Keep your cool
The month of May has arrived and Steve Browning , Partner & End Customer Marketing Communications Manager at Trend Control Systems, explains why it is also a good time to make sure Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) are working as efficiently as possible.
After the wet and windy winter that we experienced this winter, many of us will be hoping for a hot and sunny summer. If this does materialise, building managers will face the dual challenge of maintaining comfort conditions while minimising the amount of energy used for cooling and air conditioning.
This can be a frustrating process, as although there is greater awareness of the effects of CO2, combined with the financial implications of rising utility bills, in workplaces throughout the nation energy is being wasted on a truly colossal scale. Research conducted by Trend through its auditing service found that a shocking 39 per cent of energy is wasted within the workplace. Perhaps of greater concern is that half of this figure can be directly attributed to poor behaviour, such as leaving lights on after vacating a room, the use of individual fan heaters and windows that are left open with the radiators turned on.
To help establish a culture of energy efficiency, it is important to look at the causes of certain behaviour. For instance, if fan heaters are being used, it could be because certain parts of a building are not as warm as they should be. Another cause is electrical equipment, such as photocopiers, being placed near a temperature sensor. This increases the temperature around the sensor, which will then call for cool air to reduce it. The cool airflow will affect adjacent controlled zones and people will feel colder and use fan heaters to warm up. This ‘heating fighting cooling’ scenario is all too common but constitutes bad ecological behaviour - opening a window when the heating is on makes no sense whichever way you look at it.