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Encon installed a sustainable lighting system at BelOrta - a major project with an impact not only in financial terms, but also in terms of job quality!

BelOrta is the largest co-operative fruit and vegetable auction in Belgium and a European market leader. Its 370 staff and more than 1,350 active horticulturalists generate a 400-million-euro turnover. Its registered office is situated at Sint-Katelijne-Waver, but BelOrta also has branches at Borgloon, Zellik, Kampenhout, Fernelmont and Visé. BelOrta's market share amounts to almost 40% of all Belgian horticultural produce traded through auctions. More than 1,350 horticulturists guarantee a year-round supply of more than 125 vegetable varieties and 25 fruit varieties.

VLEEN energy savings programme

Along with nine other companies, BelOrta participates in the VLEEN energy savings programme. VLEEN is an acronym for ‘Vlaamse Lerende Energie-Efficiënte Netwerken’ (Flemish Learning Energy Efficient Networks), with Encon acting in an advisory role. Companies that participate in this programme meet on a regular basis to explore energy saving measures. One of the projects where BelOrta and Encon worked together, was the organisation of a relighting project. Given the large surface area of the buildings that BelOrta requires in order to receive, process and then distribute its products to its customers, BelOrta's energy consumption in terms of lighting was considerable. For this company, however, it is very important to have sufficient and adequate lighting in its warehouses, as this allows their products to be assessed correctly. Labels and receipts need to be clearly legible in order for the logistical workflow to run smoothly. When making the necessary calculations, Encon also took into account the correct colour rendering of the products.

Improved light levels despite an 80% reduction in energy consumption

The previous lighting system using fluorescent lights was first mapped and the company's buildings were measured. Using light analyses, Encon developed a new LED lighting system. The new installation makes use of the daylight that enters the company buildings through the skylights. Presence sensors control the lighting system depending on activity and by means of a smart operating system. As a result of this relighting operation, the lighting system's energy consumption was reduced from 1.4 GWh to 0.2 GWh, equivalent to savings of over 80%.

A fully automated and optimised lighting installation

This lighting installation is fully automatic and has been optimised to achieve maximum energy savings. To this end, the following provisions were made:

Presence sensors:

In case of any activity in a certain zone of the warehouse, the lighting in this zone will be switched on. If there is no more activity in this zone, the lighting will be dimmed after a preset period. If there is still no activity after a certain time, the lighting will be switched off.

Daylight controlling:

The lighting installation is equipped with daylight meters. These measure the intensity of the daylight that enters the buildings through the skylights. Each luminaire can be dimmed separately on the basis of dimming curves. The dimming of each luminaire depends on its location in the building (e.g. under, next to or further away from a skylight). Because each luminaire can be controlled separately, a stable light level can be achieved on the shop floor. Maintaining this light level can be ensured by a continuously varying mix of LED lighting and incoming daylight.

Smart controls:

A touch panel provides a central overview of the lighting system and can be used to intervene if required. The touch panel offers various images and allows numerous settings without any programming or changes to the cabling, e.g. the configuration of work zones and the selection of dimming curves. The status of the lighting system can also be monitored. If required, the lighting can be controlled by means of a timetable. During the holiday season, the automatic switching on of lighting can be deactivated by means of a specific schedule. It is also possible to configure control zones with a specific light level, and provide aisle lighting, emergency and/or night-time lighting.

To summarise:

  • Relighting by means of LED luminaires with smart controls
  • Savings of over 80% on the energy consumption of the lighting installation
  • Fully automated lighting installation
  • Savings on energy costs worth € 145,528/year
  • Reduced emissions of 472,021 kg of CO2/year
  • A payback period of 1 year and 6 months

About BelOrta:

  • The largest cooperative auction (fruit, vegetables and organic produce) in Europe
  • Location: Sint-Katelijne-Waver
  • 370 staff and 1,350 active horticulturalists generate a turnover of €400 million.