An Innovation in Industrial Lighting

We are excited to announce the publication of Industrial Lighting – A Holistic Approach Using L.E.D. Technology in volume 24 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Industry Applications Magazine. The contributors of this paper included Chemco Engineering & Field Services’ vice president Jeff Krukowski and lead engineer Cletus Mullin, among others. This paper won the award for Best Paper at the Industry Applications Society’s 63rd annual Petroleum and Chemical Industry Conference. The Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC) operates within the IEEE and offers a way to share electrical technology that can be applied to the petroleum and chemical industry, promoting continuous development within the profession.

As part of a team, Krukowski and Mullin were able to conceptualize and execute an innovation in industrial lighting. As outlined in their paper, their L.E.D. design philosophy reduced a 50,000 barrel per day oil refinery’s capital cost by $31.2M CAD, maintenance costs by $563,663.00, and achieved an annual CO2 emissions reduction of 1614 Tons (82).

The team aimed to analyze the financial and environmental impacts of implementing holistic L.E.D. lighting throughout an industrial petroleum producing facility. To design a system that was both cost-effective and environmentally friendly, the team decided to go against the industry norm of a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting design. Even though “Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D.) technology was in its infancy” (77)1 at the time of design, the team decided to use this technology, trusting that L.E.D. lighting would be the industry preference by the time this project was in construction three years later. This innovation resulted in the refinery being one of the first to adopt L.E.D. technology site-wide.

In addition to environmental challenges, the team was challenged by six financial factors: fixture quantities, energy consumption, distribution requirements, emergency lighting requirements, construction lighting, and maintenance costs (78).

Fixture Quantities and Capital Costs

The team’s paper outlines their L.E.D design as being a cost-effective option as it allows for a reduction in the number of fixtures required, consequently lowering the refinery’s capital cost by 32%. When energy cost was factored in over five years of operation, the cost reduction increased to 38% when compared to HPS lighting. In addition, installation time is decreased as these L.E.D. fixtures arrive from the factory ready to install, saving time on site when it comes to installation. (78-79).


Energy Consumption

The paper states that there are also significant energy savings with L.E.D. lighting since the fixture quantity and fixture wattage are both decreased when this design is implemented. Further, this design reduces CO2 emissions when compared to the diesel-fueled towable light plants using HPS fixtures. Using the refinery’s electricity rate, the resulting reduction in energy cost was $250,288.00, not including CO2 credits. Without these light plants, noise is also reduced which results in less disturbance to the environment and the surrounding area’s wildlife. The lowered energy consumption reduces the overall carbon footprint of the plant, leading to a smaller environmental impact when this design is implemented (79-80).


As outlined in their paper, the team was able to design a way that the “lighting system can be supplied and controlled with a single smart lighting control panel, fed from a single dedicated transformer” (80).1 Their distribution design replaces “lighting transformers and hazardous area rated panels located throughout the process unit” (80).1 This resulted in a cost reduction of $867,342.00 for the refinery when the team’s design was implemented (80).

Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is a major part of this team’s innovation as described in their paper. Instead of a separate lighting system dedicated to emergency lighting, the team outlines how the entire lighting system can be put on the standby generator without an increase in generator size. By doing this, in the event of an emergency all fixtures would remain on if a power failure were to take place. Consequently, dedicated emergency lighting elements could be removed from the design, resulting in a cost reduction of $1,136,270.00 for the refinery (80-81).


Construction Lighting

The team states that with the use of high mast lighting fixtures, the design allows for one of these fixtures to replace eight towable HPS fixtures and provide better lighting as a result. The high mast design outperforms the HPS light plants for area luminance and uniformity. This significantly reduces the construction costs, allowing for a $27.3M reduction over the two-year construction period (81-82).


Maintenance Costs

In their paper, the team also discusses maintenance costs associated with this design philosophy. The lifetime of the L.E.D. bulbs used in this design are four times that of HPS, therefore requiring less maintenance when it comes to bulb replacement. The L.E.D. design expects to reduce light fixture maintenance costs annually by $313,375.00 (82).


The team also outlines how the features of L.E.D. technology allow for better control of light distribution when compared to the HPS fixtures traditionally used. The team’s paper states that this design can provide “equivalent or better lighting with fewer fixtures than with [the traditional] HPS lighting (79). By using L.E.D. technology, the design is dark sky compliant and minimizes light trespass as to reduce disturbance to the plant’s surrounding neighbours and wildlife.

The safety benefits of L.E.D. lighting over HPS are clearly demonstrated when this design is implemented. This design allows for more uniform lighting, which is stricter than the IES’ recommendations for normal lighting on industrial sites, as stated in the paper (77). Since visibility is key when ensuring safety on site, the importance of a well-lit workplace is undeniable. The L.E.D. lighting design creates brighter and more uniform lighting, increasing visibility on site and therefore creating a safer workplace.

With the reduced capital and maintenance costs, reduced environmental impact, and minimized disturbance to the surrounding area, it is undeniable that this team introduced an industry leading design when it comes to industrial lighting. This design is an innovation brought forward by this team at a very early stage in the development of L.E.D. technology, providing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the industry norm of HPS lighting. We are immensely proud of work put forth by Chemco Engineering’s engineers Jeff Krukowski and Cletus Mullin, as well as the rest of this team and commend the application possibilities of this innovation in industry lighting.

Read the full paper here.

  1. C. Mullin, R. Koltes, M. Walton and J. Krukowski, “Industrial Lighting: A Holistic Approach Using Light-Emitting Diode Technology,” in IEEE Industry Applications Magazine, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 31-38, July-Aug. 2018. doi: 10.1109/MIAS.2017.2740462