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|This page was developed by the Queen's University Applied Sustainability Research Group.|
Many of the busiest buildings today are quite old. Some of these buildings waste large amounts of energy, resulting in higher loads on the grid as well as increased operational costs. Furthermore, the energy demands of our society are on the rise. These factors, combined with the climate change dilemma, indicate that before increasing energy output, the load on the grid should be reduced. By auditing existing facilities, large gains in efficiency can be made. These gains result in a reduction in energy consumption as well as monetary savings. Often, solutions to problems require little to no money and involve only a change in operational philosophy. In the case of retrofitting, most payback periods are on the order of a few years or less. These retrofits can provide large efficiency gains while adding a negligible amount of maintenance. This page is intended to be used as a basis for performing energy audits. It provides a general guideline for auditing and the suggested data to collect. Every situation is unique, however, and care should be taken to ensure that the proper solutions are being implemented.
Understanding the Market
Most buildings contain the potential for great energy savings. In order to exploit this potential, a number of economic factors must be considered. These include (but are not limited to):
- Initial/start-up cost
- Savings potential
- Equipment life
- Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and sometimes Payback period
Other considerations include the use of fuel and electricity. Understanding the economic trends of these energy sources can be of great benefit. For instance, some equipment types have the capability of multiple fuel usage. By prioritizing fuel consumption based on off-peak hour usage, savings can be had without the need of retrofit applications. In situations where the equipment cannot be powered via multiple energy sources, the cost of replacement and/or retrofit must be weighed against the payback period of the device. Often, cost and energy consumption can be reduced through the simple training of plant operators and the maintenance crew.
The goal of this project is to generate an outline for performing energy audits. This outline will contain information enabling companies to quickly audit their facilities and generate solutions to efficiency problems.
To begin, the main components of the building will be inspected to yield the required information to perform an efficiency analysis. Most of this information could be gathered from the manufacturer and/or the equipment operator.
The following devices/systems account for the majority of building energy expenditure:
- There is a list of Queen's student developed ECMs for Green IT here: Category:Mech425_GreenIT_Project, which may or may not be useful for a building energy audit depending on the type of use.
Pages in category "Energy audit"
The following 32 pages are in this category, out of 32 total.