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AN ENERGY ENGINEER’S TAKE ON The POWER OF VULNERABILITY BY Brené Brown

By Martin Ochieng

The energy space is a unique one by all definitions of the term. This space is one of the very few professional occupations where the professional in question has to sell an element of faith to the client. The profession requires engineers to adequately communicate the potential of their recommendations in a way that bridges the gap between the “absolutely technical” and the “oversimplified.” This is no small fete and as such requires an element of vulnerability on the engineer’s part. I know, sounds a little far-fetched, but let me explain.

The potential client’s perception of what energy engineers do is varied across the board on the get-go and includes a few inaccuracies. Most clients think of us as maintenance personnel. Spoiler alert, we are not. Others think of us as representatives of the regulator. Well, we kind of are, but it’s not that simple. What most perceptions have in common is that we are seen as “magical creatures” who can lower your bills. I’d like to think that is true, but again, it’s not that simple.

The rather obscured reality between who energy engineers are and what society thinks of them draws us closer to why vulnerability is crucial to this field. Whenever an energy engineer submits a report, calculates potential savings, or costs an installation, the engineer puts his or her name on a document containing a promise of savings and trusts that the training and experience gathered over time is enough to predict an eventuality of reduced costs. We open ourselves up to criticism through all we do. This needs a great deal of vulnerability. The right kind that allows us to open up and make promises based on training and trust that the client will follow the steps laid out and achieve the predicted savings.

This assertion is especially true considering the wide variety of professionals energy engineers encounter. These professionals work with Engineers potentially more experienced in their respective fields than they are, accountants with years of expertise under their belts, and executives who have earned their place in the professional world. Each job means these engineers have to relearn multiple disciplines fast to apply their expertise for potential savings. As such, energy engineers have to be willing to make mistakes and learn from professionals in their respective fields. This field is one of the very few where engineers have to be willing to learn from the client’s expertise which requires a lot of humility and vulnerability.

However, the level of trust meted out by clients on energy engineers is astonishing. The experience I have gathered shows that because energy engineers are willing to be vulnerable, most clients attach a level of trust not common to similar fields considering the nature of professional energy management. As such I find vulnerability crucial as it helps energy engineers learn, grow, and be confident enough to provide depictions of what is possible in energy management.

To get more insights into what vulnerability means for professionals in the energy space both work-related and in their personal lives, I asked members of the Eenovators LTD staff to watch a TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown. I then asked them to share their thoughts on the topic cutting across the professional space into personal implications. Here are some of their responses.

My biggest take-home from the Brene Brown TED Talk on the Power of Vulnerability has been the 3C’s. There were tons of taking homes and I totally enjoyed every moment of the 20min with each concept speaking to me, but this one spoke to me the loudest. That people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and a sense of worthiness are Whole Hearted people who truly believe that they are worthy of love and belonging. I pondered over that for a moment and got a strong conviction that I want that!

That I want that for myself and my life! That I want to be wholehearted! This new concept/addition to my vocabulary has stuck with me. I have found that this is something I want to aspire to. I want to grab a hold of. I want to be wholehearted, I want for my children to be wholehearted too. I want them to have the 3 C’s – to have the courage to be imperfect, the Compassion to be kind to themselves first then to others and to have real Connection in life as a result of authenticity and living authentic lives. To have comfort in their discomfort. And the way to have them have that is to raise them like that. And for me to raise them like that I need to be like that, because I cannot give what I do not have. And so from now until year-end, I am revising my goals and re-prioritizing to have Whole Heartedness driven by the 3C’s right at the top of my list!

Be myself. I should not try to be like others, copy or imitate others as this will subject me to vulnerability. I have found myself in such a situation before and it didn’t work well. But in our everyday people we try to copy/imitate people whom we think are doing very well, and since we are unique in our own way and can never be like them; we soon get exhausted and frustrated, and vulnerability comes in.

Everyone is vulnerable-It how we treat this vulnerability that will determine if we shall reap positive or negative results. And that’s what makes the difference between those who have a high self-esteem and those who have low self-esteem. I am now working to embrace the positive side of vulnerability

Having watched the video, I learnt connection with other people is very important and that with shame and fear, that we feel sometimes brings about disconnection and that we should be willing to do something regardless of the outcome. As an individual, I have let go of great opportunities because of feeling that “I am not good enough” and from this video henceforth, I learnt that I am enough and I can do anything with just some courage, becoming open-minded and accepting that I am vulnerable just like everyone else.

