Navigation Links
Queen's researchers shine light on compact fluorescent bulb problems

Kingston, ON Long touted as an energy-saving alternative for home lighting, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) now have the potential to be even more efficient, as well as dimmable, thanks to research at Queen's University.

Adopted by householders as a longer-lasting, energy efficient alternative to the traditional incandescent lightbulb, compact fluorescents consume one-third of the power and last 1,000 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

However, the Queen's researchers were motivated to solve two problems with CFLs they don't work with dimmer switches, and, more importantly, their energy efficiency is compromised because of a problem known as poor power factor. In effect, only part of the energy a CFL consumes is used to power the bulb, resulting in wasted power.

"Consumer-grade CFLs need to be compact and inexpensive. Until now, the complicated circuitry needed to power these bulbs most efficiently has been too large and too costly for consumer-grade compact fluorescents," says professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics and a world expert on electronic power supplies. "In its current form, the household CFL takes away the very benefit to the power grid that it was supposed to provide."

The Queen's innovation is timely, Dr. Jain adds, since widespread use of today's less efficient CFLs would reduce expected benefits to the global power grid. Many countries, including Australia and the European Union, have already begun phasing out incandescent bulbs in favor of the compact fluorescents. (Europe and Asia have established minimum standards for power factor for CFLs over 25 watts, but Canada and the U.S., which plan to ban incandescent by 2012, have not.)

The global market for compact fluorescents is estimated at $80 billion.

The poor power factor already has had an impact on commercial users of CFLs, who are charged for the extra power consumed by the current compact fluorescents. As for dimmability, Dr. Jain says it too is an efficiency issue and not just a nuisance for consumers. "In fact, when a CFL is used with a dimmer switch, its bulb can burn out sooner than expected," he says.

The solutions emerged when John Lam, a PhD candidate working with Dr. Jain, developed a compact, simplified circuitry and controller design that overcomes the power problem while also meeting consumers' need for a dimmable, inexpensive CFL. "Understanding the significance of the problem motivated me to work hard at finding a solution," Mr. Lam says.

The two main challenges were making the technology directly replaceable with existing designs, and economical to produce, says Dr. Jain. "We were able to develop a more power-efficient, dimmable and cost-effective CFL technology that can truly replace the power-hungry incandescent light bulbs. This makes it very attractive to the consumer market."

The work was carried out at Queen's Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (EPowER), which tackles key problems in the area of energy conservation and brings those solutions to industry.

PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen's, will work with major CFL manufacturers to bring the technology to market.

"This is an excellent example of university research providing an innovative solution well in advance of a potential market problem," says John Molloy, President and CEO of PARTEQ. "The key to providing useable innovation is understanding the problems of existing technology and finding elegant solutions. Here we have a motivated researcher who saw a key problem and delivered the solution to an industry in need, in time to make a difference."


Contact: Jeff Drake
Queen's University

Related biology news :

1. For honey bee queens, multiple mating makes a difference
2. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
3. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
4. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
5. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
6. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
8. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
9. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
10. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
11. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Queen's researchers shine light on compact fluorescent bulb problems
(Date:9/10/2015)... Sept. 10, 2015 Report Details ... Reveals Selling Opportunities and Revenue Prospects to Help ... of biologics, especially new drug classes? Get the ... ahead with exclusive market data and industry knowledge, ... developments, results, opportunities and sales predictions. Visiongain,s ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... , Sept. 10, 2015 Pursuant ... Clinic Wellness to create an interactive, image-based health ... health and wellness kiosk.  The unique assessment quantifies ... a number that suggests an individual,s biological age ... values as measured by the kiosk. ...
(Date:9/9/2015)... , Sept. 9, 2015  NuData Security announced ... solution-based milestones, furthering the company,s commitment to protecting ... fraud. NuData Security,s online fraud detection ... company,s growth cycle. The product combines continual analysis ... good user behavior from fraudulent behavior, allowing the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Clinovo recently appointed Jeff Parr and Ed Donaldson to its ... solutions business. , Jeff Parr has spent the past decade providing quality management software ... Fisher, and Ab Sciex to name a few. He is based in Salt ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... OAKS, Calif. and BRUSSELS , ... UCB (Euronext Brussels: UCB) today presented additional findings from an ... 1 The findings were presented today in an oral ... Research (ASBMR) 2015 Annual Meeting in Seattle ... --> The small exploratory sub-study data ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 12, 2015 cell surface ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... to rise in incidence of oncology diseases and other cell-associated ... is expected to reach USD 6.49 billion by 2022, according ... growth in demand can be attributed to rise in incidence ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 12, 2015 ... to print version for enriched online experience ... media alternative to print version for enriched online experience ... user-friendly, multi media alternative to print version for ... world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products ...
Breaking Biology Technology: