April 10, 2014

No and Low Cost Energy Saving Recommendations for Immediate Results

No and low cost energy saving recommendations have no or little cost of implementation, and provide immediate results in energy reduction.

No / low energy saving recommendations have no effect on the building operation other than reducing energy consumption.

The following typical recommendation can be implemented with no or low cost and will result in energy reduction.

• Adjusting the system time schedule to building occupied schedule and tenant lease requirements

Often the systems run much longer than required for various reasons and become attitude as normal for buildings.

Example 1:
Make-up air handling units provide fresh air (outside air) to buildings. Fresh air is required when occupants are in a building. Conditioning the fresh air is using a big amount of gas and electricity especially when the outdoor air temperature is so cold or warm. Make-up air handling units should not run when the building is not occupied.

Example 2:
Sanitary exhaust fans can be turned off when the building is not occupied.

Adjusting the ventilation rate to match the number of occupants in the building

As mentioned in example 1 above, conditioning the fresh air is consuming a lot of energy. Reducing fresh air to a building will reduce energy consumption. As per ASHRAE 62.1-2004, 2007, 17 CFM outside air per person is required (office, default). Count the number of occupants in the building (concierge and security staffs can help to count occupants) and adjust the ventilation rate to match the number of occupant in the building.

Often the fresh air rate to buildings has been set far higher than required.

• Adjusting the mechanical systems set point to the design intent requirements

Check all mechanical system set points to ensure they match to design intent requirements.

• Removing operator overrides in the building automation systems (BAS)

The building automation system (BAS) control the mechanical system and the lighting systems. The systems and points (such as dampers, valves) sometimes are overridden on the BAS due to trouble shooting, repair or by mistake. Operator overrides on all systems should be released by end of each day and put the systems on auto. The building automation services (BAS) can be programmed that remove operator overrides automatically at the end of the day.

• Optimize the lighting schedule

All lights are not required to turn on at the same time in a building. The light zones can be programmed to turn on based on their need.

50% ceiling lights can be turn on for store staff before a store opens and the rest of ceiling lights turn on when the store opens.

Reduce Infiltration and ex-filtration in the building:

Building heat loss occurs mostly thorough infiltration and ex-filtration. Infiltration happens when outdoor air enters a building through cracks, around doors and windows and open doors and windows. Also infiltration happens when the ventilation dampers do not close completely when the ventilation systems are off. Ex-filtration happens when the indoor air leaves a building from the same places that mentioned for infiltration.

Example 1:
Educate people to use rotating door to instead of regular doors.

Example 2:
Check ventilation dampers (e.g., exhaust dampers and outdoor dampers) to ensure they are closed tightly when the ventilation system is off.

CFMS Consulting Inc. – with wide variety of experience (which includes mechanical systems design, controls systems design, commissioning, re-commissioning, energy management and facilities management) can verify the potential no/low cost recommendations in your buildings – please contact us to learn more!

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