Demystifying Energy Audit Tools
Given the need for constant regulation in organizations, energy management is an area that has become a key focus as a way to ensure efficiency and resource optimization. As a result, the need to carry out energy audits has been appreciated increasingly and especially with the new regulations in the country that require organizations that meet a certain threshold of power usage to conduct audits every three years. To understand how energy audits are done, one has to also appreciate the types of instruments that are used in the process.
Linet Njeri, our brand strategy coordinator sat with our CEO, Chris Mbori to find out more about the kind of tools that are used in energy audits and energy management in general.
Q: Give us a little description of energy management tools. What are they used for?
There are various energy management tools ranging from electrical measurement tools to thermal energy measurement tools. Examples include: power analyzers, combustion analyzers, thermal imagers, flow meters, lux meters, multimeters, real time electricity monitors among others
Q: Who uses energy management tools?
The tools are used by anyone in need of measuring energy parameters. Engineers and energy auditors find these tools very valuable in their interaction with energy.
Q: How different are the tools in Kenya from the ones abroad?
They are pretty much just the same. We get these tools from reputable manufacturers abroad and so they are not any different. The only difference might only be in the brands.
Q: What are some of the most essential tools when conducting an audit?
- Power Analyzers- These are used to measure power in Watts or Kilowatt-hours as well as to analyze and measure harmonics. The data logged from power analyzers is analyzed and used to make recommendations on energy conservation measures.
- Combustion Analyzers- They are used to test the combustion efficiency of heat producing equipment such as heaters, boilers and furnaces in order to ensure the maintenance of high efficiency while maximizing fuel use and saving energy. Combustion analyzers are used in a wide range of environments including residential, commercial and industrial with each requiring specific tests, sensors and detection levels.
- Flow meters- These are devices used to the quantity of gas or liquid moving through a pipe. Flow meters are essential in energy audits as they are used to test flow checks, detect leakages and flow performance.
- Leak detectors- Just as the name implies, leak detectors are used to detect leakage in systems which contain liquid or gas. This allows auditors to measure the reliability, safety and efficiency of the system.
- Lux meters- These are devices used to measure the intensity of light in a work space surface. This determines whether there is proper illumination for efficiency and safety.
- Tachometers- These are instruments used to measure the rotation or revolution of objects rotating at speed such as engines or shafts.
- Multimeters- These are electronic instruments that take several measurements including voltage, current and resistance.
Q: Can measurements be done manually without these tools?
It depends. For example, someone can measure flow rate manually but measuring lux levels manually is impossible. Even measuring power manually is impossible and might be a suicide mission. Tools are therefore really essential to the energy audits.
Q: Are there audits that require more advanced tools from the normal ones? Are they available in Kenya?
Yes, some audits require more advanced tools. For example measuring power at high voltages. And yes these audits are available in Kenya and Eenovators is taking full advantage of them based on our advance tools.
Q: Is it necessary for high energy consuming organizations to have such tools in house or can they just hire them out?
Both. If they have the budget, they can purchase the tools and have them in-house. So many organizations do this. If not, they can hire them out in time of need.
Q: If an organization wants to purchase tools can Eenovators help in the process?
Yes we can. We have direct links to manufacturers of these equipment and therefore source for the best quality equipment for our clients. We also hire these tools through our website.
Q: Will Kenya ever reach a place where wemanufacture our own tools?
Yes. Anything is possible. Already some individuals are coming up with data loggers that are assembled locally.
Q: What should organizations look out for when hiring tools?
- Ensure that the tools are well calibrated
- Find easy to access channels for booking tools preferably through a website
- Consider the market rate and choose the most competitive rate
- Enquire about the availability of the tools for the period you require them for
- Look out for an organization that offers training and support on the use of the tools
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