Tag Archives: Carl Baer

Go Green and Save Money

The Question: “How can we afford to “Go Green?” The Answer: “You can’t afford not to!”

As companies and institutions everywhere are asking, “How can we afford to go green?” Others have learned that the real question should be, “How can we afford not to?” Between the savings from energy efficiency, government incentives, rebates and well structured financing and lease options, energy projects can be excellent investments rather than daunting expenses.

By taking a carefully planned “whole facility” approach, companies can target both the “low-hanging fruit” (such as lighting upgrades and maintenance solutions) and a combination of other equally significant and cost effective solutions (such as available technologies to improve the efficiency of HVAC, refrigeration, equipment loads, etc) to achieve substantial returns. The efficiency gained across multiple load categories will amass to very significant reductions in overall energy consumption and costs. Often, these savings can help to fund more expensive, longer term solutions. Experts all agree that increasing energy efficiency is the most important and financially prudent step any business can take in “going green”. By reducing demand and consumption first, the scope and cost of secondary phases (such as adding renewable energy sources) can be better controlled.

Many government and utility programs have been designed to reward companies following just such an approach. For example, New Jersey’s Pay for Performance program returns up to 100% of the money spent for design and 50% of the money spent for implementation which significantly reduces payback time and increases R.O.I.

Furthermore, equipment lease or rental agreements can be used to eliminate out of pocket and capital expenditure costs and immediately enrich cash flow. Structured properly, these agreements cover the entire project cost and have such low monthly costs that they are off-set by the savings. In other words, the monthly energy savings outpace the monthly lease payments creating additional, immediate, unexpected cash flow and profit for the facility.

In addition to cost concerns, companies are often interested in knowing how energy reduction programs will affect their operations. A professional, well designed system should improve lighting quality, enhance occupant and employee comfort, reduce wear and tear on system components and improve equipment performance.

So again, the answer is, “You can’t afford not to go green”.

Save Money On Your Company’s Energy Bill, visit Energy Edge Technologies site for strategies on saving a tremendous amount of capital on your Corporate Energy Bill or call 888-729-5722 Ext. 100.

You Need Power Factor Correction and TVSS Do Not Save Energy

In today’s energy climate more and more people have become motivated to accomplish what they can to become more energy efficient to conserve energy and money. Regrettably this same climate has encouraged some to take advantage of innocent consumers’ desires to save energy and reduce operating expenses.

Vendors that advertise power factor improvement (kVAR correction) and transient voltage suppression to save energy are a good case in point of this bad trend. Recently we are seeing more and more of these businesses cropping up and we believe it is time to set the record straight.

First off, transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS) plays an important part in improving power quality to guard sensitive equipment inside a facility. However, TVSS does not save energy. TVSS’s are barely active an infinitesimal portion of a second to defend against voltage surges which only last for less than a millisecond. To actually decrease energy use the TVSS would need to essentially cut power consumption for an extended amount of time which is not what they are designed to do. Again, TVSS is essential to protect susceptible electrical equipment but consumers should steer clear of vendors promising, or even guaranteeing, a reduction in energy consumption.

And what about salespeople who maintain that increasing power factor will save 15% or 20% or 30% of energy consumption and resultant costs? This is false but also a bit trickier.

For homes, power factor correction does zero to save energy because the average home already has an average power factor of approximately 0.97 which is nearly the perfect power factor of 1 or unity. Additionally, the unit (called a capacitor) is installed at the homes main circuit breaker. According to IEEE 5.5.3.3 capacitors must be located at or near the individual inductive motor loads to decrease power system losses by reducing heat and distribution losses known as I2R losses.

So what about commercial and industrial facilities looking to use power factor correction to shrink energy expenditures? It is completely appropriate for a business that is incurring penalties or a kVA billing structure from the utility company to improve the facility’s overall power factor by installing a capacitor bank at the main electrical service entrance or individual capacitors at or near the particular motor loads. Doing so will do away with the power factor penalties and/or reduce the kVA demand charges on the electric bill which can save considerable money and provide a significant ROI on the investment.