I first encountered Brene Brown when a friend was talking about her book on shame. I was curious to hear about someone who had broken down the emotion we all try and hide. Her Ted Talk on Vulnerability was profound for me because it gave me the antidote to shame. What stood out for me from the talk was that you cannot numb the negative emotions of shame and fear that come with vulnerability and experience joy, love and belonging. They come as a package. As we all strive to become wholehearted people, we must be willing to be vulnerable, embracing both sides of what it brings.

HOW MUCH DOES A RESIDENTIAL HOUSE SOLAR PV INSTALLATION COST?

By Ruth Carol Atieno

The total cost of installing a complete Solar PV system is determined by various factors. In today’s blog post I will take you through these various factors that will determine how much you will spend on an installation.

Your Home’s Energy Use

The electricity demand of your home will determine the size of Solar Pv to be installed. The bigger the demand the bigger the PV system which means you will have to pay more and vise versa.

A house that has appliances such as water heater, stove, air conditioner and heater, washing machine and clothes dryer, gaming systems, computers and home entertainment systems, will have a higher demand of electricity therefore will have to pay more to have a bigger solar PV system that can feed all the needs.

On the other hand, if you are not planing to be completely dependent on Solar PV the grid can be fed into some of the lines that consume more electricity.

Model of Solar Panel

The different models of solar panels are priced differently and therefore this is also a factor that will determine how much the overall cost of installation will be. As of today there are only three types of solar panels, namely:

  • Monocrystalline cells solar
  • Polycrystalline cells solar
  • Thin film solar

Solar Incentives

If you live in a state where there are incentives for residential houses Solar PV installations then you are lucky as this be a positive factor. You will pay less for an installation.

Environmental Conditions

If your locality is mostly cloudy you might need to invest on a larger Solar PV system to avoid shortages in power supply. You may need more solar panels mounted on the roof. This will also determine the amount of money you spend on a Solar PV installation.

Other Installation Related Costs

To mount solar panels on the roof you will need racks and these will add to the cost of installation. You will also need to pay labor costs to the installer.

For the solar panels to work you will need other accessories such as an inverter and batteries which will again add to the cost of installation. There may also be additional costs for instance transport charges, local permit fees (where applicable), inspection fees and taxes.

Choice of Installer

When it comes to Solar PV systems installations it is very important that you only contract qualified personnel to do the job. Hire someone who knows what they are doing to avoid losses or any unnecessary additional costs on the installation.

Conclusion

Now that you are aware of the factors that will affect how much you spend on a Solar PV system, you are good to go. To know the exact price of an installation, you need to contact a qualified installer for sizing and quotation. Contact Eenovators Limited through info@eenovators.com

Click here for some of many installations done by Eenovators Limited

IS BIOMASS ENERGY REALLY FRIENDLY TO THE ENVIRONMENT?

By Monica Ngage

The current increase in pollution has greatly contributed to climate change, therefore, there’s need to shift to clean and renewable sources of energy. There exists several sources of renewable energy. However, whenever renewable energy is mentioned, we quickly think of solar energy, perhaps due to is popularity among many people. 

There are other renewable energy sources such as biomass energy which is generated from plants e.g. corn & animal waste such as cow dung. It is renewable in that we can grow crops and trees over & over again. 

Biomass energy can be obtained in 3 ways: 

  • Burning- burning biomass generates heat which can be used to heat homes or create steam which can then generate electricity  
  • Biofuels- crops such as sugarcane can be converted into a biofuel known as ethanol. This can be to used fuel cars. In addition, vegetable oils and animal fats can generate biodiesel which can be used as heating oil and also to power vehicles. 
  • Methane gas- rotting biomass generates methane gas which can be used to make natural gas which is a common source of energy. 

