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Incremental upgrade of building emergency
lighting fittings as they fail

for Multi building application

Background - Manually tested, halogen and fluorescent fittings with NiCd batteries

The Novotel Sydney Central is a contemporary 4.5 Star, 18 level Hotel located in Haymarket just 500 metres from the heart of Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

Built in 1988 and having gone through a refurbishment in 2008, the hotel comprises 255 guest rooms, restaurants and 10 function rooms. Novotel Sydney Central is operated by Accor Hotels who owns, manages and franchises hotels, resorts and vacation properties across the globe. Accor operates in 100 countries, with more than 4,800 hotels and 280,000 employees worldwide.

The emergency and exit lighting installed was manually tested, halogen and fluorescent fittings with NiCd batteries which had poor energy efficiency and were expensive to maintain and test.

With the goal of achieving a low cost of ownership and full site testing compliance, the Hotel Chief Engineer, Yi Ding was looking for a solution. In August 2019, Clevertronics were invited to the AccorHotels NSW/ACT Engineering Managers meeting to present on all things emergency lighting, including latest innovations, technology and meeting statutory compliance requirements, it was during this presentation Yi Ding was introduced to the Clevertronics XT HIVE monitored system; and the solution to his site challenges became apparent.


The Challenge - High failure rates and unacceptable maintenance costs

When asked about the challenges currently facing them with manually testing the emergency lighting in the building Yi Ding the Chief Engineer, Novotel Sydney Central said;

“Testing now is difficult and expensive, we have to test out of hours so the contractor needs to come in at 4:30 in the morning and switch the lights off (not all circuits have test switches due to the age of the building) we also have to pay extra staff to be here at that time”.

In addition, the existing baseline data that our compliance testing contractor has relating to circuit and switchboard details is incomplete and inadequate.” Coupled with this was the high failure rates of the existing fittings resulting in unacceptable ongoing maintenance cost.


The Solution - Incremental upgrades using XT HIVE Monitored System

A Clevertronics XT HIVE Monitored System – One single HIVE controller and base fittings were installed as part of an incremental upgrade of the site emergency & exit lighting.

When asked why upgrading to XT Hive was the best option financially – Yi Ding commented

“We had a limited budget so we couldn`t do the whole building in one installation. With HIVE though we can begin with the infrastructure and a limited amount of fittings and then incrementally upgrade the building as fittings fail. This feature was an essential feature and XT Hive is the best value in achieving a bulletproof, low cost of ownership monitored system.”

When asked why he agreed with Yi Ding’s recommendation of the Clevertronics XT HIVE solution, the Installing contractor – Trent Cumines from Disc Electrical a leading Sydney based Electrical contracting business with extensive experience in hotels and commercial markets upgrading emergency and exit lighting said:

“There are some challenges with the wiring onsite. We have worked with other RF and powerline monitored systems before, due to the wiring/infrastructure on site, none of these were suitable. I did look at some other RF systems on the market however they were more expensive from an installation standpoint and due to the building layout were not suitable to get effective communication to all areas.”

“XT HIVE with its meshing was the only reliable solution”

Also from a support perspective, he wanted to use a brand that he could be confident had a proven reputation to support the system whole of life. XT HIVE backed by Clevertronics Lifetime Technical Support (LTS) was the clear choice.

“We have worked with all manner of systems in the past, however the XT HIVE technology is backed by the best after sales support in the market which means we can execute the project with absolute certainty that our client will get the absolute best outcome”.

We have 100 fittings installed onsite which with its meshing commissioned in less than it took to get a coffee and we can now perform emergency exit light testing and certification safely without affecting visitors, guests, staff and hotel operations. It has definitely streamlined the entire process and we are looking forward to expanding the network to the remainder of the building.

The Server and controller; have been located in the engineering office at the base of the building, there are several exit and emergency fittings nearby to establish the mesh network to the rest of the building.

Daniel Garden the assistant chief engineer on the site goes on to say…..

”The BMS and the XT HIVE server are on a separate dedicated network allowing remote access”

this will enable the Clevertronics LTS team to assist in supporting the site remotely as the staged upgrade continues towards a fully monitored building.


The Result - Following phases require no additional backbone hardware

In March 2020 the initial installation of the first stage of the upgrade including 100 fittings, controller and server was completed, on time and to budget with no disruption to hotel activities with the commissioning of the system concluded in a matter of minutes.

The remaining older Nicad fittings will be replaced incrementally as they fail or as part of the planned site upgrade works. Due to each XT HIVE controller being able to manage 1000 fittings, no additional backbone hardware is required on site. The Clevertronics LTS program will now begin on this site, offering ongoing support for the life of the system.


Solutions for every industry application

Clevertronics has extensive experience across many different industries and applications. We specialise in emergency lighting to ensure the best solution is selected.