As energy costs and environmental concerns continue to rise, we see an increase in campus energy audits taking place at utility plants. Common facilities include universities, hospitals, apartment buildings, shared offices, and industrial, pharmaceutical and food manufacturing plants.
The responsibility falls on facility managers to take control of energy consumption, minimize cost and optimize efficiency.
So, how do they do it?
Let’s say management needs to know how much energy is used to cool their facility.
First, they’ll need to know how the building is cooled.
In this example, we’ll say the facility is cooled by pumping chilled water throughout the building on a loop.
To determine how much energy is being consumed, we can compare flow and temperature when water first enters the building, to flow and temperature when the water returns.
But what about building owners who need to allocate energy costs based on tenant consumption?
This is a common scenario for people who manage apartment complexes or commercial office buildings with multiple units, and in some cases, has been written into municipal law.
For example, Chicago’s Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance calls on existing commercial, institutional, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to track whole-building energy use, report to the city annually, and verify data accuracy every three years. While the law covers less than 1% of Chicago’s buildings, it accounts for about 20% of total energy used by all buildings.
Sub-metering can help pinpoint which offices or apartments consume the most energy, so you can distribute charges accordingly.
It works in the same way I mentioned above. Using a flow and temperature sensor, you can survey each tenant space, taking measurements before and after water enters the loop.
The GE PT878 clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter is a great choice for facility managers conducting campus energy audits. Its portability and non-intrusive flow measurement make it easy to use and transport between surveys and the accuracy of its patented correlation transit-time signal processing ensures accurate allocation of energy charges.
With a clear understanding of how much energy is being consumed and where, facility managers can control distribution of chilled and hot water to reduce overall energy consumption of the building.
For more information on flow measurement instrumentation and equipment, visit our website or give us a call — we are happy to help!
RAECO-LIC LLC is the authorized GE representative in the Midwest United States.