If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Philips LED Bulb Prize Technical Review Document Copy

Post updated April 28

Regarding last post on the Philips prize committee technical review (the right side comments),
a copy of the document below.
As said earlier, it was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.


See the original post about the L-Prize for a full rundown of the issues, including more about the testing procedure, the results, and the review comments as in the document copied above:
That post is also kept updated, for overview clarity, with the information here.

Some recent relevant comments on different posts relating to the testing, extra highlighting (capital letters in original) and direct linking added:

To address the points above as to whether the contest was rigged. If the L-Prize bulb clearly FAILED a technical test where there is a clear cut pass or fail outcome that any freshman engineering student can judge, but the technical review committee writes in PASS and explains, in SECRET, without publishing a rules update, that they are lowering the standard so that they can write in PASS, this is clear cut CORRUPTION.

The technical review committee sought to justify secretly altering the uniformity standard stating
“..however, independent data verifies that this distribution is actually much more uniform than a standard incandescent lamp …“

While there can be no justification for secretly lowering the standard to rigg the contest, astoundingly (or not) this statement is false.
Calculating the standard deviation for the L-Prize bulb tested by the DoE and a standard incandescent lamp, using data provided by the Department of Energy shows that L-Prize lamp tested by the DoE was actually less uniform.
See Light Distribution Analysis (alt link)

The production version of the L-Prize (which by the way appears to be a Chinese product) also does not meet the published L-Prize uniformity criteria of +/-10% of average in the zone 0 to 150 degrees.
See data on page 41 of usa.lighting.philips.com document
Also see: Lab plots of light distribution of Philips bulb (alt link)

The stated procedure for the contest was that if the entry failed a required test the entry would fail.
See flowchart on page 15 of L-Prize competition rules.

Southern California Edison (SCE) which was involved in field testing Philips L-Prize entry, decided to lab test 16 of the bulbs.

It turns out 1 of the 16 exhibited a failure mode in which the light turned red by the time it had 1502 hours of run time. This early failure casts doubt on the 20,000 hour (with 95% confidence) lifetime touted by the Department of Energy.
See link on (Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council) web page http://www.etcc-ca.com/component/content/article/48-Commercial/3044-l-prize-lab-evaluation which has link to report

Quoting from the mentioned Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council (ETCC) webpage

This independent lab assessment was initiated in support of both SCE’s L Prize field testing efforts, as well as its energy efficiency incentive/rebate programs.

SCE’s lab testing capabilities present an enormous resource in understanding and developing confidence in the performance of these units. A winning product stands to undergo considerable mileage in terms of usage/acceptance across the United States. As leaders in energy efficiency, it is important that California utilities stay active in monitoring/assessing such technologies.

Regarding the SCE report about the bulb (long pdf document), from the summary:

The technology shows promise in terms of meeting the efficiency and performance criteria set forth in the L Prize.
However, to better assess feasible implementation into incentive
programs, more investigation is recommended in three key areas:

- Lifetime Testing
o The variation of savings realized with these products throughout their lifetime is not well understood at this point.
Long lifetimes are one of the significant advantages of SSL technology, and should be better understood with this product application.

- Dimming capabilities/issues
o It is not currently known how these products perform when used with other dimmers.
o Their observed inability to toggle off with the selected ELV dimmer presents a large barrier, which needs to be overcome for successful implementation.
(When the ON/OFF function was toggled on the dimmer paired with this product, the product was not able to shut off. It encountered visible flickering at a dimly lit state in the OFF position.)
o The issue of green color shift at low dimming is a barrier to investigate/address for successful implementation

- Thermal effects on product performance
o These lamps are specified to use in dry locations, and not within totally enclosed fixtures. The effects of ambient temperatures/humidities on this technology’s performance and lifetime are not well understood at this point.

The conditions these lamps were subjected to in this lab assessment are within a narrow range, when taking into consideration the various climate zones/applications these general-purpose devices may see.

These key areas represent significant barriers,
to acceptance of this technology when compared with baseline CFLs and incandescents.
Further efforts are recommended to fully understand the benefits of SSL technology in this application, and ensure that product utility is not significantly impacted when encouraging customers to purchase products that are more efficient.
It is recommended that the results of the DOE’s evaluation of the first entry to the “60 Watt incandescent” category be closely monitored;
further understanding of this technology may be achieved through more collaboration with DOE testing, as DOE efforts are initiated/completed.


Regarding this bulb,
dimming is also criticized along with other issues in the committee technical review, above.

Regarding LED technology in general,
as this report also takes up, there are indeed several questionable issues relating to lifespan, enduring brightness, ambient temperature effects etc - apart from the light quality itself:
See the Ceolas website referenced rundown.

The "save energy/money in usage" push should not ignore such factors,
or for that matter the life cycle environmental impact, in terms of components in manufacture (more), energy/emissions in production and (overseas) transport, and environmental dumping when not recycled.


