Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

Informed decision-making requires accurate information

Enda Ruxton

Energy costs are typically among the top three operational expenses incurred by businesses. Consequently, large savings can be made by achieving small increases in efficiency. However, the greatest challenge lies in identifying precisely where best to make those savings.

Enter Enda Ruxton of Energy Supervisor … he has the experience and tools to reveal energy inefficiencies within a business, and the ability to devise customised solutions to tackle and eliminate them. An added bonus is that these monitoring measures can be installed on a temporary basis to begin with, thus ensuring that the solution proposed on foot of the information captured is guaranteed to deliver energy savings.

Energy Supervisor Ltd offers a variety of energy monitoring solutions capable of measuring electrical loads, oil and gas consumption, thermal energy utilisation and water usage. All tools and protocols are all based on existing standards, requiring no proprietary hardware or software for installation or data access. The hardware is specifically designed to be non-invasive, requiring minimal downtime on installation and reducing the up-front cost of implementation.

What cannot be measured cannot be improved                                                                        All of the data gathered by the sensor technology is reported through the Cloud to Energy Supervisor’s secure servers where it can be retrieved and analysed with the convenient click of a mouse. Precise activity-based, cost analysis can be performed on that data to reveal “hidden” energy wastage that can be proactively tackled and eliminated.

This analysis and targeted solution-solving is ideal when looking at different aspects of an operation. Take for instance the following examples:

Refrigeration                                                                                                                                                                               Older refrigeration and aircon systems can be inefficient in comparison to new products on the market, but providing clients with an estimated analysis based on product data sheets is very often not enough to convince them that investment in the new kit is worthwhile. Measuring the actual performance of existing systems and attributing costs based on activity provides real tangible costs for customers to instill them with the confidence to invest.

Energy monitoring systems can assist in maximizing the performance of expensive capital assets. For example, chiller systems require flow rate measurement to ensure that they are operating within manufacturers’ recommended tolerances during commissioning and during their operating life.

Heating                                                                                                                                                                                              Energy measurement of oil or gas consumption of a boiler, and heat output from the boiler, provides the boilers’ operating efficiency showing when maintenance is due. Finding out where heat use and heat loss is within the distribution network can be achieved using heat meters. These can also be used for individual billing.

Lighting                                                                                                                                                                                           The continuous debate between the merits of T5 lamps and LED products to substitute T8 flourescent lighting causes many people to invest without measuring the “before and after “effect of their investment. Hence they never know if their decision was the correct one. Various lighting products have different lumen/watt performances, coupled with different life expectancy and lifetime performance.

Additional benefits                                                                                                                                                                    Apart from the obvious direct energy related savings, there are numerous other benefits to consider. These include:

– The ability to forecast energy expenditure on a month-to-month business contributes to the cash flow management of any business;

– Measurement of individual machines and devices can be used to predict maintenance requirements, e.g., if a motor normally operates at 1.5Kw and the load increases to 2kw, this is an indicator that the mechanical device it drives needs maintenance, the motor is overheating etc;

– Bench-marking of multiple machines, production lines, individual sites;

– Use of the software as a decision support system for investment decisions;

– Use for implementation and measurement of ISO standards such as 50001;

– Automatic meter reading to allocate costs to particular cost centres.

Contact: Enda Ruxton, EnergySupervisor. Tel: 042 – 950 0150





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