period last year and 38% of this is due to the ICT contribution.

Pilot 2: Bocombra Lodge
The second pilot was deployed in the main reception office of Bocombra Lodge, a community healthcare building in Craigavon. The reception office is 35m2 and the building is of a 1980's construction. The building generally operates 8 hours per day and 5 days per week. The pilot area includes an open plan office, store room and entrance lobby.

The pilot includes 9 lighting points that are mainly surface mounted T8 1449mm fluorescent tubes. The Edison solution involved directly replacing the fluorescent T8 tubes with the equivalent LED tubes and these are managed through remote stations and the Central Power Control (CPC) devices.

The pilot has been running since the beginning of June 2013 and so far has collected more than 16 months of data. The initial analysis of the data indicates that the Edison solution uses 48% less energy when compared to the same period last year and 39% of this is due to the ICT contribution and centralised DC power.

Focus on a partner: Ancitel, a quarter century to support the italian municipalities

Ancitel S.p.A. is the main company of ANCI - National Association of Italian - which for 27 years supports local authorities in the management of all the processes of innovation in technical and organizational sectors. Since its founding in 1987 Ancitel alongside the PA with a wide network of local services and projects designed to meet their daily operational needs. Among the major web services Ancitel the best known are: ANCI Responds, Newspaper of Commons, Library Services for the local police, the service integrated production and acts Istatel. Ancitel works within to important institutional projects of national importance such as the system access and interchange master (Saia), the management system of subsidies on energy prices (SGATE), the monitoring system of environmental interventions, for Experimentation the transfer of powers to municipalities for issuing residence permits to foreign citizens. The experience gained over the years, along with the ability to involvement of Commons, make that Ancitel is chosen as a reliable partner by leading Italian institutional bodies, including: the Chamber of Deputies, the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Environment, Ministry Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Economic Development, Authority for Electricity and Gas. Recently, thanks to the project Edison, Ancitel opened another important front of intervention on the side of Commons: the energy-environment, with particular regard to the energy efficiency of public buildings and smart lighting.

Dissemination & Exploitation actions

In the last six months many exploitation initiatives have been started with some ESCO companies of the EU countries (Germany, Czech Republic and Slovenia) as well as with standardization group like the IEEE DC@Home one.

Project News

The 3rd EDISON Workshop took place on 6th June 2014 in Manoppello (Italy). It was the occasion to present the EDISON solution to the representatives of the Municipalities neighboring the ones hosting the Italian Pilots in Abruzzo (Manoppello, Lettomanoppello and Roccamontepiano) as well as to stakeholders operating in the area. To this aim, a demo corner has been arranged in order to give evidence of the real mode of operation of the platform. Additionally, specific focus has been devoted to the preliminary results obtained in all the Pilots, which were still running. The Workshop has been also the occasion to share experiences and synergies with the other two ICT-PSP European projects Green@Hospital and Smart Build, belonging to the same call of the EDISON project, whose description has been included in the agenda of the event.

On the 16th of December 2014 the 4th EDISON Workshop took place in Rome. It was jointly organized by FUB and Ancitel in the ANCI (Italian Municipalities National Association) Headquarters and has represented the final dissemination event of the project. A lot of representatives of the Italian Municipalities and other stakeholders attended the event, showing a concrete interest in respect of the results obtained in the Pilot actions, which have been definitely presented to the audience. Thanks to the positive feedbacks gathered in this occasion, the adoption of the EDISON solution in many other public buildings of the Italian Municipalities seems to be more than just a hope.

In line with the dissemination activities carried out during the entire project lifetime, EDISON has been presented to conferences and events in the domain of ICT and Energy Applications. Hereafter, the main dissemination initiatives in which the project has been involved:

*2014 IEEE International Energy Conference (EnergyCon), May 13-16, 2014, Dubrovnik (Croatia). This is the third edition of the Conference dedicated to experts carrying out research focused to energy and power systems. Organized thanks to the joint effort of IEEE Region 8, IEEE Croatia Section and the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, it has already become one of the premier IEEE forums for the application of electronics, instrumentation, information and communication technology to the electricity industry. In the technical program of the Conference has been included the accepted paper titled "A Centralised DC Power Supply solution for LED lighting networks", which has been focused on the benefits deriving from a relevant aspect of the EDISON solution: the centralization of DC power supply in a LED lighting infrastructure.

*5th IEEE Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm 2014), November 3-6, 2014, Venice (Italy). In this 5th edition of the Conference, which provides a forum to discuss all aspects that are relevant to smart grid communication and information technologies, a paper titled "Lighting In The Building: A DC Smart Grid" as been presented in order to illustrate the architecture of the EDISON platform, its effectiveness in saving energy and the possibility to extend the control to services other than lighting.

News: The city of Francavilla al Mare adopts a smart street lighting

Will start in early 2015 in Francavilla Al Mare the modernization of public lighting network involving streamlining of starts and stops, eliminating disruptions due to the poor state of use of the lines, reduction of environmental pollution through new cutting edge. Planned replacement of equipment, grounds, installing new cabinets and new lamps, adjustment of lines and installation of the latest technologies that allow energy savings of 50% and a decrease of 5% of the costs in the bill for the Administration municipal. "The City will rely on control systems as a framework that will allow a more efficient management of the service and the ability to monitor all the luminous centers connected - says the managing director, Antonio Lurescia - Our city will not only be one of the first Italian companies to have, at no cost to the citizens and for the body, cutting-edge infrastructure, but can manage it with a set of citizen services that will improve the quality of the territory".

