Carrying out Energy Assessments of industrial and commercial sites and organisations requires a range of skills, tools, and technical knowledge and experience. One needs:
• Good, basic energy data. Ideally, 2 recent years of data including: electricity, gas, oil, coal, etc consumption, plus company cars/ fleet vehicles fuel, business travel and ideally other greenhouse gases – such as refrigerant gases.
• A meaningful measure (or measures) of activity – to determine the baseline energy performance against which future improvements can be compared.
– For industry, this can be units, tonnes, m2, etc, although sometimes, products need to be split – for instance the same site produces both tonnes and m2, or it makes both basic and complex multiple-process steps product.
– For commercial and service sectors, this can be m2 floor area, number of employees/ students, or even £M turnover.
• Understand the site’s existing energy (or environment) policy and the supporting strategy and activities that make it happen. How does “what they say?” compare with “what they do?” And are they interested in taking it further – to ISO50001 or ISO14001?
• Understand what’s been happening on the technical front: have there been any studies such as potential new boilers/ replacement lighting/ motor upgrades/ sub-metering and data collection.
• And what’s been happening with the “softer” issues, such as monitoring & targeting of key centres, or employee awareness, engagement and training.
To do the above does not require any equipment, just a healthy “skeptical” review of the info you’ve been given, the ability to drill down and explore further, good use of handling spreadsheets, reading/ listening and asking-the-right-questions, etc. Also, one also needs to spend time on the shop-floor looking at the building, the equipment and how it is used, identifying some of the better no/low cost and investment opportunities and, if possible, making a first-order estimate of the likely costs and benefits from an intervention.
However, this is generally only the start. If we are looking to explore technical opportunities, or come up with more accurate costs and benefits, eventually we need to measure what’s going on with the existing equipment. For this we need some technical auditing equipment.
Larkdown Environmental has the following equipment:
Thermal image camera
The Fluke VT04 infrared thermal camera determines temperature between -10 to +250°C quickly and accurately. High and low temperature alarms flash whenever the temperature threshold is exceeded
Although it is fairly simple unit, its image is 4x sharper than the VT02, and allows the user to get a view of an area with heat overlay. This means that heat distribution isn’t limited to a single measurement spot (from an infrared thermometer); instead the VT04 generates a view of heat distribution over a measurement area.
Since it uses digital images with a thermal overlay, the VT04 beats many other simple thermal cameras in terms of image quality. With thermal cameras it can be difficult to see exactly what the camera was pointing at – the VT04 prevents this by taking a conventional digital image of the measurement point and adding in thermal detail on top. This makes it easy to spot a specific point within an area that is outputting too much or too little heat.
The blending function of the VT04 can be adjusted depending on user preference. Setting can be 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and full thermal. The operator can also use Time-lapse image capture and identify the hottest and coldest spots in your image.
IR Thermometer (900C)
Non-Contact Digital IR Infrared Thermometer, for those higher temperature “spot checks”. The unit is not as good as the thermal image camera, but it offers a much broader temperature range: -50 to 900°C
It is most suitable for a range of applications: medium – high temperature industrial processes, such as: reaction vessels, hot water pipes, hot engine parts, cooking surfaces, electric motors, bearings, heating air conditioning, etc
The Kane 455 infrared combustion flue gas analyzer analyses emissions from the back end of a boiler, oven or other combustion chamber. The unit is most useful for ensuring optimum combustion efficiency – keeping it in the “Goldilocks” range: too much excess O2 signifies that a lot of heat is being lost up the flue, but too little and the fuel isn’t burning properly – both inefficient plus there’s the potential lethal issue of CO poisoning.
The Kane 455 accurately measures: Carbon dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), the flue and inlet temperature and the Differential pressure (±80mbar). It calculates: Oxygen (O2), the CO/CO2 ratio, the “Poison” index and the unit’s efficiency.
Ultrasonic leak detector
Leaks from compressed air pipes, refrigerant gas systems and steam lines are commonplace. With refrigerant gases, the lost gas represents a high cost plus an environmental issue. For compressed air and steam systems, the losses represent a waste of the upstream energy needed to generate them in the first place.
These leaks can be difficult to detect; often they are in out-of-the-way places or cannot be heard against the background “white-noise” of a busy industrial establishment. Secondly, the turbulence created by these leaks is often high-frequency (ultrasonic), which is beyond human hearing.
Amprobe’s TMULD-300 converts these ultra-sounds into an audible range for easy detection. The unit can be used to test pressurized air-lines, refrigeration systems, and steam lines. Cost savings from attention to these can easily be worth £1000’s/ year – all as bottom line savings.
The TMULD-300 also has an ultrasonic transmitter that is great to use in areas where leaking gases are not sufficiently pressurized, for instance: check for door or trunk seals, windshield leaks. The transmitter creates ultrasonic sound waves for detecting cracks and leaks.
Air flow-meter (anemometer)
The Testo 405 Thermal Anemometer is perfect for the measurement of air-flow velocity, volume flow and temperature. The anemometer comes with an extendable telescope (up to 300mm), which makes it suited for flow velocity measurements in ducts or difficult-to-reach places around a building.
The Testo 405 measures very accurately in the range from 0 and 2m/s, although it is capable of measuring up to 20 m/s. It is ideal for accurately measuring localise draughts or air-movements, as well as for spot-analysis of air-flow patterns within a AHU ducting system.
Light (lux) meter
The Amprobe LM-100 light meter measures the visible light from fluorescent, metal halide, high-pressure sodium or incandescent sources. It is a portable, easy-to-use digital light meter. The LM-100 measures a wide range of light up to 200,000 Lux with resolution of 0.1 Lux.
Use the LM-100 light meter to measure the illumination level in the interior and to switch off or reduce or increase the output level of lighting fixtures.
Eco-Eye ELITE 1 phase Energy Monitor is for monitoring electricity consumption in domestic/ building applications. It presents clear, easy to understand information that should (hopefully) prompt consumers to using energy more wisely.
The system consists of three components: sensor, transmitter and display unit. The sensor clips around the live cable from the electricity supply and plugs into the transmitter. The transmitter sends data wirelessly to the display unit every 4 seconds. You then read the meter!
The Eco-Eye ELITE100 3 Phase Monitor (100A) is designed for monitoring electricity being consumed in larger commercial/ industrial properties with 3-phase power supply.
This more complex unit consists of five components: 3 x 100A sensors, transmitter and display unit. The sensors clip around each of the 3-phase electricity supply and plug into the transmitter – doing a similar job to the single phase system.
The LaserDistanceMeter 60 is not at the high-tech end of the Auditor’s tool-kit, but nonetheless it’s very useful for, say, quickly measuring the area of a room or building, or the distances between a heat source and potential heat-sink.
Quicker and more convenient than a tape measure and a lot better than guessing!
And finally, let’s not forget…..
The camera is perhaps the most under-rated piece of equipment in the auditor’s kit bag. Everyone now has a smart-phone with camera accessory, but there’s no zoom and the image quality is only a few M pixels – not as good.
The Fujitsu Finepix J40 12 megapixels, 3x Fujinon optical zoom lens, and a huge 3.0-inch LCD screen.