OUR BLOGABOUT ENERGY AND EFFICIENCY -OF COURSE
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Digitization can bring significant improvement to energy efficiency through reduced workloads and faster operations. It can also increase the availability of savings and the most energy-efficient alternative in different situations. Utilizing the results and data continuously would allow the creation of new added value. The pioneers of this change are the winners of digitalisation. It can significantly increase the productivity and reliability of energy efficiency. However, it requires the development of work processes and methods and tools. Only the development of the entire activity will improve the competitiveness and enable the production of added value.
In many discussions with energy efficiency professionals, it has came out that the digitization of existing consumer and technical information does not bring real added value. Decisions can no longer be made on based on mere beliefs or typical repayment periods. Several experiences have also shown that individual Clean Tech solutions do not appear to affect overall consumption as claimed.
All energy efficiency theories and instructions prove that calculations and estimates must be based on the energy balance. Practice has proven that forgetting this principle will lead to wrong solutions.
Our strong experience shows that energy audit manuals, statistical methods, monitoring energy management services, Green Building and Checklist procedures can only produce jargons instead of a genuine energy balance. Energy balance is much more than measured energy consumption.
The world’s largest industry standard, ASHRAE, has also come to the conclusion that the most productive and most reliable level 3 energy audit needs energy balance modeling and energy balance interaction calculation. However, modeling applications have long been unsuitable for energy efficiency. The solutions have designed for the big industry and are excpencive.
The modelling solutions is generally based on CAD images in markets. This has been a natural development step in the design processes that allows a big inaccuracy. In energy efficiency their use, however, is really difficult because CAD images are not found in most of the buildings. Drawings should also be pixel-processed before use. Modifying the drawings usually takes up the entire budget. In addition, the images of all CAD programs are not useful. Typically markets trying to sell value through 3D images, which make possible to rotate the building. The biggest problem with CAD modeling is that they are essentially the sub-optimizers of the components. It lacks the most essential energy balance and its utilization.
It seems that digitalisation winners need to take care not only of the whole process but also of relying on the correct energy balance.
From the point of view of the customer, it is essential to have reliable information on the benefits and costs received. The payback time should be known in different situations and uncertain investments are not the means to accepted. Related to energy efficiency, it is often assumed that measuring is the only correct and accurate way to make energy efficiency decisions. If so, then it should be considered how accurate the results should be?
If the savings are estimated at +/- 10% and the cost is +/- 10%, then the uncertainty of the repayment period is approximately +/- 14%. However, it is very rarely possible to predict the costs. Lowering the uncertainty of savings by +/- 3% improves the uncertainty of the repayment period by approx. +/- 11%. On the other hand, savings of +/- 7% +/- 12% are achieved in uncertainty. So the pursuit of better accuracy is a waste of money. However, the real uncertainties of savings are much larger. It is certainly a good idea to know where the uncertainty of energy savings is due.
According to the studies the optimization of the energy consumption of individual equipment and components often leads to bad mistakes in the energy balance. This error is also called suboptimization. This is usually the result of energy-based purchases of energy-based appliances, individual component reviews, and CAD-based software. Reliability of results problems arise whenever all energy fractions and interaction between energy streams are ignored. Ignoring the heating and cooling cycles distorts the results as well. This often happens when the calculation becomes too complicated or the goal is to supply only certain devices.
Are the measurements anyway the only correct way or whether they want to avoid using other methods? The benefits of continuous measurements are often low, so its enrichment can be overlooked. Everything is virtually impossible to measure. The design of power plants, paper machines, pulp mills, etc., and their production and quality optimization are based on modeling. Why could not it also work in energy efficiency?
Good modeling of energy balance results in better accuracy and reliability in studies. This is because of their ability to deal with complicated interactions. Its calculations can take into account all the energy bills also those that can not be measured. The calculations take into account all heating and operating cycles correctly. Best of them can be optimization and scenarios for the future, including monitoring of energy management measures and results. According to several international comparative studies, modeling also results in the same accuracy and measurement as individual consumption.
The first steps to digitizing energy efficiency have been taken in consumption monitoring. Their implementation has been easy and every engineer naturally loves measurement. It was also easy for customers to buy spectacular trends and pies to control rooms. In this text, we are tackling what they are producing to us when the goal is to save energy.
Reading energy bill directly from energy companies and reporting on consumption has helped to increase understanding. From the heat energy trends can be deduced the correlation with outdoor temperature etc. as well as electricity consumption following use, etc. How can be deduced by results the means to get energy savings?
