Wednesday, 15 October 2014

John Guthrie, Energy Efficiency Manager, ABB writes: As an employee working for one of the businesses or organisations covered under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, involvement goes beyond simply turning off lights and monitors when you go home.  These are habits that sadly prove hard to change in people and offer only small contributions to savings in energy usage.

The focus for greater energy efficiency improvements should be more on the overall efficiency of the buildings, factories and office space for which your company is responsible.  Tackling the highest energy consuming areas should be the number one priority.  This can be done by carrying out an audit of the energy intense equipment onsite, with facilities and systems with high running hours being the focus.

In a hospital, for example, one of the major systems in terms of electricity usage is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  While this is a vital part of the hospitals operations, it is also a system that is running 24/7/365 and is one that, if not optimised to be as efficient as possible, can see energy costs easily spiral.

Carrying out an audit with a specialist supplier is the start of optimising this, as without knowing the current performance of the installed HVAC system, it is not possible to find out the current efficiency level nor look at measures to improve it.

One simple energy efficiency improvement that can be made on HVAC systems is the retrofitting of a variable-speed drive (VSD) to control the speed of the system in-line with demand. This uses the VSD to control the speed of the motor driving the HVAC system and slows it down during periods of lower demand and speeds it up again when demand increases.  This has proven to save between 20 to 60 percent in energy consumption, with the installation of a VSD in most cases eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances to help cover the cost of the retrofit too.  These are quick-win energy saving applications that can pay for themselves in often less than a year.

If these savings are multiplied across similar systems onsite, then the savings in energy consumption soon begin to add up, and help reduce the energy bills of the site, which of course is the name of the game when it comes to compliance to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.  The lower the emissions and energy usage of your business, then the lower the costs to comply with the scheme.

Who can help me ensure I comply?

The key to ensuring that a focus on overall energy efficiency of a site and its installed systems, is to appoint a competent supplier that is able to provide tools and services that allow the efficiency of installed equipment and systems to be analysed, optimised, upgraded or even replaced to give the optimum energy savings.

Suppliers that offer a range of services throughout the lifecycle of installed components and systems is also vital, as this ensures that the upgrading and replacement of installed equipment is handled on a pro-active basis, with recycling and disposal of components also included.

For more information about the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme or to arrange your energy audit, then contact the ABB Energy & Productivity team via e-mail, or call 07000 ABB AVP, that’s 07000 222 287. You can also find out more about the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme by visiting the ABB website.

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