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Using Data Loggers to Identify and Evaluate Energy Saving Measures

Data loggers can be a useful tool in providing information to help identify opportunities for energy savings, and for evaluating the performance of any improvement measures that are put in place to help achieve this.

Data loggers recording temperature, relative humidity, CO2, count, voltage, power usage and other parameters provide the information required to help pinpoint areas and equipment which could benefit from straightforward energy saving measures. They can test, measure and help verify improvement work in particular areas, and can help validate overall building systems performance.

Regular monitoring and analysis of results will help identify and prioritise the most appropriate energy saving measures in line with energy management targets including ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme).

Once the data has been recorded, informed decisions can be made about implementing changes. ESOS has some suggestions on common energy savings opportunities, and Tinytags can be used to help provide information in many of these areas. These include:

Monitoring the performance of HVAC systems

Temperature and relative humidity data loggers help monitor the effectiveness of HVAC systems. They are frequently used to validate whether heating, air-conditioning or building control systems are working correctly, and help assess overall energy efficiency. Along with carbon dioxide loggers, they can also be used to assess occupants' comfort levels and help ensure that optimum air quality is maintained within a building. In addition, energy consumption loggers can be used to help check motor efficiency and record power usage in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units.

All the above devices can play a key role to help verify and assess energy efficiency savings when these systems are replaced or upgraded.

Monitoring the efficiency of building materials

Energy consumption and temperature data loggers can be used to assess efficiency savings when roof, wall and window insulation is improved or replaced. Before and after monitoring can help quantify savings and identify specific areas of improvement.

Monitoring the efficiency of equipment e.g. boilers

Count data loggers can help assess boiler efficiency, monitoring consumption and recording profiles over time. Voltage loggers can record when a boiler is firing to help evaluate optimum performance.

Assessing before and after performance of replacement lighting systems

The Energy Logger can be used for before and after monitoring to assess the performance of low power lighting installations, which can be a very effective means of reducing energy consumption.

Monitoring equipment in industrial processes e.g. refrigerators, motors and drives

The Energy Logger and temperature loggers can be used to assess the efficiency of refrigerators, recording power usage against temperature. Count loggers can be used to record and monitor door openings which will affect the energy performance of a particular area.

The Energy Logger can assess energy usage typically before and after items are repaired/serviced or replaced.


Common energy saving opportunities

Once the information from the data loggers has been recorded and evaluated, specific steps can be taken to implement common energy saving measures for particular pieces of equipment or widely throughout a building. Practical steps recommended by ESOS include:

Buildings

Heating: turn heating down, replace inefficient boilers, install de-stratification fans (fans used in Commercial/industrial buildings with high ceilings), shorten hours of operation.

Ventilation: specify higher efficiency motors, consider variable speed fans, review time settings and turn off when not in use.

Air-conditioning: review temperature controls, consider variable speed drives, free cooling coils, using external air as a source of cooling.

Lighting: install occupancy sensors, install daylight sensors, review and improve the maintenance plan (more regular maintenance), replace inefficient incandescent bulbs with high efficiency LED lighting or energy saving fluorescent lighting (e.g. T5 lighting).

Building fabric: install cavity wall and roof insulation; install high efficiency windows and glazing and draught proofing.

Building control: install a computer-based building management system, ensure control systems are set correctly for different weather conditions and occupancy levels, install variable-speed drives.

Industrial Processes

Refrigeration: reduce the heat loads on systems through reduced air infiltration, free cooling, raise process temperatures, improve control of auxiliary equipment (pumps/fans), install better temperature control, keep doors closed, don't overfill units, ensure lights are off inside units when not in use, regular cleaning of the condenser.

Motors and drives: install high efficiency motors, install variable speed drives, implement automatic switch off controls/procedures, install time switches, interlocks or sensors, monitor motor output to identify energy wastage.

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Identify energy savings opportunities by monitoring energy consumption, temperature. RH, CO2, voltage, current or count.

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