Energy efficiency projects are a great way to reduce operating expenses. Low-cost operational adjustments that result in big energy savings are especially attractive. For example, turning equipment off when it doesn’t need to be running, such as after-hours operation of toilet exhaust fans. These types of adjustments are common in building tune-ups and existing building commissioning (EBCx) projects. However, these operational adjustments can also revert back to their original condition if left unchecked.
After implementing an energy efficiency project, it’s important to regularly monitor the performance of the systems to keep them running at an optimal level, keep energy costs down, extend equipment life, maintain occupant satisfaction, and protect the investment that was made for the building tune-up or EBCx project.
There are various methods of monitoring performance – from including regular operational checks as part of a preventive maintenance program to using advanced fault detection and diagnosis software, and everything in between. The California Energy Commission recently published the “Building Performance Tracking Handbook”. This guide describes processes and tools that can be used for monitoring the performance of commercial buildings, from simple methods to complex methods. It’s worth a look, to get some ideas for attaining and maintaining optimal performance of your systems.
Thanks to Dave Moser, PE for providing this month’s tip!
Dave is a senior engineer at PECI. He provides engineering services for a diverse range of projects and programs at PECI, all centered on building energy efficiency. Prior to PECI, he led HVAC design and construction administration projects for new and existing commercial buildings. He is approved to teach BOC 1001, 1002, 1004, 1006, 1009, 214 and 216.