Commercial Energy and Cost Analysis :
Energy costs typically account for 15 % of a warehouse’s operating budget. To better manage your building’s energy costs, it helps to understand how you are charged for those costs. Most utilities charge commercial buildings for their natural gas based on the amount of energy delivered. Electricity, on the other hand, can be charged based on two measures: consumption and demand . Energy and economic calculations are performed through a comparison of baseline and improved buildings for both energy savings and cost effectiveness. Depending on the complexity of the proposal being analyzed, analysis or modeling of changes between representative building types is performed to find savings. Incremental costs for the improvements is developed using engineering cost estimates of a typical upgrade. Warehouses are moving beyond simply providing storage; many now offer high tech inventory tracking and value added services such as quality control testing and repackaging. As warehouses grow more sophisticated, their energy consumption grows, and energy efficiency measures can be a boon to the bottom line.
The US Department of Energy [ DOE] methodology contains two primary assessments:
- Energy savings
- Cost effectiveness
Energy savings is determined by comparing two cases, one for the baseline and one for the proposed or comparison case.
The DOE methodology accounts for the benefits of energy-efficient building construction over a multi-year analysis period, balancing initial costs against longer term energy savings. DOE evaluates energy codes and code proposals based on life cycle cost analysis over a multi-year study period, accounting for energy savings, incremental investment for energy efficiency measures, and other economic impacts. The value of future savings and costs are discounted to a present value, with improvements deemed cost effective when the net savings (savings minus cost) is positive
Quick Fixes :
Turning things off when you don’t need them and keeping equipment in good repair save energy.
One of the greatest sources of energy losses for heated or refrigerated warehouse spaces is air infiltration through gaps around loading dock doors during loading and unload ing operations. Regularly checking and repairing gaps in seals is a quick energy saver.
Regular maintenance of heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems—including changing filters regularly—is important for good operation and to avoid energy waste.
Light fixtures often have more lamps than are required for recommended lighting levels. Remove unnecessary lamps.
Controlling outside air intake:
Not heating outside air during unoccupied periods saves an average of about US $0.50
Ventilation and temperature settings:
Many warehouse areas have rooftop units for heating, ventilation, or cooling. Some are also equipped with exhaust fans. Exhaust fans for warehouse spaces should be shut off when the space is unoccupied. In addition to the outside air controls described earlier, avoiding unnecessary fan use saves an additional US$0.10 (C$0.11) per hour for every 1,000 cfm (28.32 cubic meters per minute). For additional savings, the temperature set point should be reduced during the heating season by 10°F (6°C) or more when areas are unoccupied.
Big ceiling fans [ HVLS Fans ] :
If the space is air conditioned, ceiling fans save energy by improving air circulation, allowing the temperature setting to be lowered by as much as 4.5°F (2.5°C). If the space is not air conditioned, using large ceiling fans can improve employee comfort, morale, and productivity. Several case studies have shown that the air circulation is better and energy efficiency is greater with large ceiling fans compared to smaller, higher-velocity fans. (One large, slow-moving fan can do the same job as several smaller, high-speed fans.) Large ceiling fans also reduce heating costs in winter by recirculating the higher-temperature air that tends to stagnate near the ceilings of warehouses.
Reducing air infiltration :
Refrigerated areas within ware houses lose a lot of energy when doors open to allow forklifts to come and go. Retrofit solutions include insulated cold storage doors that open and close quickly (yet safely) and better seals around loading dock doors.
Radiant heating :
In many warehouse applications, especially in loading areas, it is costly and inefficient to maintain temperatures of 60° to 70°F (16° to 21°C) to keep staff comfortable. In these situations, reflector focused gas or electric radiant heaters (also known as beam radiant heaters) can be mounted above the areas that require heat, keeping employees comfortable with the ambient interior air temperature as low as 40° to 50°F (4° to 10°C).
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