Hello and welcome once again to Cooling India. Energy is the backbone of modern living. According to the US Energy Department, the building sector consumes almost 50% of all electricity produced there. Same is the case in many developing countries. China has already become the number one energy consuming country in the world. India is soon catching up. According to ISHRAE, many commercial buildings have an energy performance index between 200 to 400 kWH/sqm per year and there is pressure on the energy resources more from the HVAC equipment that consumes more electricity in these building.
With Chinese economy now slowing down and India becoming the fastest growing economy in the world, the construction industry is witnessing a fast growth. Some of the key growth drivers are more housing demand and increase use of commercial office spaces. The net result would be more energy requirement for the building sector. So obviously, we should not commit the same mistake that China did - producing more power to quench the energy thirst. Instead, we should be building structures which are energy-efficient. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency or the BEE has already a decade back come up with an Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC). The guidelines have to be strictly enforced. The energy consumption of building depends on the design of building envelope, selected HVAC-systems and the maintenance of them. The quality of windows also plays an important role, when building is designed. After all, as mentioned above HVAC systems comprise almost 50% of energy consumed by buildings around the world and hence, HVAC should be our priority focus.
You don't have to spend money to save energy. One can start with low-cost improvements, and the savings thus generated can be used to pay for more extensive upgrades. The load on an HVAC system can be minimised by taking some of the energy-saving measures such as appropriate insulation, usage of false ceilings and air curtains, roof reflectance and efficient lighting. Most importantly, regularly scheduled maintenance of HVAC systems can increase the energy efficiency.
On the part of the HVAC industry, they can develop better tools to help building owners and facility managers evaluate the relationship between maintenance costs and energy costs and support investment in the appropriate maintenance approach. Decisions regarding the HVAC system-for new construction and existing buildings-are most effective when undertaken as part of a facility-wide energy management program.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue, which has some good features on Building automation and energy efficiency. Do send in your comments to me at email@example.com
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Member, Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)