We provide a variety of energy related services including the calculations and modeling required for compliance with current building codes, as well as for energy conservation studies. For energy conservation projects we use a multi-disciplinary approach that involves not only energy engineering, but also incorporates, as needed, mechanical engineering, data communication, environmental testing and monitoring, ventilation studies, and computer science.
As a base line for energy audits we follow the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) publication Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits. However, we typically go well beyond this and incorporate an evaluation of the facilities equipment and its operation while looking for opportunities for energy saving. Many times we find that adjustment and repair of existing equipment, particularly control equipment, results in such great savings that capital costs for energy conservation measures are unnecessary. Frequently, along with the energy audit data we are able to provide the information necessary to institute a scheduled replacement and preventative maintenance program, so that savings are enjoyed not just from reduced energy use, but also from reduced maintenance and replacement costs. As a bonus, this also results in greater reliability for equipment.
All audits include the collection of data, such as utility bills, and background information concerning the facilities operation and energy use. We also ask for records on maintenance, and equipment age. If a computerized energy management system is available, it will be queried to produce reports on operation. If available, we mine this data to find opportunities for saving. For example, great savings can be accomplished by shutting down equipment when it is not in use, or reducing thermostat set points during unoccupied periods, or turning off exhaust fans and lights when they are not required. These sometimes result in a significant savings that can be enjoyed for the cost of reprogramming the computer control system.
With information in hand about the operation of the facility, the next step is a brief walk-around audit to identify no-cost to very low-cost opportunities for energy savings that are apparent without detailed analysis. During this phase, we also look for locations and areas where additional logging or data collection may find opportunities for savings. This may include things like monitoring of control over outside ventilation air, exhaust fans, lighting, dehumidification, and fan cycles. If may also include data logging of temperatures to determine if comfort conditions are being maintained uniformly and if night setback settings are actually being implemented by equipment. Temperature control equipment is reviewed to determine if it is obsolete, and if monitoring of its operation is warranted.
Based upon the results of the walk-around audit, additional testing an analysis can be performed, including calculations of cost savings for potential energy conservation measures.
We are then able to prepare design documents, energy conservation measures, assist with bidding, and monitor installation. For measures such as night setback, and fan scheduling, we typically perform verification testing.
Here are some examples of past projects that illustrate our approach.
- Water Damage Analysis Improves Building HVAC Performance
- Ventilation Rates Determined by IAQ Studies