Energy Management for Building Administrators

Schools, office buildings and commercial centers, once they have finished construction and are turned over to the building administrators, it is only then that issues with energy management is discovered. But since the building is already built, what approaches can be implemented to add some form of energy management retroactively.

  1. Different approach for different spaces:

    Each type of space has its own characteristics, and the energy management approach should be made appropriate for that space.

    1. User pays system:

      Any space where there is a specific and identifiable party who uses that space can institute a user pays approach, this applies to places such as classrooms, piano rooms, and similar types of rental spaces.

    2. Conditional use

      For places where it would be difficult to implement a tariff based system such as offices, lounges, meeting rooms, libraries and other public rooms. These places can make use of energy saving controllers, such as restricting use based on time, temperature or in combination with sensors.

    3. Automatic schedule or sensor based control

      Used appropriately for various types of spaces such as hallways, elevator lobbies, halls, outdoors and parking lots.

  2. A central control system is not all encompassing, local smart controls are more effective

    In the past, whenever there is an issue with energy management, the immediate solution that comes to mind to implement a central control system. But this is not only expensive, but it does not guarantee that it will solve the problem.

    1. Local automatic controls

      For certain types of spaces, where effective control can be achieved locally and does not require the intervention of the central control. In such cases, central control only places a support role.

    2. Types of conditional control
      1. Insert card to use

        Such as a teacher’s card or administrator card that are the only ones authorized.

      2. Restricted use based on the time of day or the temperature, especially applicable to air conditioning.
      3. Preset time reset

        There are designated times of the day where the power is reset by cutting off the power then restoring it. But restoring power does not turn the lights on.

  3. Automatic Energy Saving Control
    1. Auto off: When the lights are turned on, an automatic delay off countdown is started.
    2. Power supplied but lights does not turn on: The occupant needs to manually turn on the lights, the sensor is only responsible for the turning the lights off when the occupant leaves and forgets. When the occupant leaves they still have the option to manually turn the lights off.
    3. Scheduled on and off.
    4. Reduced power: Alternate lamp posts, dimming, temperature restricted.
    5. Sensor control: Interactive control using temperature sensor, photo sensor, occupancy sensor.

Energy Management for Administrators

In any school, office building or commercial center. Once the construction of the building is finished and turned over to the building management, problems with energy management begin to surface. What techniques can be applied to rectify this situation.

  1. Different types of spaces should make use of different techniques:
    1. User pays:
      Can be applied to classrooms, dormitories, piano rooms, and any other rental places where the user has the responsibility for using the space.
    2. Conditional use:
      Can be applied to open offices, meeting rooms, libraries and similar shared spaces where no tariff can be charged to any particular user. These spaces can make use of energy saving controllers that allow operation depending on conditions, such as the time of day, having temperature thresholds, or making use of sensors.
    3. Scheduled or sensor control
      Public areas such as hallways, elevator lobbies, halls, outdoors and parking lots could either be controlled through a schedule or by using sensors.
  2. A control center is not all knowing, and having local control would be more effective
    Some time ago, when an energy management issue arises, the knee jerk solution is to implement some form of centralized control, but such an approach is not only expensive, but it also doesn’t really solve the problem.

    1. Local automatic control
      For certain spaces, there are ways in which there would be conditions that would allow for local automatic control without having to rely on centralized control, central control would merely serve as a supporting role.
    2. What are some of the methods of conditional control?
      1. Insert card to use:
        Such as with a teacher’s card or a card borrowed from the administrator, only with this card inserted would use be allowed.
      2. Controlled time of use and temperature thresholds, this is especially suited to air conditioners.
      3. Preset time power reset
        This would prevent not turning off after use. Every day there would be specific times of the day where the power would be reset, this is accomplished by first cutting the power off, then after a short delay, the power is restored, but the equipment would remain off, the equipment could only be turned back on manually by the user.
  3. Automatic energy saving methods
    1. Delayed auto off: After the user turns the lights on, the lights would automatically turn off after a certain delay.
    2. Sensor based auto off: When the user enters a room, they need to manually turn on the lights, the sensor monitors the presence of the user, when the user leaves, they can turn the lights off, but if they forget after leaving, the sensor detects their absence and automatically turns the lights off after a certain delay.
    3. Scheduled on and off.
    4. Reduced consumption control: alternate lamps, dimmed lights, temperature restrictions.
    5. Sensor control: Such as temperature, lux sensor both indoors and outdoors, occupancy sensor.

Prepaid Card System Uncommon Questions

  1. If everything is based on a user pays system, wouldn’t this be too rigid? Is there any place for variation, wherein tariff can be conditional?Yes this is possible, one can make use of either of the two methods below:
    1. Certain conditions can be set within the card reader (ex: temperature limit, time constraints), tariff is free within certain designated conditions, when the conditions are not met then the it would be the normal insert card user pays system.
    2. A card can be provided with a certain tariff allowance that is free to use, but once the free allowance is used up then tariff will be deducted from the card as normal.
  2. What types of conditional control are there?
    1. Insert card to use:Such as the teacher’s card or a special card from the administrator which serves to restrict use.
    2. Prohibited time periods and temperature limits: especially for air conditioning equipment.
    3. At designated timesAutomatic turn off in case the user forgets after using. Automatic turn off can be set for certain times of the day, once the time comes, power is automatically turned off, and then control reverts back to local control.

Lighting and Air Conditioning Control for Factories

A factory has many different areas, each area has its own functionality and a different approach to energy management for each.

  1. Open offices: Due to the nature of the work in factories, many office workers are often not at their desks. There should be switches in each section, during work hours, the lights are turned on in their respective sections, after office hours, each section would have automatic controls, the last person to leave simply presses one switch to turn off all the lights.
  2. Small offices and workshops: press once to turn on and press again to turn off, the lights and air conditioning would be controlled at the same time.
  3. Meeting rooms: press one to turn on, press again to turn off, the lights and air conditioning would be controlled at the same time.
  4. Stock room and machine room: these occupy large areas, and should be divided into sections, each section should have its own sensor control with automatic delayed off, if the lights need to remain on for prolonged periods, a switch would be available nearby which can be pressed to keep the lights on indefinitely. Another press would then restore the operating mode to auto off. Or one can make use of digital switches and have them installed in multiple locations enabling multiple access.
  5. Hallways: whether the area will be lit or not during the day will depend on the location of the hallway. Or it could be equipped with sensor control with auto off. It could also have multiple switches along the length of the hallway and it could also be centrally controlled.
  6. Outdoor lighting: Depending on the location, each month would have its own schedule turn on time. They would also be centrally controlled.
  7. All the lights and air conditioning would be centrally controlled, each section would have timer control.
  8. Conference halls and briefing rooms: digital switches would be used to control patterns. Air conditioning would be controlled by digital switches.
  9. Workshop machinery: Low voltage switches would be used on site, and would be linked to the control panel via a digital wiring, which would allow the operator to control the machines from where they are instead of having to go back and forth to the machine room, and can reduce the unnecessary running of the machines when not in use.
  10. Workshop lighting: each section would be separately controlled and also centrally controlled. No need to have them all controlled as a group.
  11. Air conditioning: there would be local switches in the working areas which would work in conjunction with central control.
  12. Emergency power load control: during a power outage, the generator power would be utilized optimally among the various loads depending on their priority. Once utility power is restored, the loads would switchover back to the main power in the right sequence.
  13. Emergency help button: When there is an accident, the nearest emergency button can be pressed which would then light all the emergency lights, sound the alarm, and show the location of the emergency on the control panel.