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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Energy conservation in Residential and Commercial buildings

"Residential and Commercial buildings account for a significant portion of the total energy consumption in India." 

These buildings use electricity and other energy sources such as natural gas etc. Electricity is used for lighting and operating other useful appliances. The potential for energy conservation in buildings remains large despite of the improvements in energy efficiency and house keeping. For any building, the envelope that is walls, roofs, floors, windows and doors has a significant impact on the energy consumption.

Recommended Energy Conservation Measures:
The commonly recommended energy conservation measures are:
  • The energy use of a building is dominated by weather, especially in extreme weather conditions. Heat gain and loss from direct conduction of heat or from air passage are significant. Addition of thermal insulation can be cost effective. CO2 based ventilation controller can be implemented in various commercial buildings including cinemas, classrooms, retail stores and establishments to reduce the energy requirement. Recently several materials such as selective glasses or chromogenic glazing have been used to improve energy efficiency of buildings.
  •  Simple and inexpensive measures to improve the efficiency of a lighting system include the use of energy efficient lamps and ballasts, reflective devices, de-lamping and maximum use of day light. Sensors and controllers can be used to reduce electrical lighting consumption. Energy efficient equipments of standard make should be used to comply with the efficiency standards and to save money.
  • The energy use due to Heating Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) may be significant particularly in the light of increasing living standards.  30 to 40% of the total energy consumption in any commercial building is because of HVAC. Measures to improve energy performance include appropriate setting of thermostat, retrofitting of central heating and cooling plants, installation of heat recovery system etc.
  • An automated energy management and control system (EMCS) can control the building energy use by continuously monitoring the energy consumption of various equipments and making necessary adjustments.   
  • Regular energy audits should be conducted to identify opportunities of energy saving. The short term and cost effective measures should be implemented immediately.