With increasing pressure for electrical and heating appliances to meet energy efficiency ratings, it can be a challenge to find a solution that both works and is profitable for small businesses and enterprises.
With increasing pressure for electrical and heating
appliances to meet energy efficiency ratings, it can be a
challenge to find a solution that both works and is profitable for
small businesses and enterprises.
Richard Baines is a committed conservationist who has used
Tinytag data loggers for many years across his career in a number
of different projects, which have aimed to help improve energy
efficiency and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of the
modern way of life. His most recent work has involved
working with SMEs in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull
area to find innovative energy solutions that improve energy
efficiency while increasing profitability.
The project, in partnership with a leading research university
in the UK, has involved monitoring a number of energy systems,
processes, products and services to assess their efficiency. Since
its foundation, the programme has delivered £24 million added GVA
to the more developed Greater Birmingham and Solihull area.
Richard's years of experience with Tinytags led him to implement
them in this project. When he first began work on the project, he
was using data loggers that needed to be hardwired into buildings;
after some cables were misplaced, Richard decided to switch over to
Tinytags, as he knew that their portability and ease of use would
benefit his consultancy work.
Richard uses a number of different Tinytag data loggers for
different purposes within energy system and appliance monitoring,
depending on the client's requirements. Thermal comfort
levels and condensation risk are assessed
by measuring ambient temperature and relative humidity using
Plus 2 and Tinytag
Talk 2 data loggers. Surface temperatures of heating
pipes, vessels and radiators are monitored using Tinytag
Ultra 2 data loggers with thermocouple probes to analyse
appliance performance and energy demand. Water
meters are monitored using
Tinytag Plus 2 Instrumentation count data loggers, where
flow-rate and temperature are measured to assess energy delivery
from appliances (e.g. radiators). A
Tinytag Plus 2 Instrumentation current data logger, which was
factory-configured to work with a current 'clamp-on' sensor, is
used to evaluate solar energy generation and usage
and the performance of lighting equipment.
Richard explains that the purpose of monitoring is "to make
sure we are getting what is expected or to find out why we are not
getting what is expected" from appliances and systems.
If a problem is identified through monitoring, he
can recommend a solution to clients, and sometimes
implement solutions for clients directly. The solution is
then monitored using Tinytags to track the effects of the
changes and measure results.
Before and after data collection for one client
using Tinytags showed that current was halved following the
installation of an energy component as recommended by
Richard. At constant voltage, this gave a 50% power saving
and commensurate 50% fuel bill saving for the client - who
was extremely pleased with the results.
Monitoring costs have also plummeted for the project since using
cost-effective Tinytags. The amount of parallel work that Richard
and his team are able to undertake has risen thanks to the
portability and versatility of Tinytags. Their discreet and
compact design has also proved to be an advantage, as the
loggers were less likely to be disturbed by building occupants.
This has led to an increase in the quality of data collected,
making reports more accurate and valuable to Richard's clients.
Richard is enthusiastic about how Tinytags have assisted his
work across his career, and especially in his latest role.
"I swear by Tinytags" Richard comments.
"Academic colleagues have been very pleasantly
surprised by their performance and are already migrating to these
Read about Richard's previous
research work with Tinytag data loggers.