Biomass and the Environment

Despite the fact that it is renewable, generation of biomass energy has several negative impacts on the environment. Some of these include: 

  • If not checked, can lead to deforestation when trees are cut to generate wood fuel 
  • Air pollution from burning releases greenhouse gas such as CO2 into the atmosphere 
  • The land cleared for growing corn and sugar cane can reduce habitats and destroy ecosystems 
  • Opportunity cost whereby the land used for growing biomass could be used to grow other crops for food 
  • Planting of crops and trees require use of fertilizers and other chemicals that can cause water pollution 

In conclusion, although biomass energy is renewable, it could also have adverse effects on the environment and there is need to come with a ways to strike a balance between the two. 

WHY CONDUCT A WATER AUDIT?

By Ruth Carol

Water Auditing entails the assessment of the quantities of water used and saved in a given household, factory, commercial building, irrigation process etc. Water use is calculated and eventually measures to save water are identified. Water must be conserved and this can be achieved by conducting a water audit to identify areas of water wastage.

Benefits of Conducting a Water Audit.

Conducting a water audit comes with advantages and I will take you through them.

1. Be Aware of Your Water Usage

The very first benefit of water auditing is that it will help you be aware of your water usage. And through this you will then be able to come up with conservation measures that are best suited for your water usage pattern or process.

2. Preservation of Water Supply

For instances where one water source is shared by many, a water audit process will help in the conservation of the water supplied. The same will also apply when the water source is not shared. Areas of wastage can be easily identified and conservation measures put in place during a water auditing process.

3. Reduced Water Bills

After conducting a water audit and implementation of all the recommended water conservation measures, you only get to pay for what you use. This means reduced monthly water bills since no water will be wasted.

4. Know The Quality of Water

In addition to quantity, the quality of water used can also be identified during a water auditing process. This is a health related matter and therefore it is very important to understand the quality of water used in different process, for instance in a food processing plant or even at home.

5. Development of Water Storage Structures

Through water auditing a state is able to understand the water cycle and therefore can easily come up with the appropriate water storage structures such as dams, bunds, lakes etc.

6. Identify Critical Areas

Areas that need immediate attention can be easily identified and attended to only when a water auditing is conducted.

7. Compliance

In some states it is mandatory to conduct water auditing. Conducting water auditing helps you adhere to the rules and regulations therefore being compliant.

How To Conduct A Water Audit

To conduct a successful water audit you will need to contract a qualified and certified water auditor. The good news is that Eenovators Limited is certified to conduct water audits. Drop an email on info@eenovators.com for any further questions and discussions.

Conclusion

Conducting a water audit and then implementing the simple conservation measures can allow you save up to 40% of water. It is time to conserve our natural resources.

Contact Eenovators Limited today and they will walk with you every step of the way towards the water conservation direction.

Also read: Water Conservation Measures

5 WAYS ENERGY PROFESSIONALS CAN CHAMPION THEIR CAREER GROWTH

By Karen Thuranira

At every onset of a new year, most people set resolutions, and energy professionals are not an exception. For many, these goals involve improving their personal lives and are mostly centered on improving their health and wealth.  But, have you ever considered how much time you spend on your career? Do you set resolutions relating to your workplace?

For most energy professionals, engaging in growth and development activities is critical to ensuring that they remain competent and grow their careers in the energy industry. Bodies like the Engineers Board of Kenya(EBK), Association of Energy Engineers(AEE) and many others, would require that one earns a certain number of CPD points for their license to be renewed.

Despite these bodies that make it mandatory for professionals to constantly grow and develop themselves, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are always growing and getting better in what we do.

2020 has not been a very normal year and most people including professionals in different industries have been negatively affected by the effects of the Coronavirus. People have been working from home, and most activities have been put on pending due to the lockdown and other restrictive government directives.

As we get into the second half of the year and as many countries open up after the lockdown, most professionals are looking for ways to make up for the lost time and ensure that they make the best of the remaining time before the year comes to an end.

If you are looking to grow yourself professionally, engage deeply your work life and impact your place of work positively during this second half of the year, here are a few ideas that could help;

1. Creating a culture of mentorship

In every workplace, there are different professionals, some with a wealth of experience and yet they do not get an opportunity to put all the knowledge they have to work.

Taking a poll around your workplace to see what talents and skills people possess and whether they would be willing to share with others, can help a great deal. You may find people who are experts in different areas like renewable energy, clean energy, energy efficiency, and other fields, who would gladly welcome the chance to pass that knowledge on to others. Mentorship can make them feel good and improve productivity and confidence among those learning new skills.

