Energy Audit – An overview:
Energy audit has become a growing interest in recent years due to its direct impact in production cost. Energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy an organization consumes and what measures the management can take to make the organization more energy efficient. It will save significant amounts of money over time. Energy audit not only has direct impact on business benefit but also has considerable impact on our limited natural resources.
An Energy Audit can:
- Identify opportunities to improve energy performance
- Find low-cost/no-cost ways to save energy
- Prioritize cost-effective energy saving projects
- Help reduce energy costs in your facility
- Increase the comfort of those in the facility
- Help you to increase the life span of the equipment in your facility
- Discover any unaccounted consumption that may exist at the facility
- Help reduce the dependence on foreign energy sources
- Can reduce the consumption of natural resources
- Improve efficiencies while reducing emissions and helping promote a cleaner environment
- Reduce damage to the environment associated with the exploitation of resources
- Increase business competitiveness and culture
Scope of Audit:
Energy audit can be done on a wide range of systems including but not limited to:
- Building envelope
- HVAC & Chiller system
- Electrical supply system
- Boiler and steam system
- Hot water system
- Compressed air system
- Motors and drives
- Special purpose process equipment
The scope of the audit will depend upon the nature of the business and the goals that clients want to accomplish.
A systematic approach is used in conducting an energy audit. The level of detail and the objectives vary between different energy audit. Usually, steps below are followed during an energy audit:
- Client Consultation: Energy auditors will begin the process with an extensive client consultation which establishes project scope, objectives and priorities, roles and responsibilities, project time line, deliverables, and communication and feedback mechanisms.
- Preliminary building/plant information collection: The information will be supplied by the business owner/manager. It will include information about different units and their uses. It will help auditors to be familiarized with different units and systems and identify areas which need more attention during final audit. It will also help auditors to reestablish the scopes and objectives.
- Collection and analysis of utility billings: Twelve months of fuel (natural gas), electricity and water utility bills will be collected. Some energy management opportunities and their potential savings will be listed. The annual fuel (natural gas), electricity and water consumption per square meter of floor area will be computed. A summary of the analysis will be prepared.
- Walk-through assessment: Arrangements will be made to meet with the facility owner and to walk through the facility. It includes all the activities in the previous two audits with a site visit and note building features, major equipment, operating parameters, operation & maintenance and interview with the building operator. The auditor will also Record low-cost/no-cost energy Saving opportunities through changes to facility or to O&M procedures estimate the approximate savings and determine potential capital improvements for further study with potential savings.
- Preparation of an audit report: An audit report will be prepared following the site visit. It will include Current energy use and cost accounting, Building description, Inventory of major energy-consuming equipment, Complete list of energy conservation measures, suggested equipment and operations modifications with savings estimates, financial analysis on recommendations based upon clients criteria, i.e., simple payback, IRR, etc. and discussion of feasible capital-intensive measures that may require further analysis The report will be delivered to the facility owner/manager.
There are a lot of tools which are used during energy audit. The number of tools will depend on the scope and objectives of the audit. The tools which are used frequently during an audit are listed below:
Clamp-on meter: To measure current, voltage and resistance. It’s a good first cut tool. It will help auditors to identify motors that are oversize or overloaded. They can then use the power meter to get an accurate measurement.
Energy logger and Analyzer: This is the ideal tool for energy logging. Utilizing the new Energy Loss Calculator function, it measures the fiscal cost of energy wasted due to poor power quality. This energy monetization capability allows auditors to identify the most energy-wasteful areas of client’s facility so we can determine potential energy saving solutions.
Flue gas combustion analyzer with printer: Combustion analyzers are used to measure O2, CO, CO2, temperature, combustion efficiency, etc. Also, we can measure SOx and NOx.
Lux meter: This is used to measure the intensity of light that hits or passes through a surface
Infrared Thermo meter/gun: The real temperature of an object can be found by measuring its emitted radiation.
Ultrasonic leak detector: To identify leakage in compressed air distribution line. This is also useful to find air leaks through doors and windows.
Thermo Anemometer: To measure air velocity, temperature, relative humidity of the environment.
Digital camera: A digital camera allows auditors to record information while on-site. It can help trigger their memory about things they saw when they are working on the report. It’s a quick way to record nameplate information.
There are many programs to assist in energy audit. Every software has advantages and weaknesses. Here is a list of few free programs that can be used in energy audit:
- Energy Plus
Equipment calculation software
- 3E Plus
- PSAT – pump system assessment tool
Building modeling – Many!
- Many others
Who is eligible?
All of commercial and industrial buildings, residential buildings, shopping malls, industrial plants, Hotels, local government facilities, not-for-profit and private institutions and educational institutions.
Benchmark Solutions energy audit team has AEE (Association of Energy Engineers) accredited Certified Energy Auditors (CEA) who are capable of conducting detail energy audit in a wide range of plants and systems. To know more about our audit services please Contact us.
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