Category Archives: Energy Management

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.

9 Energy Saving Principles

  1. Event venues open to the public
    Large public multi-purpose venues such as conference halls and gymnasiums have staff use control switches that are restricted to the public. The staff often needs to roam large areas just to control them which is inconvenient and time wasting. Thus these places are ideal candidates for being remotely monitored and controlled.
  2. Schedule remote control
    The schedule should be easily changed without the need for a specialist. The schedule should have different control methods for peak and off peak periods. During peak periods, local controls are disabled and central control takes over completely. While during off-peak periods, central relinquishes control to the local, and the local control could be achieved using either sensors or wall switches.
  3. Daylight Harvesting
    The purpose of which is to reduce the amount of artificial lighting needed by maximizing the use of natural daylight. This can be achieved by using either a preset time schedule or by using lux sensors during daytime.
  4. Restrict the Use of the A/C
    There should be conditions before the air conditioning can be turned on to avoid having turning them on arbitrarily. These conditions can be in the form of having a temperature limit, time restriction or card insertion before allowing the a/c could be operated.
  5. More Granular Circuit Wiring
    The lights and the air conditioning should be on separate circuits, while each area should divided into smaller areas, this way the lights need not all be turned on and off all at the same time, and only specific areas need to be lit.
    Taking into consideration whether or not the area is exposed to daylight or adjacent to a window is also very important in how the circuit wiring is to be divided.
  6. Single Rooms
    The most power consuming portion of any building are the many individual rooms when added together. Thus they are the focal point of any energy saving measure.
    For rooms that can charge the user for its use, then a prepaid card system or a remote tariff system should be used as much as possible, as these would be the most effective and fair methods to implement energy saving.
    For rooms that are suited to charging the user, then one can make use of a remotely controlled system in conjunction with interactive energy saving smart switches. The purpose of the remote system is to control the room either through a preset time schedule or by the facility manager. The facility manager can decide whether or not to turn on the lights and a/c depending on whether or not there are people present.
  7. Local Conditions
    Rooms with different functions would also make use of different types of energy saving smart switches.
    For discrete rooms or small rooms, one could make use of sensor based energy saving smart switches such as the K24 or the K15. These can be operated in either occupancy or vacancy modes of energy saving control.
    Occupancy mode is used for rooms wherein people go in and out frequently and stay only for a short time such as the restroom or the kitchen.
    Vacancy mode is used for rooms wherein people stay for a long periods of time such as the reception area, lounges and offices.
  8. Air Conditioner Energy Saving Smart Switches (K62)
    In order to avoid having the a/c used unnecessarily, one can utilize the K62. The a/c can only be turned on manually when the temperature conditions are met; when the occupant leaves, the a/c is turned off automatically after a certain delay.
  9. Power Socket Control
    It is not only the lights and the a/c that can be placed under managed control to save energy, but the power sockets can be as well. As a matter of fact, power sockets can be as much a source of saved energy as well and cannot be ignored.