By Chris Mbori
Having the right equipment is key to any energy auditing process. But even before we talk about the energy auditing tools, it is paramount to keep in mind safety first. Before using any of the tools listed below, ensure as an energy auditor that you are with the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes helmets, gloves, ear plugs, googles etc. Keep in mind nothing is more important than your personal safety.
As an energy auditor below are some of the most essential energy auditing tools you should have in your starter pack;
A clamp meter
This is one of the most important electrical tools an energy auditor should have. It is a first cut tool to so many electrical measurements. It can be used to approximate the loading in a motor. As an auditor you can also use it to find out how much current is flowing through a cable. You can also use the clamp on meter to measure voltages and frequency. A good clamp on meter is the Fluke 376.
Power Energy Logger
To go deeper into electrical analysis, it is essential to have an energy logger. The Power Energy Logger can help you as an energy auditor determine the energy profile of a facility. It can also help you analyze electrical parameters like harmonics, power factor, voltage fluctuations, transients e.t.c. A recommended Power Energy Logger is the PEL 103 from AEMC.
Combustion measurements are a key part of energy auditing measurement. This is where we measure Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Sulphur Oxides. To measure all these we require a handheld combustion analyzer. A great combustion analyzer is the Testo 320
The best way to get to know a temperature of a body is by its emitted radiation. A thermal imager uses emitted radiation of a body to determine not only temperature but also show visual imagers of the temperature gradient of a body. This instrument is essential in energy audits as it can be used to check for heat loss caused by not insulating a surface, checking whether a steam trap has failed open or even checking whether there is overheating in an electrical circuit. Flir E5 thermal imager is a great thermal imaging tool.
Air flow Anemometer
Thermal measurements are so critical in an energy audit as they help quantify thermal loads which are not always easy to quantify. A great air flow anemometer should be able to measure flow, temperature and humidity. Some anemometers even have logging capabilities in them. A great air flow anemometer is the Fluke 925
The 5 tools listed above are a must have for any energy auditor. There other tools that are also key and important and we shall list them in our next post. We shall also discuss how to use each of them and how the different brands compare to each other.