This article is sponsored by ASSA ABLOY.
Commercial and institutional buildings use physical access control systems (PACS) to prevent unauthorized entry. Electrified locking systems are also used to manage access control during emergencies (e.g., fire or lockdown). Typical PACS consist of a power supply, solenoid-operated mortise lock, and additional access control components for entry and egress. A PACS environment has two primary locking device applications: fail safe (lock always energized/power removed to unlock door) and fail secure (lock energized to unlock).
But a power supply and solenoid-operated mortise lock typically consume a great deal of power, points out ASSA ABLOY, maker of EcoFlex electrified mortise locks from ASSA ABLOY Group brands Corbin Russwin and SARGENT. The EcoFlex locks, winner of a 2015 Environmental Leader Top Product of the Year Award, replace solenoids by pairing its electrically efficient motor drive with a control circuit that regulates the input voltage and temporarily stores energy within a capacitor. This saves over 50 kWh per year per opening in a way that is “innovative, advanced, and commercially viable,” according to one Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards judge.
The EcoPower power supply, similar to a plug-in hybrid car, uses its included battery to power the locking device. When the battery is powering the lock, the power supply passes no energy across the transformer and draws less than 10 mW in order to monitor for an access control or fire alarm signal. When the battery is depleted to 50% capacity, the power supply activates to recharge the battery before reverting back to its sleep state. This maintains 24 hours of battery backup available should the power go out.
Because 50% of a fail safe system’s energy and nearly 100% of a fail secure system’s energy are consumed by the power supply, EcoPower disconnects from the electric grid to accomplish zero load, ASSA ABLOY says. When used together, this system creates energy savings of 99% compared to traditional alternatives, as certified by GreenCircle. Another EL Product & Project Awards Judge called ASSA ABLOY’s solution “highly commendable, with a direct positive impact on the society and environment, as well as helping organizations to meet their sustainability goals and reduce operational expenses.”
Globally, there are hundreds of thousands of traditional electrified mortise locks and power supplies installed annually. For every 100,000 units replaced with the EcoFlex/EcoPower system, nearly 10 million kWh of electrical consumption would be eliminated from the grid, as well as a reduction in the amount of solid waste generated on site from fewer mortise lock failures and replacements (every 5–7 years), ASSA ABLOY says.