Nextek Power Systems announced the UL Classification of their conversion/retrofit kit for fluorescent fixtures that allows for replacing alternating current (ac) ballast with low-voltage direct current (dc) ballast. This means millions of new and existing line-voltage fixtures can be switched to safe, versatile and more cost-effective usage through a simple upgrade. Fixtures currently listed to UL 1598 can be upgraded using UL 2108 retrofit procedures. These new flexible systems allow greater energy efficiency by using renewable sources in their native dc, and by using less ac power from the grid.
"We believe our low voltage dc lighting ballasts are the most efficient dimming fluorescent ballasts in the world. Connecting them to our Direct Coupling(R) Power Server Module (PSM) makes the total system the most efficient commercially available anywhere," said Paul Savage, Nextek Power System’s CEO. Nextek manufactures ballast and power supplies for multiple types of T8, T5, CFL and Biax lamps, Emergency Ballasts, and DC Ceiling Fans, all Registered Products with the EMerge Alliance and compatible with that organization’s 24V dc Occupied Space standard.
Underwriters Laboratories’ Executive Vice President Don Talka noted that "UL has long been committed to safety and innovation, and we are pleased to support these new efforts to advance the use of Class 2 power in occupied spaces." UL utilized its technical expertise to quickly develop appropriate safety certification requirements for this innovative retrofit product. "We see the demand for low-voltage dc products growing, so this action will facilitate a 24V dc ballast retrofit according to the manufacturer’s instructions in the field or a factory installation, with the resulting luminaire conforming to UL 2108," Talka said. This is the first of many standards advances UL plans on making to support in low-voltage dc power systems.
EMerge Alliance Chairman Brian Patterson said, "This is the kind of collaboration that is allowing a more rapid adoption of safe dc power use in buildings, a primary goal of the alliance. Having authoritative organizations that enjoy the market’s respect, such as UL, in a formal liaison arrangement with Emerge, has allowed them to work closely with our diverse membership to help us reach our goals. UL compliant EMerge Alliance standards and their associated product registries are intended to help owners, architects, engineers, designers and specifiers to employ low voltage dc power designs in their new construction and renovation building projects to achieve unprecedented design and space flexibility, greater energy efficiency and improved sustainability. And the addition of Nextek’s conversion/retrofit kit will add significantly to this capability by allowing most existing fluorescent fixtures to be EMerge compliant."
Nextek is a Founding and Governing member of the EMerge Alliance, the first global effort to promote dc power standards and supporting systems.
More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.