But what about power factor correction reducing kWh consumption? IEEE also tells us that at most I2R losses only account for 2 to 5% of the total load in a facility. Simple arithmetic tells us that it would be in opposition to the laws of physics to obtain the 15% to 30% energy reduction claimed by some vendors. Consider it. Even if your facility had 5% distribution losses and you could correct 100% of the predicament via power factor correction at every load (which can’t be done) you would still save no more than 5% at most. No where close to the claims of some capacitor reps and manufacturers.

All that said, power factor correction when done appropriately will eliminate utility penalties and kVA demand charges, improve facility power quality, increase electrical system capacity, and save a modicum of energy when applied at the proper motor loads in an industrial facility.

So make an investment in transient voltage surge suppression and power factor correction when appropriate and necessary. But caveat emptor!

Save Money On Your Company’s Energy Bill, visit Energy Edge Technologies site for strategies on saving a tremendous amount of capital on your Corporate Energy Bill or call 888-729-5722 Ext. 100.

Buyer Beware: Green Energy

Buyer Beware – Using Power Factor Correction and Transient Voltage Surge Suppression to Reduce Energy Costs.

Today’s energy conscious climate has motivated many to do what they can to become more efficient and conserve energy and money. Unfortunately this same climate has prompted others to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers’ wishes to save energy and reduce expenses.

Companies that tout power factor improvement (kVAR correction) and transient voltage suppression are a good example of this bad trend. Lately we are seeing more and more of these companies cropping up and feel it is time to set the record straight.

First, transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS) plays a valuable role in improving power quality to protect sensitive equipment inside a facility. However, TVSS does not save energy. TVSS’s are only active a tiny fraction of a second to protect against voltage surges which only last for less than a millisecond. To actually reduce energy consumption the TVSS would need to actually cut power consumption for an extended period of time which is not what they are designed to do. Again, TVSS is important to protect sensitive electrical equipment but buyers should avoid vendors promising, or even guaranteeing, that they will reduce energy consumption.

Now what about vendors who claim that improving power factor will save 15% or 20% or 30% of energy consumption and corresponding cost? This one is a little trickier.

For residential applications, power factor does nothing to save energy because the typical home already has an average power factor of about 0.97 which is almost the perfect power factor of 1 or unity. In addition, the device (called a capacitor) is placed at the main circuit breaker. According to IEEE 5.5.3.3 capacitors must be situated at or near the respective inductive loads to reduce power system losses by reducing heat and distribution losses known as I2R losses.

So what about commercial and industrial facilities using power factor correction to reduce energy costs? It is perfectly appropriate for a company that is incurring penalties or a kVA billing structure from the utility company to improve the facility’s overall power factor by employing a capacitor bank at the main service entrance or individual capacitors at or near the respective motor loads. Doing so will eliminate the power factor penalties and/or reduce the kVA demand charges on the utility bill which can save significant money and provide a significant ROI on the investment.

But what about power factor correction reducing kWh consumption? IEEE also tells us that I2R losses only account for 2 to 5% of the total load in a facility. Simple math tells us that it would be against the laws of physics to get the 15% to 30% energy reduction claimed by some vendors. Think about it. Even if your facility had 5% distribution losses and you could correct 100% of the problem via power factor correction at every load (which can’t be done) you would still only save 5% at the most. No where near the claims of some capacitor vendors and manufacturers.

All that said, power factor correction when done properly will eliminate utility penalties and kVA demand charges, improve facility power quality, increase electrical system capacity, and save a little energy when applied to the appropriate motor loads.

So make an investment in transient voltage surge suppression and power factor correction when appropriate and necessary. But caveat emptor!

Save Money On Your Company’s Energy Bill, visit Energy Edge Technologies site for strategies on saving a tremendous amount of capital on your Corporate Energy Bill or call 888-729-5722 Ext. 100.