It is always advisable not to limit people to skills directly related to work, either. Someone among the team may be great at playing musical instruments or a certain sport and can teach a few interested people. This could make a difference in somebody’s life.

2. Constantly Checking that everyone stays on track

Most companies create strategic plans which comprise their annual performance goals at the beginning of the year. Due to the effects of the Covid-19,  some companies were not able to revisit these goals during the first half of the year.

As things normalize, it is important to revisit these goals and create a catch-up plan so as not to lose focus. Plan a strategy meeting at least once every month to ensure things remain on track.

It would be wise for team members to schedule a brief weekly meeting or every fortnight to review their progress or they can create a buddy system within their organization where 2 colleagues can constantly follow up with each other’s progress to ensure they remain in line with the set goals.

Should a  team member realize that he/she is not executing tasks that are critical to their career growth, It is advisable to sit down with their supervisor to see if there’s a need to adjust some goals, or deliberate on other solutions.

3. Nurturing the skill of problem – solving

No one likes people who complain and no one wants to be known as a person who complains all the time. You will be more respected and feel more empowered if you can suggest a few ways to solve problems that are frustrating you and your team members.

As a professional and a team member, whenever there is a problem, try approaching your supervisor or manager with the problem and a proposed solution. This makes it easier for all of you and helps make the decision-making process so much easier. You also get to earn yourself respect amongst your peers and feel empowered for being a problem solver.

It is also important for team members to feel that they are a part of the team and that their opinion is needed and appreciated. This helps boost their morale and confidence as well as encouraging a positive attitude towards their work and their superiors.

4. Becoming the brand

Companies invest a lot of resources and time into building a strong brand. Employees need to realize that they represent their company’s brand whenever they are in public.

It is therefore good to be the best version of yourself whenever you are attending a conference, a social event, an association meeting, or even a trade show or a business dinner. Always keep it in mind that you are representing both yourself and your company and you ought to do it in the best way possible.

Do not forget that your presence on social media also speaks volumes about you and the brand you represent. Try sharing your expertise on LinkedIn, speak to business groups about your company’s products and services, and maintain your professional reputation every time you are on social media.

5. Ever heard people say that you should work smarter and not harder?

Most companies have invested in systems that ensure efficiency at work. For instance, we have systems like ASANA that help teams work together on a task and send reminders when a task is due, we have Hootsuite for social media activities, Calendars, and many other systems depending on what the business does.

All these systems are meant to ensure efficiency at the workplace and to help track the set goals properly. It is therefore beneficial to embrace and learn to use them as best as we can because they make our work easier and manageable.

Employees are encouraged to give suggestions or ideas that can help run things smoothly or make things easier for the team.

It is said that no one can go back and make a brand new start but anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.  Let us all put our best foot forward and make the best of this year. Or at least the remaining part of this year.

WORKING AT HOME VS WORKING FROM THE OFFICE

A CASE OF EENOVATORS LTD.

By Eleen Korir

With the current pandemic of Covid-19, most companies around the globe have had challenges on how to handle their employees as well ensure delivery and business continuity. As a matter of fact, most people lost their jobs due to businesses scaling down, shutting down due to lack of business, lock down in some regions etc. some have had to take a pay cut as a result of the reduced business turnover. The lucky ones have had an opportunity to work remotely from home.

Working from home has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on an individual and the kind of work one is doing. To work from home one needs to have the following skills;

  1. Self-Motivation to focus on work despite the urge to do own work
  2. Self-discipline and proper time use and management
  3. To be able to work without supervision and be self-sufficient
  4. Being able to be good in communication
  5. Ability to interact and use technology
  6. To able to manage home-work balance.

I did a simple survey among our staff on what they think about working from home based on the following:

1. How has it been? (your effectiveness in delivering your work- compared to when you worked from the office)

While a few indicated that Working from home did not have much difference as when they were working from office, some indicated that their effectiveness in delivering on their duties got better, though with some struggling when they first started working from home. The team cited the availability of systems such as, Desk Time, Asana, Zoom, Google Meet and calendar help a lot in managing time and ensuring completion of tasks.

