When it Comes to Energy, Knowledge is Power
By Renee Gryzkewicz July 2005 - Power & Communication
In today’s ever-changing facilities, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest developments in technology. Keeping attuned to equipment advances, however, can be well worth the effort for maintenance and engineering managers seeking ways to conserve energy.
In some cases, even small improvements in energy efficiency can produce significant savings. For example, while the basic technology of motors hasn’t changed considerably in recent years, manufacturers still have made some improvements in their efficiency. Keeping track of even minor advances can be worthwhile when one considers that a building might contain many motors and collectively account for a significant portion of the building’s total energy budget.
In the case of motors, managers also might want to be aware of advances made to components connected to motors. Replacing connected pumps, fans and compressors with more energy-efficient equipment could reduce the load on existing motors and might allow for installation of smaller high-efficiency motors. Managers also can benefit from better understanding the latest sensors and controllers available to regulate motor operation.
With rising energy costs impacting every organization’s budget, being well-informed on emerging technologies that can minimize energy use is in the best interest of managers seeking a competitive edge and better bottom line. Here are some organizations that research and develop technologies that make buildings more energy efficient:
- The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory proved that several low-cost actions could reduce a building’s energy use by 5-20 percent.
- The Cooling, Heating and Power Technologies Program team at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory develops cost-effective technologies that increase energy efficiency, reduce peak power demand, ensure better power reliability and quality and reduce emissions.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program works to reduce the cost and environmental impact of the federal regulations by advancing energy efficiency, promoting the use of distributed and renewable energy, and improving utility management decisions at federal sites.
- The Building Technologies Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory develops software that allows engineers to retrofit buildings for maximum energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
- The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provides a forum for the standardization of electrical equipment.