My last blog post touched on how phase change materials (PCM) can provide exceptional energy savings both in cooling and heating. The driver, of course, stems from our discussion regarding our energy profile (shown below), and what we can do to reduce and/or shift energy consumption during peak times. In today’s lesson, we will explore what to do with the remaining energy load during peak.
Recap: Leading Up with the Most Cost-Effective Ways to Reduce Energy Use
Before jumping to that solution, let’s do a quick recap of what we’re trying to accomplish overall. If you remember from my previous blog posts, you might recall that we have taken an approach that alters our peak energy profile, allowing us to gain maximum cost effectiveness while still reducing consumption in our total energy profile. Remember to always follow the path of lowest cost first before committing further to any major capital expenditures.
When we look at our energy profile, we can see that what we need to manage from a capital expenditure perspective is significantly less than when we first started with our energy profile. By employing a strategic lean thinking mindset, we have been able to reduce consumption in this profile by roughly 66% without spending any major capital.
What to Consider Before Deciding on Batteries
Now, what about this hot, new topic everyone is talking about: batteries? Are we ready to implement battery storage now? Well the answer is: It depends! First off, now that you are an Energy Waste Ninja, it is up to you to tell the battery vendors what you need in a battery system – not the other way around. Batteries are certainly an option as a peak shift strategy but you must be in control of why, for what, and for how long you will need the system. So, for instance, if we follow our lean mindset it would be advisable to stratify our data even further for this final piece of our energy profile. We would want to do this to ensure we haven’t overlooked any other opportunities to reduce energy consumption within this final category of all other utilities (besides HVAC), which is depicted in the figure below. That way, when we are ready to implement batteries, we are retrofitting for an already very lean energy profile.
As done in our first set of data stratification for looking at all options, you may want to consider other demand reduction measures such as retrofitting to LED lighting, switching employees over to laptops from desktops, changing out old monitors, and or upgrading lunch room equipment like fridges, etc. before installing a battery system. This will further reduce the battery requirements upon implementation and ensure you are making the very best use of the new battery option!
Next on Sensei Bruce’s BLOG: We take a look at our processes from an energy consumption perspective, searching for continuous improvement energy reduction opportunities through our highest cost uses of energy.