As Lisa Gingell of t-mac Technologies explains, energy savings can be made, even on top of rising energy prices, by managing the demand your building has on energy consumption and embracing cutting edge technology to revolutionise the way buildings use power
Last year increased emphasis on legislation such as the updated Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCEES) and the introduction of the draft Energy Bill saw a shift in the way UK businesses look at energy use.
Carbon emissions, as well as cost per kWh, are now under the consideration of engineers, electrical system designers and building specifiers as well as facilities managers.
In buildings, high load equipment such as heating and cooling devices can all too often be the main culprits in the battle for energy efficiency.
Simply switching HVAC systems off is not an option – they are vital to maintaining a comfortable environment for occupiers, and in some cases for preventing systems from freezing. Managing how HVAC is used and operated, however, can make a huge difference to the energy demands of an organisation.
t-mac Technologies produces mini Building energy Management System (BeMS) and automatic monitoring and targeting (AM&T) hardware systems, which work together to provide money saving real time metering, monitoring and management solutions.
t-mac’s on the ground systems are paired with an inclusive online energy management software suite, providing the tools to take the first steps in controlling a wayward HVAC operation.
Gingell commented, “A classic HVAC issue which we are often made aware of comes when the people who work in buildings change set point temperatures in their workspaces based on their own comfort, rather than necessity.
“Very often, this leaves air conditioning set at a very low temperature while a boiler, which is often not connected into energy management strategies, toils to heat the same area. This battle can lead to huge cost implications and can be one of the main ways a HVAC system wastes energy.
“Whereas in the past problems like this would have been difficult, if not impossible, to address on a long term basis, they can now be tackled easily with a BeMS solution like t-mac’s.
“Our system means live inefficiencies can be spotted from real time, centralised metering and monitoring activities, letting controllers take charge of specific areas of energy waste through a bespoke management system.
“Connecting to existing systems such as boilers and bringing the control of these in line with others such as air conditioning devices, allows differing systems to work in harmony towards the same cause, and subsequently provide instant savings. An intelligent BeMS like t-mac brings all equipment together into a single control platform.
“Businesses which invest in t-mac’s energy management technology and use it in the right way can see a ROI within 12-18 months through reduced energy bills – an impressive saving, especially in the current economic climate.”
t-mac integrates with HVAC control panels to offer remote management of systems including adjusting settings, set points, mode, fan speed and direction.
The system can also be connected to air temperature sensors within a building, as well as temperature sensors on air conditioning equipment, meaning t-mac can alert personnel by e-mail or SMS if temperatures increase beyond desirable limits.
t-mac is a cloud-based management system, meaning users can log-in from across the globe to remotely diagnose and manage equipment performance and functionality for single or multiple sites.
For most businesses, a key energy management priority is saving money. t-mac’s ‘energy journey’ leads clients through steps towards achieving this.
Sub-metering equipment first pinpoints which activities are causing unnecessary costs, and where inefficiencies lie, allowing action to be taken – and an instant cost reduction to be made.
t-mac’s Report Builder function can then be used to collate information from a business into an easily understood graphic or a more detailed report.
Attention can then be turned to how building occupiers use HVAC, as their reactions to the building’s environment can have a negative impact on energy consumption.
Often, BeMS systems take control completely away from building occupiers but t-mac systems make use of a local override to allow an element of human interaction and avoid unnecessary conflict without sacrificing energy savings.
Educating building occupiers about energy use can also bring surprising cost benefits – people are keen to help when their actions in terms of energy use are pointed out to them in a logical and persuasive way. t-mac’s dashboard technology brings energy use – and misuse – to life, making that persuasion so much easier.
With 2013 well underway, it’s time to take the reins and ride demand management all the way to tangible energy savings – letting t-mac be your guide along the way.
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