Generally recommended that more accurate measurements are required to find savings. Measuring electrical consumption of group centers and rises are easy. They are mostly mixed centers, so they do not tell whether it is a consumption change in the lights, FAHU machines or anything else in them. Measuring the heat consumption of each radiator, FCU and FAHU or even industrial equipment seems to be economically impossible. Heat energy is shown to be evaluated by models and calculations. After all, what should we measure?
Consumption data for individual devices or groups of devices is already much more telling. They see a change due to consumption and possible breakages or long-term wear and tear. Measuring often serves the needs of maintenance well but finding energy savings poorly.
In order to avoid partial optimization, the reduction of the balance of the energy balance requires, according to the instructions, the examination of all energy fractions. Only then can real savings be achieved without undoing each other. The energy balance has a significant role in secondary heat, heat leaks in buildings and the effects of solar radiation. Measuring them is practically impossible.
For reliable results, all effective fractions should be identified. It can also be done according to energy efficiency guides, for example by calculating or comparing comparisons. What measurements are needed then?
Measurements are needed to adjust processes, access to consumption data from hardly predictable consumption objects and of course billing. They can also be used as a means of verifying the change. But how do measurements bring a solution to energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is achieved by experts’ experience by constantly doing the right things. The assessment of the right measures requires the determination of the consumption of energy fractions and their impact. The estimates shall also include the technical, technical and environmental information of the equipment and structures affecting them. These energy stream currents form an energy balance model that explains how the changes affect the energy balance.
Will the benefits of digitality come from the automation of these functions?
Digitalization of activities will improve productivity in all areas and enable new added value generation. Collection and presentation of energy consumption measurement results has already come from a number of commercial applications around the world. Measurements have been used in industry for decades in models and calculations of production and quality automation. Is it now right time to digitize energy efficiency functions?
The digitization of the functionalities of energy audits, ESCO projects and energy management systems ISO 50 001 would bring significant improvement to productivity. At the same time, it would significantly increase the profitability and reliability of the results. Is it now the right time to digitize energy efficiency services and get the full energy saving potential into everyday energy management for the user?
For energy efficiency professionals, digital systems create new opportunities and increase their credibility and appreciation. This also promotes the utilization and use of energy efficiency.
Do you want to work digitally more productive and more enjoyable?
There are many mistakes in energy efficiency operations. Fortunately, most of them are quite harmless and only lead to extra costs. Some of mistakes deceive the wrong decisions and produce mistrust. Unfortunately, part of it may have fatal consequences for people’s health and property.
The real benefits of the LED lights are discussed in daily discussions here in the Nordic countries. Many people recall how energy saving lamps only increased heat consumption. Even after the change, the lights may be more on due to the changed operating modes and the electric bill will remain at the pre-change level. Or it’s advised on adding the solar window films to reduce cooling costs as well. It’s true that th films reduce the need for cooling but, on the other hand, they will welcome the multiple heating effect on the heating season here in the cold Nordic. We can also read about mould in schools, hospitals, homes, etc. Apart from the quality of construction issues too many ventilation stops in the name of energy efficiency are too often found.
In warm countries chillers are measured and studied for weeks, even though SEER tells about its condition. There are also existing automation systems for optimizing their efficiency. Politicians have been lobbying in the EU to promote the use of inverters without identifying the fact that in most cases it only increases electricity consumption. It is not written in the Directive that more efficient technology is available.
Electric cars are praised as an alternative to the future, even though they use with very low efficiency coal produced and transferred electricity. Not to mention the use of wood as biofuel and the regeneration of the earth with oil-based fertilizer. In spite of the low tax resources, some countries pay subsidies for unprofitable wind power.
All of us professionals have probably found such unimaginable beliefs. I think everyone remembers the equivalent of doing it or recommending it. Would we like to share those experiences with each other’s delight and learning?
We could increase the credibility of the industry by increasing energy efficiency in raising know-how and raising awareness. We could improve the productivity of work and the reliability of the results, for example through digitization and a more accurate verifying and follow-up of energy savings. These could tangibly improve the value and credibility of energy efficiency.
/post, Tommi Impivaara
Problems with air quality are growing exponentially around the world. In Finland alone, an estimated maintenance backlog cost of tens of billions of Euros has been caused by issues with moisture and mould. In addition, there are individual health issues that will emerge at a later point. Can some of these problems be attributed to incorrect measures taken in the name of savings in energy?
