Industry News




 

06/19/2013

Smart Sensor Options for HVAC

 
Fine-tuning your building automation system can help an oversized HVAC setup run more efficiently.

Roughly one-third of all commercial HVAC units are too big for the spaces they serve, says Jeff Riordan, director of business development for Irisys, a developer of thermal imaging and people-counting technology. This often results in excessive energy costs that seriously impact a building’s bottom line financial performance.

Higher-than-needed energy expenditures may be passed along as inflated tenant fees or increased costs for products and services, which make businesses less competitive – particularly when those dollars could be invested in research, development, new staff or revenue-growing initiatives.

Strategic energy optimization methods, however, can transition an oversized HVAC system into a more “right-sized” system that adjusts to dynamic occupancy levels that fluctuate during the day or week, Riordan says. These methods help lower operational costs which can be reallocated to other areas.

While building automation solutions already exist, the addition of a smart sensor can be a key component in making some of these solutions even smarter, Riordan says. Increasingly popular HVAC optimization strategies include:

Building Automation Systems
A building automation system (BAS) not only puts the building operator in greater control of the facility’s temperature and comfort, but also allows the operator to track inefficient energy expenditures. 

Not just limited to monitoring and adjusting temperatures, a BAS also measures ambient light, occupancy levels, indoor air quality and humidity to fine-tune its program and control lighting circuits, comfort setpoints, fresh air and energy usage more effectively. 

For example, if the BAS detects no one is occupying a certain zone, it may adjust accordingly, even if the standard program dictates otherwise. A BAS used throughout a particular building, over time, may actually learn occupant habits. It will then create a program to meet energy needs in the most efficient way possible.

Variable Speed Motors
A single-speed fan motor runs at one level: its highest.  More than 95 percent of all HVAC systems in the United States use single-speed fan motors.  Variable speed motors, however, give more flexibility in heating and cooling because, as the name implies, they run fans at varying speeds – not just the maximum speed. 

Modest changes in airflow result in significant energy savings, according to the fan affinity law from physics. For example, when the speed of a fan motor is decreased 20 percent, the air flow also decreases 20 percent, but actual energy usage drops 50 percent. The resulting energy consumption is lower – as are the building’s energy expenditures.

Adding variable frequency drive units to existing single speed blower fans – and adjusting the speed of fans based on levels of occupancy – may make it possible to generate even better energy savings.

Demand Controlled Ventilation
Not all areas of a building are created equally. Some parts may flurry with activity at one time of the day and be virtually unoccupied during others – meaning money is being wasted when an HVAC uniformly heats or cools a building that doesn’t have uniform occupancy and usage.

That’s where demand controlled ventilation systems step in.  Demand controlled ventilation (DCV) is a ventilation system feature that automatically drops outdoor air intake below the building’s original design rates, so energy usage decreases when space occupancy levels drop below design-based occupancy.

Traditionally, measuring space carbon dioxide has been the most common method of determining occupancy.  Unfortunately, the delay in getting accurate counts when using carbon dioxide sensors may cause the control system to react too slowly to match true occupancy level needs.  The preferred method of managing DCV is to use people counters that more accurately determine occupancy levels.

 

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Connectrac wireways offer discrete power and technology connectivity in open interior spaces of all kinds; affordably, quickly and with long-term flexibility.



When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
04/14/2014

Are you what some would call a “climate-change denier”? If so, you'll want to read this.

04/10/2014
Los Angeles has remained the top city for ENERGY STAR certified building since 2008, while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new list released by the EPA.
04/09/2014
Green construction has grown massively over a short period of time.
04/07/2014
Field demonstrations of newly proven energy-efficient technologies are yielding valuable results for the U.S. Navy, helping it meet energy goals.
04/03/2014
Building owners in Chicago now have more options when it comes to getting their building energy data verified.
04/01/2014
According to a new report from Eaton, such outages are up 15% in 2013 over 2012 and over half of those surveyed believe that downtime could have been prevented.
03/31/2014
The newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, aims to provide a consistent method of measuring, expressing, and comparing the energy performance of buildings.
03/27/2014
Facility managers face an every expanding array of sustainability choices and challenges, but for the next generation of FMs, green practices could be second nature as sustainability literacy enters the K-12 school system.
03/25/2014
While the economic recession explains the decline in sales in 2008 and 2009, it is much less clear why sales have continued to fall.
03/24/2014
University of Washington (UW) scientists have built the thinnest known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
03/21/2014
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2378 into law, effectively enacting the state’s first building code.
03/19/2014
In an attempt to improve building energy performance, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a web-based tool called the Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx.
03/18/2014
Could green building practices pose unanticipated life-safety hazards?
03/13/2014
Worried about workplace violence in your facility? Researchers have discovered that “mindfully observing” high-risk employees can avert danger and workplace violence.
03/11/2014
Through the DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program, every dollar the DOE has spent on building energy codes over the past two decades has resulted in $400 in energy cost savings.
03/07/2014
It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space, according to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
03/05/2014
Is your building prepared to handle an emergency?
03/04/2014
NASCAR revealed five newly installed charging stations for employee use.
03/03/2014
In response to California’s worst drought on record, an overwhelming majority of voters favor strategies to stretch local water supplies, including recycling, rainwater harvesting, and efficiency measures, according to a new poll conducted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
02/28/2014
The organizations released a letter urging the rejection of a proposal to repeal Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act.
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