Rising energy prices in combination with modern legislation are driving commercial buildings to look for ways to reduce their gas usage.
Gas installers undertaking commercial gas installations are the first link in the chain. If you have the correct knowledge of commercial gas system settings and controls, and are able to advise your customers on the installs that can help energy efficiency, it will set your customers well on their way to reducing the overall operating costs of their building.
The correct settings are essential to the performance of commercial gas systems, and must be tailored to the specific usage and requirements of a building.
Achieving this does not have to be an expensive or disruptive job; with a better understanding of the basic controls of their building energy management system (BEMS), building and facilities managers can start to make the checks and adjustments needed to make energy savings:
- Control panel switches – these should be set to auto rather than manual.
- Time settings – has the buildings usage changed? If so, the time settings will certainly need adjustment to take account of the new requirements. Also, check the controls are still set to the correct time and day.
- Temperature settings – making sure the frost settings are correct is particularly important at this time of year. Check extension timers and frost thermostats are working correctly for optimum efficiency.
- Temperature flow – In variable-temperature heating systems, an adjustment to the flow temperature can ensure boilers condense properly. The addition of a sensor in the boiler flow will notify facilities managers if flow temperature continues to be high after plant shut down, saving energy and costs.
- Systems check – are all motorised valves working correctly, both electrically and mechanically? This is essential to the smooth and cost-efficient running of the BEMS.
- Competing services – make sure controls are not setting services, such as heating and cooling, off against each other.
The installation of energy efficient heating equipment can often involve altering the fabric of the building, which is time-consuming and usually requires significant capital spend.
But there are some low-cost additions which can be installed without too much disruption, such as extension timers, which will help ensure that building plant only operates when it is required, reducing energy waste to a minimum.
The key to the energy efficiency of commercial gas systems is being able to understand and evaluate the various controls to ensure existing systems meet present and future needs.
A simple survey will flag up any potential issues and start to highlight more ways in which savings can be made.
Logic4training offers Commercial ACS Gas Safety courses for both New Entrants and existing gas installers.