09/05/2005

Energy Tips: Commercial And Industrial

The US Michigan Department of Environmental Quality offers tips to help
commercial and industrial facilities conserve energy.

COMMERCIAL

No Cost Tips

1. Turn Up Your Thermostat

Set your thermostat to 25 degrees or higher when the work place is occupied,
and 29 degrees or off after business hours. Using ceiling or room fans allows
you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room.
You can save up to 3 percent for each degree the thermostat is set above 22
degrees.

2. Reduce Your Lighting

A general rule is that a light should be off when no one is present. Turn off
lights in unoccupied areas, remove excess lighting and turn off signage and
other lights not necessary for security and safety.

3. Be Energy Smart With Office Equipment

Turn off office equipment or set it to "power down" when not in use. Setting
computers, monitors and copiers to use sleep-mode when not in use helps cut
energy costs by approximately 40 percent. Remember to turn equipment off at the
end of the workday.

4. Use Shades and Blinds

On hot days, draw the curtains and/or shades to keep the sun out. Remember to
close doors to the outside to keep in cooler air.

Low Cost Tips

1. Install Efficient Lighting

There are a number of low-cost solutions a business can invest in to make its
lighting much more efficient and save money in the long run. For example:
replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, which can last up to nine
times longer; upgrade fluorescent lighting fixtures to high efficiency
equipment; replace incandescent lights in exit signs with LED fixtures. This
can reduce costs of these signs by up to 95 percent.

2. Install Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats or time clocks can automatically control temperature
settings and save energy.

3. Use "Smart" Power Strips

These sense the presence or absence of office workers and turn the attached
equipment on or off accordingly.

4. Choose the Smallest Monitor

The bigger the monitor, the more energy it uses. Switching from a 17-inch
monitor to a 14-inch monitor saves energy by as much as 35 percent.

5. Maintain Your HVAC System

Perform regular maintenance to keep your heating, ventilation and air
conditioning systems running more efficiently.

Investment Tips

1. Weatherize Buildings

Install awnings, solar shade screens or sun-control film for windows, and apply
a heat-blocking coating to your roof. Some incentives and rebates may be
available to help defray initial costs.

2. Install an Energy Management System

An EMS will control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment and
lighting systems automatically to maximize efficiency and savings.

Building and Design Tips

1. General Cooling Measures

Think carefully about using "green" design features. Use evaporative cooling
wherever possible. Attempt to use natural ventilation and light surfaces.
Encourage day lighting of interior spaces in the design. Surround all buildings
and cover parking lots with trees to reduce local environmental temperatures.
Specify light colored aggregates for local access road and sidewalk pavements.

2. Landscaping And Use Of Shade

Combine architectural features and shading so that a minimum of the building
envelope is exposed to the sun. Design landscaping around the building and over
parking areas so that no parking area is exposed to the sun. This will not only
reduce the heat build-up in parked vehicles, but will reduce the temperature of
air blowing against the building by 6 to 8 degrees.

3. Combined Heat And Power Systems

Often there is a balance between the heat requirements of an institution and
its electrical needs. This energy match means that the waste heat from a small
electrical generator can be used to generate electricity.

4. Solar Power on Rooftops

Consider installing solar electric collectors and/or solar hot water collectors
on the roof. Ensure that the building design includes adequate support for the
dead weight load and the wind stress, and all conduits for pipes or wires.

5. Water, Gas And Ventilation

Design a gray water collection system for irrigating landscaping. If natural
gas is unavailable, consider ground source heat pumps. Design public space
ventilation to respond to occupancy needs with such features as carbon dioxide
detectors. Avoid air curtains that allow air leakage from conditioned spaces.
Pressurize and test all ducts for leakage before dropped ceilings are installed.

6. Engineering Requirements

Be sure that Performance Assurance or building commissioning is included in the
engineering services provided by the engineer.

INDUSTRIAL

1. Motor Driven Equipment

Motors to power pumps, fans, blowers, air compressors and dozens of other
mechanical devices are used in nearly all types of industrial production. It is
estimated that motor-driven equipment accounts for 64 percent of the
electricity consumed by U.S. industries. Accordingly, there is a great
opportunity to save energy by using energy efficient motors. Energy-efficient
motors can cut energy use by at least 12 percent. The most energy-efficient
motors are equipped with controllers and variable speed drives to help the
motors match output with the energy necessary for the task. Some motors have
motor coils made of super-conducting materials, which greatly reduce energy
loss.

2. Make Use Of Waste Heat

Onsite production of electricity is a way to save on purchased electricity.
Combined heat and power (CHP) systems (also called cogeneration systems)
achieve higher thermal efficiencies than stand-alone power plants. There are a
variety of power production technologies that can be used for CHP systems
including gas turbines, combined-cycle systems, micro-turbines, fuel cells, and
reciprocating engines. A CHP system can be considered for industrial facilities
that produce low grade waste heat (ranging in temperature for 100o to 300o
Celsius) and that has an electrical load that roughly tracks heat production.

3. Efficient Steam Equipment

More than 45 percent of all the fuel burned by U.S. manufacturers is consumed
to raise steam. A typical industrial facility can realize steam savings of 20
percent by improving its steam system. Simple approaches to improving energy
performance include insulating steam and condensate return lines, stopping any
steam leaks, and maintaining steam traps. Condensate return to the boiler is
essential for energy efficiency.

4. Compressed Air Equipment Savings

Many industrial facilities use compressed air systems as power sources for
tools and equipment used for pressurizing, atomizing, agitating, and mixing
applications. Optimizing a compressed air system can provide energy-efficiency
improvements of 20-50 percent. Simple measures for saving energy include
detecting and fixing air leaks. Installing variable-speed drives on compressors
can also save energy.

5. Using Sensors And Controls For System Efficiency

All industrial systems rely on sensors and controls. Advanced sensors and
control systems are available that allow processes to operate at their optimal
conditions, thereby saving energy. Such sensors and controls are continuously
dropping in cost.

6. Efficient Combustion

Combustion processes provide more than 85 percent of the energy used by U.S.
industries. Boilers used for combustion often operate at air levels that are
higher than the optimum. Periodically monitoring flue gas composition and
tuning the boilers to maintain excess air at optimum levels can save energy.

7. Smart Water Use

Pumping and treating the water that an industrial process needs will also use
energy, as will the cleanup treatment of the water. Reducing water use will
therefore also reduce energy use.

Further Information


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