Disruption to operations at one of the busiest airfields in the UK manned by over 4300 personnel cannot be undertaken lightly. When Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton, through Defence Estates, embarked on a challenge to reduce 10% of it’s energy on 10 bases in the SW supported by Debut Services Ltd, it selected as one of the measures energy-efficient lighting .The pressure was on to design an innovative retrofit approach with the proviso that the installation took place in the shortest possible time and with minimal operational disruption.

Clive Stacey, Debut’s Energy Engineer, comments: “Making the switch to energy-efficient lighting was considered a particular priority, since it can provide dramatic reductions in electricity use. We were particularly interested in using a retrofit product to install the new lamps, so that we could retain the existing light fittings in the buildings on the base.”

He continues: I first came across “ ‘Save It Easy®’ products when they were exhibited at Debut’s annual Sustainability Conference. I was impressed that the lighting installation could be undertaken with minimal disruption to the building fabric and that it was a tried and tested technology.”

Save It Easy units, developed by lighting specialist ECSL (Energy Conservation Solutions Ltd – part of the Energys Group), allow an electromagnetically-ballasted luminaire to be transformed into a high-frequency electronically-ballasted one. Instead of replacing the whole light fitting, the ballast converter and end cap converter are fixed onto the ends of the new, energy-efficient T5 lamp. Save It Easy operates the lamp at high frequency, in the process consuming much less energy, meaning that energy savings are achieved from both reduced ballast losses and from the more efficient T5 lamp. Lamp life is also increased from an average T8 life of 12,000 hours to an average of 22,000 hours, which has a resultant reduction in maintenance costs.

By retrofitting the lighting using the Save It Easy conversion units, the upgrade to energy-efficient lighting at the base could be carried out quickly and without excessive dust or noise.

Just under 10,000 lamps were converted, across 70 widely differing building types on the site. The lamps ranged in size from 2ft to 8ft, both Switchstart and Starterless. ESL, the installation arm of Energys Group, worked in harmony with Debut’s management teams and supply chains to complete the installation in just six weeks

Aidan Salter, Managing Director of Energys Group, comments: “During the installation process, ESL worked around the base operations schedule, in order to avoid interrupting the base’s activities.”

The energy bureau, operating for Debut at RNAS Yeovilton, is reporting a significant reduction on energy consumption since the installation of T5 lamps and Save It Easy. Aidan Salter concludes: “Our original calculations estimated that the installation of Save It Easy would deliver savings of 555,127kWh. However, the actual figures are even better. With weekly savings of just under 12,000 kWh, bureau staff are predicting a saving of 600,000 kWh over this financial year (April 09 – end of March 2010) which translates as 321 tonnes/year of C02. This means that we exceeded our own expectations and that of the customer by 8%.”

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