Why is monitoring energy usage important?
In essence, energy monitoring allows for the management of your energy consumption. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!
In any building, there are two main forms of energy consumption; electrical energy for the use of any appliance that uses electricity to operate and thermal energy to keep our buildings at a desired temperature.
For Phase 1 of our energy monitoring programme we will be focusing on electrical energy consumption.
How does the monitoring system work?
In order to measure electrical power consumption we need to know how much energy is flowing into the building through the electricity supply cables.
To do this, we use a device known as a current sensing transformer to measure this energy flow. This device clips onto the electrical supply cables and measures the power using induction principles.
We then send this measurement through a wireless connection to a broadband router which is connected to the internet. From here it is sent to a remote server where a software application allows us to view this information online or on a smartphone.
What sort of data does it provide?
Every 12 seconds the monitor sends back information about the instantaneous power consumption at that time interval. This allows the software to create an “energy usage profile” showing us how much electrical power is being consumed and when it is being consumed.
How does electrical energy waste occur in a building?
Let’s take a school building for example – a school opens for roughly 8 to 10 hours per day 5 days per week and about 32 weeks of the year.
The monitoring system will show how much energy is being used when there is no one in the school building. When the building is empty, the energy usage should be very very low but is often higher than it needs to be.
We often have and leave more lights switched on than we need or are not using low energy lightbulbs.
We also leave devices on standby or running when they are not needed. Think immersion water heaters, computers, televisions, phone chargers etc.
By simply changing our behaviour patterns and by being aware of the power being consumed can help to reduce consumption.
The Susliving energy monitoring programme will help you to understand what different devices consume and how by taking control of this we can save your school money, reduce its carbon footprint and give you important information to use at home and in your future!
– Colm Byrne
Susliving Tech Mentor: Energy
You can email me with questions or advice at firstname.lastname@example.org