Abacus make a light delivery at Morrisons

An innovative low-energy solution from Abacus has helped make supermarket chain Morrisons’ new multimillion pound Regional Distribution Centre in Bridgwater, Somerset, one of the most energy-efficient distribution centres in Europe.

In line with Morrisons’ business objective to reduce its carbon footprint, the new site was designed using ammonia for refrigeration, high levels of air tightness to avoid unnecessary heat loss and the introduction of daylight in the warehouse to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

To complement these measures, Morrisons’ energy team specified a low energy LED lighting solution that would provide minimal environmental impact and reduce carbon emissions in line with Government targets.
Abacus rose to the challenge by further developing their stylish 2nd generation LED Lightblade. The Lightblade, which has already caused quite a stir since its launch in 2010, has been modified to be controlled using a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) control system. Now incorporating switching/dimmable ballasts controlled by a central computer, the floodlights are able to run at 30% when the distribution centre’s usage is low.  When built-in sensors detect a lorry approaching, the power is automatically and instantly increased to 100%. This variable lighting approach makes this solution one of the most environmentally efficient in the marketplace.

Abacus’ Project Manager, Luke Adams, said: “As a major LED project, this installation is a real showcase for Abacus and we were delighted to be able to strengthen our long-standing relationship with Morrisons.”

The Distribution Centre is situated directly between the M5 and busy rail tracks meaning effective light control was also a vital part of the brief.   Designed to deliver excellent light control and minimum light spill the Lightblade, which is suitable for all classifications of highways and roads, delivers a solution traditionally only achieved by using higher-energy SON (sodium) or metal halide floodlights.

Luke added: “The dimmable floodlights have a significantly lower energy consumption meaning a reduced carbon footprint as well as substantial cost savings for Morrisons.  The Lightblade also produces a better quality of brilliant white light and guarantees a longer lifetime, meaning lower replacement and maintenance costs too.”

Abacus installed 260 140W building and column mounted Lightblades around the site.  Highly energy-efficient, the Lightblade has over 90% recyclable component parts.

Morrisons new Distribution Centre has been built to eventually serve around 90 stores in the West and South West and South Wales and improve the efficiency of logistics for these regions. Covering over 750,000 sq ft, the site includes ambient, chilled, frozen and bread warehouses along with a ‘goods in’ building, resource recovery and vehicle maintenance units, fuel filling station, vehicle wash, two gatehouses and a drivers’ check in building.


Ian Jagger, Electrical Projects Manager at Morrisons, said: “As Morrisons continues to grow, it’s vital we choose the best energy-saving solutions to keep our carbon footprint down. The low-energy Lightblade from Abacus was an excellent accompaniment to the modern, ‘green’ design of our distribution centre in Bridgwater.”





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