GREEN INITIATIVES – ENERGY MANAGEMENT
For many years Smith & Long has been involved in delivering meaningful “Green Initiatives” and solutions for our clients. Our use of the word “meaningful” is uniquely intentional, for in recent years the skeptically driven term “Green-washing” speaks to strategies that may appear to serve as green/energy saving / sustainable initiatives, but once all “cradle to grave” factors have been considered, the end result might actually be quite different!
A Smith & Long “Green Initiative” can take many forms, some of which are highlighted elsewhere in this website through the products and services we regularly perform such as lighting retrofits, electric vehicle charging, sub-metering, equipment upgrades, etc.
One area often considered as “low hanging fruit” when it comes to “Green Initiatives” is with regard to an Energy Management System. In general terms, this would be referred to as a BAS (Building Automation System), but in fact energy management can start with something as basic as installing occupancy sensors for lighting, lighting dimmers, setback controls for HVAC, timers and or programmable switches for idling production equipment, fans, or air compressors, etc.
The next level of energy management initiatives can take the form of engaging Smith & Long to perform a study of specific operational characteristics of various dynamic electrical loads with your facility, potentially resulting in the implementation of optimized individual control systems. Motor loads are often excellent candidates for the retrofit of VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) if the existing control system is a basic On/Off (“across-the-line”) method of control. It is a misnomer that most standard electric motors are paired exactly with the actual operational need 100% of the time. And that simply means unnecessary, unproductive energy consumption! Add to that the needless wear and tear of the associated equipment and before you know it, there is a strong business case for change.
The potential for VFD retrofit projects is virtually endless and can be utilized by applications such as ventilation; air supply, exhaust, HVAC, air compressors, pumps, basically any motor-driven process that has variable demand. Alternatively, in many circumstances that do not have a variance in operational demand, we can identify the optimum rotational speed without sacrificing required performance. It is then programmed and set “permanently” at that speed, sometimes a significant margin below 100% of the rated full motor speed RPM. Translation: Fixed future energy savings every time the equipment operates!
Building Automation Systems (BAS) can be the vehicle to provide one of the most comprehensive and intuitive ways by which a building owner/ operator can ensure their entire facility is operating at its optimized best from an energy consumption to occupant comfort for best workplace efficiency. Smith & Long has a great history of being a responsive service orientated contractor for BAS, often working as the connection between the manufacturer and our clients.
In recent years, the commercial and institutional space has taken on a “life” like never before with respect to its need to respond quickly to marketplace changes. These fast-paced seemingly ever-changing requirements demand flexibility within building designs and spaces. This flexibility necessitates significant operational change demands and outcomes…for in a properly designed, installed and commissioned BAS. Any changes to layout i.e. installation or removal of partitions, access and egress routes, or purpose of space from a people loading, equipment, modified hours of operation perspective, building envelop, etc., are but a few of the many items that can affect the required operation and efficiency expectations from BAS infrastructure.
Contact Smith & Long to support any of your moves, adds or changes within your facility and we will ensure any required BAS control field device location modifications, quantities, and associated programming alterations are performed in a professional and timely manner to ensure your building’s maximum operating efficiency is achieved.