Anonymous said...

The greater troubling issues beyond the $60 price of the L-Prize bulb.
The problem is that the L-Prize contest which was supposed to foster U.S. green technology competitiveness was RIGGED.

As a foreign based (headquartered) corporation Philips was excluded from eligibility according to the law that established the L-Prize, in particular public law 110-140 section 655(f)(1). Under U.S. federal law the term "a primary place of business" that is used in the statute refers to the single headquarters location, which in the case of Philips is Amsterdam,Netherlands.

When this issue arose after the announcement of Philips as the L-Prize "winner" the CEO of Philips Lighting North America Zia Eftekhar went on record falsly stating that the L-Prize bulb was "conceived" and had its "origins" in the U.S. See http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4218797/Born-in-the-USA--Philips--L-Prize-LED-bulb The truth as evidenced in Philips patent application on the L-Prize bulb, is otherwise. See http://www.google.com/patents/about/ELECTRIC_LAMP.html?id=adH3AQAAEBAJ The patent application which was, originally filed in Europe in 2008, but published in the U.S. two months after the Philips executive made his misrepresentations, lists only Dutch inventors, no U.S. inventors and assignes the patent to the Dutch Philips entity, not to a U.S. entity.

Philips also spent $1.79 Million lobbying for appropriations for the L-PRIZE see http://freebeacon.com/wp-content//uploads/2012/03/Philips.LightBulb.pdf

Nonetheless "A House Appropriations Committee report issued in June slammed the department for announcing the $10 million prize without prior approval from Congress." see http://freebeacon.com/obamas-dim-bulbs/

The L-Prize entry also failed to meet key technical requirements of the contest. The Philips entry does not meet the stated uniformity requirement of the contest. This is admitted in a document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), see https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B25T0YFa8TKaMDFmYzZmNGItYTMyOS00YmM1LTgyZjAtZWJiNzQ2NmM1MWY3/edit The curt justification asserted in that document based on comparing uniformity to a standard incandescent lamp is factually (quantifiably) false. The L-Prize lamp submitted for evaluation was actually less uniform. See https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B25T0YFa8TKaTHVVbDVrLTVSSkNEcW5MaVNzVTI4dw/edit

The production L-Prize bulb also does not meet the published L-Prize uniformity criteria of +/-10% of average in the zone 0 to 150 degrees. See data on page 41 of http://www.usa.lighting.philips.com/pwc_li/us_en/lightcommunity/trends/l-prize/assets/EnduraLED_A19_Bulb_9290002097.pdf and https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B25T0YFa8TKaWExFamtJcG9nSUE/edit?pli=1

Whether the Philips lightbulb actually satisfies the L-Prize 25,000 hour lifetime with less than 10% failure requirement is put into question by the fact that in an independent laboratory evalutation conducted by the Southern California Edison 1 of 16 bulbs failed by changing color to red. See http://www.etcc-ca.com/component/content/article/48-Commercial/3044-l-prize-lab-evaluation

The Philips entry also failed to produce the required amount of light. In one test 62 out of 100 bulbs failed. (See above linked FOIAed document) Whether the commercialized version will consistently produce the required amount of light is an open question, HOWEVER the stated procedure for the contest was that if the entry failed a required test the entry would fail. See flowchart on page 15 of http://www.lightingprize.org/pdfs/LPrize-Revision1.pdf

What happened is that Philips wanted to submit prematurely to claim the prize (see http://reason.com/archives/2012/03/09/feds-pay-10-million-for-50-light-bulb ) and the Department of Energy did not want to follow the rules and fail them, rather they embarked on RIGGING the contest. They kept the failure secret and proceeded with other tests.

Anonymous said...

The result is that a bulb developed by Dutch inventors, built with some (possibly most) of its parts made in Shenzhen China (see http://www.dailytech.com/Philips+Wins+10M+USD+Govt+LPrize+for+Worlds+Most+Efficient+Light+Bulb/article24082.htm ) has been given a great initial advantage which may allow it to dominate U.S. competitors, even though the contest is RIGGED.

We may wind up with Dutch citizens enjoying social welfare benefits such as vacations for the unemployed, supported by Chinese workers working 16 hours a day and American consumers squeezed by $60 light bulb prices whether they pay that amount at the check out counter or indirectly pay for subsidies through their electric bill.

Cory Douglas said...

While this bulb may indeed be flawed both in the contest and in its trials, I have some American made bulbs that have lasted over a year with non-stop use (I live in a basement and generally the lights are on day in and day out). LEDs are the way to go in my opinion. And I am much more than a first year engineering student; I am an Electrical Engineer. You can read my article on this bulb as well as my American made one here: http://engineergreen.blogspot.com/2012/04/phillips-freedon-led-light-bulb.html

Cory Douglas said...

Didn't get my site link correct so here is try 2": Another article on the freedom bulb

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