2. What are the challenges of working from home?

Despite the ease in working from home, the team indicated that there are challenges such as;

  • Home environment creates a comfort to make one want to relax a bit
  • Distractions from family members
  • Being unable to get second opinion on certain issues from fellow colleagues especially in urgent matters and they are not reachable or responding faster
  • Power outages and poor internet connections which affects the work schedules as opposed to the office where there is a standby generator.

3. What do you love most with working from home?

The team had the following to say about this:

  • Time management thanks to the systems in place
  • Working from home is more comfortable
  • “I don’t get to spend any time in traffic”
  • Peace of mind for being able to keep an eye on the children.
  • “I can run my most urgent errands and still cover for lost time”.
  • Flexibility of working hours.

4. What would change if you go back to the office?

Majority of the team members noted that nothing much will change in case they are asked to go back to working from office.

5. If you were to choose, where would you prefer to work?

Concerning this, there was a 50/50% response where we had equal responses showing that we are ok with working either from home or office.

6. How is your family taking this (working from home)?

Majority of the team members indicate great support from their family members and those with children indicated that they are intrigued and thrilled to have their parents at home.

7. How has your expenses been? compared to when you worked from office?

Working from home does not require on to commute, buy lunch from the restaurant etc. therefore as indicate by all team members, there has been reduced expenses on their part. In addition, due to healthy eating from home cooked food, there has been reduced illnesses hence reduced medical expenses as well.

In conclusion, working from home seems to be manageable for most people except for cases where there are site visits to be done. For our company, delivery by majority of the team members has been tremendous and they have been effective in ensuring tasks are completed on time.

The COVID-19 situation has come with a lot of challenges, people have had to handle them differently and organizations should find a way forward to ensure that staff do not lose their jobs.

CAN CARS RUN ON COW MANURE?

By Ruth Carol Atieno

Both cows and cars are huge polluters of the environment. Cows release harmful gases into the air that is, methane through burps and farts. Cows are producers of ammonia which is also a pollutant. For the cars it is quite obvious, we all know how much of a pollutant a car can be. The good news is the gases produced by cows can be used to run cars and I will tell you how.

Manure From Cows

Did you know that the amount of manure produced by a single cow in a year can run a car for up to 9000 Km? For this to work the manure from cows has to go through a process of improvement to achieve the end result which is used to run a car.

With the aid of Bacteria, the manure is fermented in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas. This fermentation process takes about 60 days and cow manure is added to the digester on a daily basis. The biogas in the digester contains approximately 50% methane and 50% CO2. The CO2 is then separated from the methane. The separation is achieved by passing the gas through a very fine mesh or membrane.

The methane gas can now be used to power vehicles while the CO2 can be used in other processes for instance stimulation of plant growth in greenhouses.

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Conclusion

Looks like livestock farmers are sitting on a gold mine and also a planet saver. It is time they invested on anaerobic digesters to produce this clean fuel. Methane gas derived from the above process is the cleanest car fuel and this will have reduced the amount of carbon emissions contributed by cars each time they are running.

PUMP OVER SIZING: CAUSES, EFFECTS, DETECTION AND REMEDIES

By Liz Nekesa

Pumping systems support essential processes in buildings, manufacturing and water treatment. They are widely used in industries to provide cooling and lubrication services, transfer fluids in processes and provide motive force in hydraulic systems.

Inadequate performance of pumps in cooling systems lead to unwanted overheating and pump downtime in the manufacturing and could also lead to loss in productivity. These, and other more drastic consequences of pump failure, inefficiency and improper sizing reaffirm the very critical need for pump reliability.

To ensure pumps meet the needs of a system under all conditions, designers tend to size pumps conservatively in an attempt to ensure pumps are large enough to meet the said needs, this is Oversizing.

In this blog, we look at other reasons for oversizing of pumps (centrifugal), its effects, detection and remedies.

Reasons for Over sizing of Pumps.

The main cause for over sizing of pumps is application of safety margins by designers and planning engineers to cater for the many uncertainties in the design process. This plays out in several scenarios, some explained below.

