Energy Management

monitoring electrical consumption

monitoring electrical consumption

People who manage buildings are often called upon to manage the energy usage. This is in line with the role of management to do things efficiently. How to go about saving energy? This section gives some guidelines.

The following are some requirements for a successful energy management program:

  • Management commitment
  • Appointed responsible person
  • Energy audit
  • Energy saving program
  • Progress monitoring

 

Energy audit

ammeter monitoring current use

ammeter monitoring current use

Once you have the commitment from management and a responsible person to drive the program, the real hard work begins. The energy audit is a close look at the present situation of the building. The auditor tries to determine how the energy is being wasted or used inefficiently.

It is logical to check through the electrical consumption of the equipment. Lots of data monitoring is required in order to form load profiles of energy usage. Measuring instruments are used to monitor them. The largest consumers can be determined here. It could be the air conditioning system.

Ask questions like where do the energy go? Is it lost through openings in the building? Is the system producing more energy than required? Could temperature settings be changed to reduce energy usage? Do people have to be educated and made aware of energy losses? Is there too much fresh air being taken into the air conditioning system?

Examining the electrical bills may point to charges that can be reduced. Power correction capacitor banks may be needed in the distribution boards. Maximum demand charges may also be reduced by selective program starting of large motors. The running of equipment during off-peak hours may be opportunities to reduce electrical billing charges.

dessicant air dryer

dessicant air dryer

Only when sufficient data is procured can any correlation be done to form a basis for action. We can also determine whether machines are being run at the most efficient manner.

The energy audit can also identify problems in the system. Are all the equipment and controls working properly? Are pumps matched to the requirement? Can some elevators be shut off during the night? Can the building materials be made more energy efficient? Can the glass panels be made reflective to reduce heat absorption? Is there any air lost through doors or windows? Are there any inefficient machines or lighting that can be replaced?

Any findings from the audit will form the basis for remedial action.

 

Energy Saving Program

control room for electrical generation power station

control room for electrical generation power station

A comprehensive plan for remedial action takes into account the people involved, the budget for implementation, the additional installations or materials needed, the monitoring of results and the expected savings over a period of time. An energy saving program also involves the setting up of a schedule of activities and milestones to make sure it goes according to plan. There will also be short-term goals and long-term goals.

The rewards may be worth the effort.