In recent years, I have encountered a growing number of energy-related measures taken in relation to ventilation. I am sad to say that most of them are totally incomprehensible. Sometimes mechanical ventilation is completely turned off outside office hours during weekdays and for whole weekends. At the same time it is generally known that humidity residing in the ventilation ducts will start forming harmful spores in a matter of hours. Getting rid of these spores is a significantly larger problem, especially after they have already spread to other structures via ventilation. With no exchange air coming in, exhaust air equipment in wetrooms etc. will also extract harmful spores from drains and structures, spreading them in the indoor air. In addition to unpleasant odours, dangerous spores spread onto otherwise healthy surfaces and structures. I have witnessed countless situations where some energy-efficiency wizard has paid the home a quick visit only to leave a five-item to-do list for a low price.
Everyone has the right to high-quality air
Good and healthy air is the result of high-quality structures, correctly controlled ventilation, and adhering to environmental requirements. In normal conditions, ventilation is meant to transport an adequate amount of fresh outside air indoors and to remove moisture and impurities. Its purpose is not to kill all bacteria or viruses that normally reside in outdoor air. Something like that can even be extremely harmful. People and the environment need bacteria also. The used air must be removed properly. No odours or chemicals contained therein must be returned to the indoor air. In modern construction technology, regular tracking of structures and ventilation ducts is a must. Repairing or replacing spoiled structures must be done without delay. Otherwise the damage will only spread further. When selecting structures and ventilation systems, the requirements set by outside air and the environment should be considered. The technical solutions and the required level of automation are dictated by the number and scope of changes. The solutions should be user-friendly so that their features can also be utilised in different situations.
Energy efficiency comes from correctly implemented production
Energy efficiency can also bring good results and increased productivity. However, planning the operations must be based on defining the bigger picture. By taking into account all the factors and their interdependencies we can arrive at energy-efficient ventilation. No checklists or certificates alone can achieve this. Energy-efficient ventilation will then produce the right amount of high-quality fresh air at the right time, and simultaneously protect structures from moisture and mould. It will also efficiently utilise the energy in the extracted air.
The best practical energy optimisation of mechanical ventilation comes from modelling the target home or building. Then we can take into account all the air quality -related regulations, use of the space(s), and technology in planning for energy efficiency. In applications developed for construction planning, the accuracy is at the level required by building regulations (+/- 10-20%). However, this is not sufficient for achieving energy efficiency. Using a good tool for energy balance modelling, we achieve better accuracy and can also note the interactions of the various energy flows. With a tool like this different usage scenarios and technical solutions can also be easily simulated. This will ensure all the more energy-efficient ventilation implementations. Continuous operational design and tracking, as well as result assessment, are crucial for maintaining a good level and for achieving continuous development. Energy efficiency requires mastering all the components and factors, top-level expertise, and the best available modelling application.
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ASHRAE Level 3 Energy Audit produces excellent results -but how it is possible in a cost-effective way?
ASHRAE Level 3 Energy Audit is Detailed Analysis of Capital Intensive Modifications. It is the most comprehensive and complete energy audit in a 3-step procedure. It also produces the best results and increases the reliability and usability of the energy savings potential. Implementing these requirements has so far been very demanding and time-consuming, and making it computationally very difficult.
Level 3 Energy Audit provides detailed project cost and savings calculations with the high level of confidence required for major capital investment decisions. This audit alternatively is called a comprehensive audit, detailed audit, or technical analysis audit. It provides a dynamic model of energy use characteristics of both the existing facility and all energy conservation measures identified. The building model is calibrated using actual utility data to provide a realistic baseline against which to compute operating savings for proposed measures. Extensive attention is given to understanding not only the operating characteristics of all energy consuming systems, but also the situations that cause load profile variations on both an annual and a daily basis.
We have a solution to these heavy Level 3 requirements: New € 2EnergyBalance fully meets the ASHRAE 3 level with a dynamic model and calculation requirements. It is also suitable for ESCO projects, which can also take advantage of the Follow-up and Verification functions. With Energy Management features it can implement ISO 50001 functional requirements as well. The Energy Balance Model can be built for both existing and design buildings.
€2EnergyBalance is a cloud service that provides with an open interface and full control of energy audit projects for the expert. Because of its ready functionalities and ease of use, it saves significantly working time (up to 70-80%), increases energy saving potential (normally 20-40%) and improves the reliability of the findings (accuracy up to +/- 3%).
Check out www.e2clinic.com or ask for a demo: firstname.lastname@example.org