Daily Archives: April 19, 2009

Nine More Ways to Save Energy in Your Building

An article from a recent issue of Material Handling Management, which proclaimed that All Roads Lead to Savings, outlined nine ways that you can save energy, and money. So next time you’re looking to cut the energy bill, in addition to sourcing that next energy contract, you might want to remind your organization that they can cut costs further by reducing overall energy consumption using these methodologies, among others.

  1. Fluoresce
    Lighting can eat up to 50% of a building’s energy consumption, especially in moderate climate zones where heating and cooling requirements are minimal (and you’re not running a data center). Convert metal-halide systems to T5 or T8 fluorescent lamps and use LED signage.
  2. Flick It
    Leaving lights on 24 hours a day? That’s unnecessarily doubling or tripling your lighting bill. Turn lights off when not needed (and if you need lighting 24 hour a day, consider LED lights) and consider motion sensors to automatically turn off lights after 5 minutes of inactivity (outside of normal business hours).
  3. Go Solar
    Designing a new building? Consider lots of windows for natural light (and solar sensors to dim lighting when not required) and solar panels on the roof (to reduce the electricity you have to buy). (And if you can get your building efficient enough, maybe you can even sell some of that solar energy at a profit.)
  4. Control the Air
    It takes heat out in the winter and cool out in the summer. Install doors that can open and close quickly and consider unconditioned “foyers” that can reduce energy loss. Use fans instead of air when the heat is mild. Go “casual” in the office and don’t turn on the air until the temperature hits 25 (and don’t turn on the heat until it drops below 17).
  5. Go Lean
    Minimize the distance vehicles have to travel in a warehouse. Put fast moving product close to the doors. Design the assembly “line” to minimize movement.
  6. Get Slack with VFDs
    Variable Frequency Drives, which control the frequency of electrical power supplier to AC electric motors, can reduce the wasteful “in rush current” needed to start a motor.
  7. Retrofit Motors
    Retrofitting old conveyor motors with secondary windings can increase their efficiency by up to 40%.
  8. Keep the Heat
    Up to 85% of the energy used to convert air pressure from 0 to 100 psi in a compressed air system is released as a heat byproduct. If you’re in a cold climate, you could use the heat to warm your building, or you could use it heat the water supply.
  9. A Low Energy Vision
    Design buildings, machinery, and processes to use as little energy as possible.