Fluoros - power consumption

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**I've been doing some work under the house recently (workshop extension)
and I rigged up some temporary CFLs and some twin 36 Watt battens. SWMBO
complained that the floor felt hot above the battens. She was, of course,
correct (We all know that SWMBOs are always right, even when they're wrong).
Following on from a recent Silicon Chip article I managed to score a box of
Tridonic Atco electronic ballasts, suitable for twin 36 Watt battens. The
results have been most encouraging. The power consumption (after warm-up) of
the standard iron batten was 97 Watts. After fitting the electronic ballast,
power consumption fell to 78 Watts. Not half bad. The batten is now cool to
the touch. Next up I'm going to buy one of those T5 new twin 28 Watt battens
from my local electrical wholesaler ($78.00 each!). They have them in some
Coles stores (in the cosmetics aisles) and they certainly appear to be
exceptionally bright, with nice colour balance.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



Re: Fluoros - power consumption


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The low power T5's just trade off power consumption vs light output in
my experience, mine didn't light as well as T8's so I wonder about the
actual output vs official output.

 From what I could research the T8's with a triphosphor and electronic
ballast are about 100 lumens per watt vs 105 L/W for T5's. The basic
T8 gains are 15% more light by getting a good triphos tube and 15% more
on top of that for an electronic ballast to give 32% total light gain.

Right now I'm planning to light my new workshop with with single T8's
fitted with reflectors.

Re: Fluoros - power consumption



"Trevor Wilson"
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** The dopey thing about this is there is  NO NEED AT ALL  for the ballast
chokes to dissipate so much heat -  the fact that they do is the result of
penny pinching design.  Use more copper and iron and the heat dissipation
could be reduced to almost any desired number.

Sure, the ballast choke would then be more expensive -  but would easily pay
the increase back in reduced power bills and be FAR cheaper and FAR more
reliable overall than an electronic ballast.

So called  "low loss" iron ballasts are available but even better ones are
perfectly possible to make. Seeing as the potential waste of even 0.5 watt
in a iron transformer plug pak PSU is now ILLEGAL in Australia  -  I wonder
why these are not being mandated too ??



....  Phil




Re: Fluoros - power consumption


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So a quick test would be to wire four ballasts in series parallel and
check the power consumption?. I remember an old ETI fluoro inverter
project where they mentioned that the fluoros get brighter with
drive frequency for a fixed power..... but forget to what extent.

Re: Fluoros - power consumption


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That makes more sense.
Requiring more efficient ballasts (or at least pointing out the facts)
would save a lot more energy as there must be tens of millions of them
across the country.
Many of them in workplaces and shops would be run all workday, and
many at night also.




On the subject of ballasts:
Replaced a faulty 18w batten (Associated Lighting "Cadet"). in the
bathroom last week that would have been installed about 1976.

The Ballast was about 150% the size of a modern one and felt much
heavier.
 (it wasn't one of the old Ferguson "flat" black ones).

Too late to give any more detail on it as it went in last weeks
rubbish as fitting was rusted extensively.

Was replaced with a new 14w T5 batten that was on hand. (modern one
with triphosphor tube and electronic ballast.)

Out of interest until it could be replaced we used a 11w Philips
spiral CFL temporarily in there in a lamp socket on a flexible cord
that was plugged into the power socket
& noted that the new T5  fittings  FAR exceeded the CFL in light
output despite a 25% increase in wattage in the T5.

There was just no comparison in usable light output.






Re: Fluoros - power consumption


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CFL's are less efficient compared to T5 and T8's, around 75% lumens per
watt at best. Also new fluoro tubes are brighter than normal for a short
period until the phosphors wear in a bit then gradually decline over time.

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