ISTAT: survey on energy consumption of Italian families

Istat has recently presented the results of the Survey on energy consumption of households, created in 2013 in collaboration with ENEA and the Min. Of Economic Development For the first time the survey on equipment and use of energy sources of the Italians is performed on the entire national territory. This survey responds to the request of the European provide data useful for monitoring the objectives Europe 20/20 that sees Italy committed, by 2020, reaching 17% of energy from renewable sources. In 2013 Italian households spent an average of €1,635 for the purchase of energy and expense prince is represented by natural gas heating, used by more than 70% of the families, the families of the North spend on bills on 1,800 Euros against 1,400 of southern ones.
In terms of energy saving is interesting to note that in the last five years more than half of households have invested to reduce the cost of electricity, 21% for heating costs, 15% for water heating and, finally, 10% for the air conditioning. A few years after the withdrawal from the market of traditional bulbs, energy-saving ones account for three quarters of the light bulbs used. A major focus has been done on the use of domestic biomass, the report provides information on the spread of stoves, fireplaces and other devices that use wood and pellet, one in five households use firewood and more than half of those who use wood, recourse to 'self-supply, the pellet, despite the growth in recent years, is still not widespread. The families that use it are 4.1% with an average consumption per household of 1.4 tons per year, with rates of 5.4% in Veneto.

Scott Elder, principal engineer with Linear Technology discusses why LED lighting fails earlier than consumers might expect.

I've had it with LED lamps. The world has been told that LEDs are the future, in part because they are economically the right form of longterm lighting, and there are environmental benefits as a great aside. Well, maybe the environmental argument is true, but the economical one is not.

My wife has converted a substantial amount of our home lighting, as well as our holiday decoration lighting, to LED bulbs. Despite all this investment, I have yet to experience the primary benefit of long life. This made me sit down recently and ask myself why.

As it turns out, the answer is quite simple. The lifetime is not a function of the LED, but rather the total circuit solution. Figure 1 shows the schematic for an incandescent light bulb. As I once read in a college textbook, the analysis of this circuit is left to the reader.

Contrast the Figure 1 schematic with the Figure 2 schematic that shows an offline LED lamp schematic minus the LEDs. As I'll show soon, there is no need to analyze the Figure 2 circuit operation.

To estimate the failure probability of an electrical circuit, one can apply the product rule for probabilities. Essentially, the rule is that the overall probability of failure is a product of the individual, uncorrelated failures.

Notice that the Figure 1 circuit has one circuit element. Let's assume the probability of failure for a circuit element is 100 ppm. After all, we're discussing a 50cent light bulb, not a $30,000 car. Applying the product rule, the ppm failure rate for Figure 1 is 0.9999 or 1 out of 10,000 light bulbs.

Next we look at Figure 2. There we have approximately 60 circuit elements. Using the same product rule and 100ppm failure probability, the failure rate of Figure 2 is 1 out of 167 lamps. Now this is a big deal, but not yet a catastrophe.

After a quick look around my 2,200sq.ft. house, I counted about 50 light bulbs. Once again, applying the product rule, the incandescent lamp failure rate inside my house should be about 1 out of 200. And the LED lamp failure rate should be about 1 out of 4! A 25% failure rate is ridiculous for a product that costs $10 or more and does nothing more than a product that costs 50 cents.

Perhaps a wiser engineer more skilled than I in the area of reliability would take issue with my 100ppm failure rate. But doesn't it make sense that an offline power controller with nearly 100 components will have a higher failure rate than a system with 1 component? But no one ever talks about that. We are always told to compare the tungsten lifetime of 1,000 hours against the LED lifetime that is claimed equivalent to the lifetime of the family pet, or something close to that.

According to my wife, who is not an engineer, she purchased nine LED lamps for the kitchen and back porch over a period of one year, from three different manufacturers, and paid on average about $45 each. Out of the nine, and after two years, one by one they all started to fail. As of this blog, seven of the nine are dead.

I did a further reliability analysis on, looking at the ratings for LED lamps. Out of 400 reviews, 25 people gave a popular $10 LED lamp a rating of one. I started reading through the onestar reviews and virtually everyone who scored the lamp as a one claimed their score was because the lamps failed very quickly.

Even most of the 18 people who scored the lamp a two did so because of failure. I wonder how many of the fivestar ratings would still be five stars after two years.

I've been designing LED circuits for years now. My first circuit was for a stadium sized LED TV and more recently battery powered lamps and backlighting for TVs and laptop computers. It would be disingenuous of me to claim that all LED lighting is useless. There are many great applications for LED lighting. But replacing a oneelement off line circuit is not one of them.

Scott Elder, principal engineer with Linear Technology, is a 28year veteran of analog IC design and the named inventors on 16 patents, all in the field of precision analog signal processing, power management, RF CMOS and LED drivers.