24.11.2014 News

Making the most of renewable energy processes

In properties in which several renewable energy processes are connected to heat and electricity production, automation adjustments and regulation usually have to be optimized many times in order for the desired benefit to be fully realized.

Investments in properties are often left in unskilled hands by the time the warranty period ends.  The use of automation will have been weak up until that point, and the buildings will have been poorly managed with regard to energy efficiency. If renewable energy processes, which are vastly more complex, are left to basic property management in the same way, there is a large risk that the processes will not achieve the desired benefits during the use phase.

Metering shows real results

In order for it to be possible to continuously run renewable energy processes at high performance, we must obtain data from them in order to determine their functionality.  This has led to an increase in the use of energy meters; nowadays energy production from all sources of energy is metered in order to ascertain performance in various situations. Continuous metering also helps to identify problems and to trigger alarms so that we can respond to any exceptions in good time. Keeping management aware of problems which can rapidly affect the energy economy ensures that repairs are carried out effectively.

By monitoring the relationship between renewable forms of energy and purchased energy (energy balance sheet), it is easy to see how well your own production can meet the energy deficit.

As is the case with traditional HVAC and electricity processes, efficiency and reference figures for renewable energy production can also be metered and calculated, with monitoring limits set for them. For example, target COP/SCOP figures can be set for ground-source and air-source heat pumps in various applications, while the production of solar panels and collectors can be monitored and compared to target figures.

Shown in the picture is Järvenpää Mestariasunnot, which features a high-performing ground source heating system and a high COP figure.

Nuuka’s BEMS system is connected to numerous properties which utilize renewable energy. Areas of improvement were found through measurement and analysis during the implementation of the sites, with repairs carried out immediately at the start of the use phase.  If the faults had been left unrepaired for years, the efficiency over the equipment’s life cycle would have been poor.  Property management has found it easier to familiarize itself with new processes since the software clearly states how the process functions and whether there is cause to react.

« Big data and analytics at the Annual Convention of Property Investment Prospects in Aulanko 6.-7.11.2014.

Portfolio-level sustainability reporting for property investors »