Question: How can I improve the energy efficiency of my facility's power?
Answer: Power issues, which include problems with transformers, demand charges and controls can take several forms. An energy audit will typically identify energy inefficiencies in one or several of the following areas:
- Transformers remain energized when serving no load for extended periods
- Transformer ambient temperature is high
- Vending machines remain energized during unoccupied periods
- Refrigerator drinking fountains or recirculating chilled drinking water systems are not controlled for occupancy
- Elevator operation is not optimized for occupancy variations
- Lubricants used on major rotating equipment with high load factors have not been optimized for reduction of friction losses
- Substantial electricity demand charges are incurred
- No record of maintenance for motors and motor driven equipment are available
The suggested operations and maintenance ("O&M") improvements and facility improvement measures ("FIM") will vary based on your facility's unique mix of inefficiencies, but what follows are some general guidelines.
Suggested Power O&Ms:
- Disconnect transformers when serving no load for extended periods of time.
- Assure that a forced ventilation system serving space is functioning or that natural ventilation system openings are not obstructed.
- Provide manual operation schedule or connect to existing time clock if practical. Consult with vending company prior to implementation.
- Develop schedule for manual control or connect refrigerator drinking fountains to programmable controllers, if practical.
- Consult with elevator manufacturer for possible operating changes.
- Consult with equipment manufacturers and lubricant manufacturers to determine if lubricant change is cost-effective.
- Determine if use of major electrical equipment can be scheduled to reduce demand.
- Using name plate data, prepare an up to date list of all motors and pumps used in the facility and list routing maintenance to be performed on each.
Suggested Power FIMs:
- Replace worn equipment with more efficient units, if available.