Electrical Management in the Performance of Buildings and Energy Costs

Building managers often focus on the mechanical operation of equipment. However, electrical problems are responsible for more than half of the equipment downtime in most buildings. Applying technology solutions, and architectures, it is observed that adding electricity management to BMS capacities can reduce energy costs and improve the performance of buildings, and at the same time enhance the comfort of occupants.

Energy management of buildings:

Energy management systems have been used for a long time in applications where electricity is vital, such as industry, data centers, and hospitals. Currently, technological advances make it easier to use these tools in commercial buildings at an affordable cost.

The advantages of adding the functionality of electricity and energy management systems to an existing building management system (BMS) are, among others, lower maintenance costs, lower energy consumption, longer equipment life and greater productivity and comfort of the occupants.

Most of the buildings have been equipped with automated building management systems (BMS) that allow centralized monitoring and control of the air conditioning, the respective ventilation systems, lighting, etc. These systems offer facility managers and building owners an integral view of the mechanical system.

However, many building system managers do not take advantage of the system's potential to also monitor the electrical system or its connection with the Energy & Power Management System (EPMS) systems.

Electrical problems are responsible for more than half the equipment downtime in most buildings. By adding EPMS energy management to the capabilities of the BMS, global energy costs can be reduced, and the performance of equipment and buildings improved while improving the comfort of the occupants.

Why technology is relevant:

Energy monitoring is essential to reduce consumption and CO 2 emissions. Supervision technology can be applied to the quantification of water, air, gas, electricity and steam consumption. A monitoring strategy can use different measurement techniques and many types of measurement devices.

Regardless of the specific supervision strategy, the main results are measurement, calculation, collection, visualization and exchange of energy data. The information collected is consolidated into advanced applications that allow fundamental business decisions in the area of energy costs.

The information obtained only from the analysis of the energy consumed is useful but limited. For example, a facility manager may see that some mechanism such as a chiller does not work, which will cause him to want to investigate the causes.

If the problem is mechanical, it can be fixed, but if the problem is related to the quality of the energy, it can waste a lot of money on unsuccessful repairs that can lead to unnecessary wear on the equipment.

Basic notions for energy supervision:

Energy supervision maximizes the efficiency of daily operations by outputting data on real-time properties of the building's power supply. It allows the building management, maintenance, and operations teams to determine how the different systems and equipment of the building influence the electrical system.

It also highlights how different systems and equipment influence each other. This visibility allows facility staff to detect and resolve problems more quickly, minimize the waste of electricity and operate the building more efficiently.

Since lighting and HVAC systems, which consume more than half the energy of a building, are affected by electricity, it would be logical for the company to incorporate the management and supervision of the same, integrating technology platforms.

Advantages of electrical management:

Maximization of equipment performance: identifies problems early, so damage and downtime can be minimized.

A loss of capacity is avoided: it allows to set certain alerts on key equipment so that notifications are sent when the harmonic distortion exceeds a certain level.

Tested electric invoices: all types of information are detailed, such as electricity consumption peaks, total consumption and time of use.

Management of capacity and assets: electricity management improves global asset management and prevents catastrophic failures.

Comparison between installations: the increase of high-quality information from the electrical supervision system allows for more accurate comparisons between several installations.

Applied analysis: electricity management produces large amounts of data.