Imagine medicine or airplanes or automobiles or manufacturing without information?
Without information it's not valid science or engineering is it? Managing energy requires the right information in the right format at the right time.
Although it has produced tremendous documented savings in all types of facilities since 1979, Continuous Optimization Monitoring is now becoming the new paradigm for managing energy utilization in a facility or a set of facilities as a whole. This is a concept that is also endorsed by ISO 50001. We do this by monitoring energy consumption, demand, operating efficiency and performance of the building's MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) individual equipment & systems. In addition to tracking and analyzing each separate energy component, it treats the MEP equipment of an entire facility as a total system and optimizes its energy performance and efficiency. COM provides information to identify the source of energy consumption and waste. This enables you to manage your energy costs based on quantifiable information rather than guesswork. It also allows you to prioritize your capital improvement projects based on ROI and funds available.
Continuous Optimization Monitoring is a key component of Energy Efficiency Sustainability Cycle (Learn more about Energy Efficiency Sustainability Cycle). The monitoring systems are surprisingly affordable and scalable even for small businesses that have energy bills as low as $100,000 per year, giving them an opportunity to enjoy the same benefits as big businesses for improving energy efficiency. COM helps reduce operational costs thus improving profitability. The ROI on this is greater than any other energy efficiency measure. In less than 18 months the system can pay for itself in the worst case scenario. In most cases it will be lot less time.
The sub-optimal operation of building systems - A 2004 study sponsored by the DOE concluded that the median payback time for retro-commissioning an existing commercial office building is 0.7 years. With a 0.7 year payback period does it make any sense to do retro-commissioning every 2 or 3 years? As the chart below demonstrates, some energy intensive building types, such as hospitals and laboratories have almost immediate payback. You need automated Continuous Optimization Monitoring
IMPORTANT: DUE TO RECENT ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY THE PER SQ. FOOT COST AS WELL AS PAY BACK MAY BE LESS IN SOME CASES.
COM is the application of the commissioning process to existing buildings (also called retro commissioning). Quite simply, COM is a combination of on-going processes and monitoring equipment for actively managing energy utilization. Depending on the age of the building, COM can often resolve problems that occurred during design or construction, or address problems that have developed throughout the building's life. COM improves a building's operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures to enhance overall building performance, operates as efficiently as possible, provide a safe, comfortable work environment. COM enables commissioning on an ongoing basis.
Continuous Optimization Monitoring (COM) - employs remote energy system monitoring with trend log capability to identify previously unrecognized inefficiencies in energy system operations, facilitate the application of diagnostic protocols, document energy savings from operational improvements, and ensure persistence of savings through ongoing re-commissioning. COM also has the potential to identify previously unrecognized cost-effective retrofit opportunities. In addition, the monitoring equipment will provide enhanced benchmarking capability.
New diagnostic techniques and automated tools assist in detecting operational faults and degradation in the performance of building systems and diagnosing their causes. They provide information valuable for improved operations and detecting faults and performance degradation as they occur. They can significantly reduce the time, effort and level of knowledge required to acquire and analyze data to reveal energy-consuming operational faults. Some of them are:
Everyone benefits from COM. For owners, COM reduces building operating costs that can lead to an increase in net operating income. Building managers notice fewer occupant complaints and increased ability to manage systems. Building staff receive training and improved documentation, and building occupants are more comfortable. For food-related facilities it offers 24/7 logging of temperature related date required for food safety.
The many documented benefits resulting from COM include:
COM can produce significant cost savings in existing buildings. Savings vary depending on the building type, its location, and the scope of the COM process. COM studies place the potential energy savings from improved operation and maintenance (O&M) of commercial buildings between 5% and 30%. It has the highest ROI of any energy conservation measure and the fastest payback in many cases.
If you are interested in finding out more about COM based retro-commissioning and how it can help you lower your energy bills please contact us!
Continuous Optimization Monitoring is a key component of Energy Efficiency Sustainability Cycle that encompasses the process of sustainability aspect of energy efficiency.