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Energy Audits

For More Information
Dave Nardi, PE, CEM, LEED AP BD+C
Wiley|Wilson’s approach for energy audits begins by reviewing as much documentation on the existing buildings and systems as possible, in order to obtain a thorough understanding of the way in which energy is being used by the particular facilities. This documentation includes utility bills, building drawings, specifications, other reports and controls sequences. By spending sufficient time on this effort up front, the time spent in the field is more efficient. After becoming familiar with the documentation, site visits arecoordinated with the site to verify the documentation and to obtain additional information. During the site visits, Wiley|Wilson staff is accompanied by a facility person, to learn of the day-to-day building operations, including frequency of maintenance, reoccurring problems with controls, complaints about thermal comfort, etc.

The importance of understanding the systems cannot be emphasized enough. The field work performed is more than collecting nameplate data. In addition to verifying the documentation, our experienced personnel analyze other system factors including piping arrangements, ducting arrangements, and sensor locations.

Once the field data collection is complete, a computer model of the building and its systems is developed in order to obtain a mathematical approximation of how the building currently uses energy. Several different software programs can be used to create this energy model. Our experience includes the use of Trane’s Trace 700 software, Carrier’s HAP software and the DOE’s eQuest software. By comparing the results from the model to actual utility bills, the model can then be calibrated to closely match the utility bills. Typically the average of utility bills from the most recent three years is preferred. Once the model is calibrated to within 10% of the utility bill data (an industry standard and ASHRAE recommended tolerance), the baseline is complete and potential energy conservation measures can be modeled.

When developing possible alternatives for energy and water conservation, we don’t limit ourselves to a checklist of typical energy and water saving measures. The potential measures that are developed and modeled are tailored for the building systems and the building operation and function. The cost to implement individual conservation measures is estimated, and economic payback is calculated. Conservation measures that meet the economic, energy and water conservation goals of the project are presented.

The level of detail that can be incorporated into an energy and water audit varies from brief feasibility studies to more intensive investment grade audits. Typically ASHRAE’s Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits is used as a guide for developing the energy audit report.

Diagnostics Tools
We have several tools available to aid in an energy audit. These include data loggers for trending temperatures and humidity in spaces, airflow test equipment for verifying equipment performance, current clamp meters for measuring electrical current to a panel or device and thermal imaging cameras. The images below are examples of the thermal images obtained from a thermal imaging camera. Thermal images of equipment and spaces can show where heat is being generated and where it’s being lost. A particularly beneficial use for these images is verifying the proper operation of steam traps. These images allow you to visually verify that steam temperatures are present on the steam side of the trap, while the lower temperature condensate is present on the other side of the trap.

Our experienced staff has a great deal of knowledge with various types of mechanical and electrical systems and equipment. 

Our team is active with these organizations: