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#69335 - 09/05/06 06:35 PM Energy efficiency  
Surfinsparky  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 73
merritt island fl usa
I have worked in very old facilities and brand new ones.Just looking for some thoughts.One place I worked had lighting ballasts with date codes from the mid sixities.Motors even older!I don't know the old breakers and mcc's and ballasts just seemed to last a lot longer than todays stuff.Granted some of the older stuff was a lot more dangerous ie line voltage controls for everything.I find myself replacing the newer more "efficent stuff more frequently than it's older counterparts.I guess what I am tryin to say is where is your efficency when the parts are double and last a fraction of the time?

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#69336 - 09/06/06 02:56 AM Re: Energy efficiency  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Well bud, it's not a conspiracy! It's called "Planned Obsolescence", not just a marketing stratagy either. When the therory came into use, Congress guided and limited it through a whole range of different consumer protections. For instance the life of a car is limited to roughly five years, whereas, military, heavy equipment and farm equipment is required to be repairable for 50 years. And just about everything else is disposable.

Although some of those ballasts may or may not be as efficient as the new ones makes no difference - it means they get to sell it again. This time, a little quicker! And you get to install it...

The list of victims (Environment especially)of Planned Obsolescence are endless, but it is more important for the money in the economy to circulate, or is it?

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#69337 - 09/06/06 06:19 AM Re: Energy efficiency  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Surfin, you have to factor in energy consumption of both older and newer stuff, and then factor in the costs of the energy, to get a fair picture of effiency.

Some of the older stuff lasts longer, but chews up energy in comparison to the new stuff. So the new stuff, may use less energy in the life span of the unit, than the old stuff.

Factor in what the costs of energy was back in the sixties, and what it is now.

#69338 - 09/06/06 07:58 AM Re: Energy efficiency  
JCooper  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
Kendall Park, NJ USA
But isn't what you save in using less energy offset by having to buy a new part every few months? And for the environmentalists, there is more trash generated and more pollution by the facility that now has to manufacture twice as many widgets because they only last half as long.

#69339 - 09/06/06 11:19 AM Re: Energy efficiency  
mhulbert  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 132
Anaheim, CA USA
And don't forget the energy used to mine the materials, build the factories, get the oil for the plastic, package and ship, air condition the warehouse, gas for you to go get the new item, etc. A new ballast may not consume as much energy once installed, but how much did it take to get that new ballast in your hands?

That said, the newer electronic HID and flourescent ballasts are very nice to work with, and seem to have less parts by weight (ie no core and coil) than their older counterparts.

#69340 - 09/06/06 07:24 PM Re: Energy efficiency  
Surfinsparky  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 73
merritt island fl usa
That's what I am getting at cooper.These little ballast's for "efficient" lighting are like 28 bucks.Then the four pin lamps are like 7.50 each at two per fixture.It's junk!I heard that in some of the older skyscrapers in nyc they still have some of the original elevator motors!

#69341 - 09/06/06 07:36 PM Re: Energy efficiency  
yanici  Offline
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 58
Two years ago I was working in a library and had to change a ballast. The ballast had a 1945 date stamped on it. That magnetic ballst was as old as me.

#69342 - 09/06/06 10:37 PM Re: Energy efficiency  
trobb  Offline
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
Iowa City, IA
I'm 21, and I get to work with equipment that is two or threre times as old as me occasionally. Makes me respect the engineers back in those days. Although, when I have to change one on a too-short ladder, arms over my head, I'd rather have an e-ballast than a magnetic one. And now they're forcing mecury vapor ballasts into retirement (which IMO is good, what with mecury...).

#69343 - 09/08/06 09:14 AM Re: Energy efficiency  
skipr  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 39
Huntington Beach, Ca.
Not only the ballast, but what about the enclosures. The old early 60's Westinghouse and GE panels seem to be much stronger steel.With copper bus bars standard instead of speacial order.

#69344 - 09/08/06 03:01 PM Re: Energy efficiency  
Surfinsparky  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 73
merritt island fl usa
Ya good point skip.What has happened to quality?We have some fixtures with t-5 lamps in them 28 watts 7.50 per lamp.Tombstones that have a habit of melting!Give me a core and coil ballast any day with an inexpensive t-12 lamp.

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