  • Pump sizing and system’s pressure drop is calculated much earlier in planning before pipe work has been routed. A safety factor is thus included in these initial calculations as the individual process piping is generally unknown at the concept stage.
  • Pump manufacturers add safety margins as well to guarantee the pumps will achieve intended performance hence oversizing may be inevitable.
  • Anticipation of expansion of the system and production capacity in the future may necessitate the installation of the needed infrastructure in the planning stage leading to higher safety margins.
  • Pump wear results in reduction in head and capacity, a safety factor may be included to counteract this eventual effect of wear.

Effects of Over sizing pumps.

Oversizing of pumps seems inevitable and necessary however, applying too much of a safety margin to a design can actually have unanticipated effects on system reliability, performance and efficiency. The penalties extend beyond high energy costs.

Oversized pumps results in more flow delivered than required for the system. The effects are as below:

  • Increased wear and maintenance costs as excessive fluid power from oversized pumps must be dissipated by a valve or a pressure regulating device.
  • Valve seat wear which results from throttling excess flow and cavitation creates a significant maintenance problem and shorten the interval between valve overhauls
  • Noise and vibration caused by excessive flow creates stress on pipe welds and pipe supports and in severe cases erode pipe walls.

The end result of attempts to incline on pump reliability by over sizing leads to less system reliability caused by additional wear and low efficiency in the operations

Detection of over sized pumps.

There are five common indications that a pump is oversized. These include:

1. Excessive flow noise:

This an indication that is frequently disregarded as operators get used to the noise in industry settings and is even an affirmation that things are ‘working’. The noise is brought about by flow-induced pipe vibrations. These vibrations tend to loosen flanged connection and other mechanical joints.

2. Highly throttled flow control valves

Imagine driving a car by having the accelerator fully depressed and using the brake to achieve desired speed. This is the scenario achieved by throttle valves that choke fluid flow so that less fluid moves through the valve while the pump is working to move the fluid. Excessive throttling needed to control flow is a major indicator of oversized pumps,

3. Heavy use of By-Pass lines

Among other reasons by-pass piping is normally installed, to supplement performance and handle excessive pressure or flow. A large number of open by pass valves is an indication that the system is performing inefficiently due to improper balancing, oversized pumps or both. Furthermore, energy needed to push fluid through these lines is wasted.

4. Frequent Replacements.

Best Efficiency Point (BEP) refers to a design point in pump curves where efficiency is maximized and the pump runs smoothest and radial forces are minimized. At this point the pump operates most cost efficiently in regard to efficiency and maintenance.

Oversizing results in pumps operating to the left of their BEP due to generation of high back pressures from increased flow velocity. This leads to greater pressure exerted on mechanical seals, pipe vibrations that exacerbates bearing and seal wear and consequent frequent replacements.

5. Intermittent Pump Operation.

In the case where pumps are used to fill and drain or maintain a steady liquid level in a tank, the presence of an oversized pump will result in a sporadic cycle. A right sized pump would drain a tank more gradually and continuously as compared to an oversized pump.

Remedies to Over sized pumps.

The following measures can be adopted to mitigate the effects of oversized pumps in a system.

1. Impeller trimming

Applicable to centrifugal pumps this is defined as the process of machining the diameter of an impeller to reduce the energy added to the system fluid, lowering flow and pressure generated by the pump. This is a practical correction to pumps that are oversized and has less impact than that of buying a smaller impeller.

Benefits of impeller trimming include: reduction in operating and maintenance cost, less fluid energy wasted in bypass lines, across throttle valves or dissipated as noise and vibrations. Energy savings are roughly proportional to cube of the diameter reduction.

It is advisable to reduce diameters not less than 70% of their original size as trimming affects operating efficiency and complicate performance predictions. In the case where excessive trimming is required replacing impeller with a smaller impeller is viable but costly.

2. Use of Adjustable speed drives. (ASD).

This a measure to achieve speed control in the case of variable flow rates. ASD’s modify speed of a single speed motor through mechanical or electrical methods and are most practical for applications with continuous changes in flow demand.

ASD’s provide efficient operation by driving pumps at different speeds according to system needs.

The most popular type of ASD is the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and electrical drive that adjust electrical frequency of power supplied to change rotational speed.

3. Large/small Pump configurations

In this configuration the large and small pump are in parallel with the small pump referred to as a pony pump. This configuration operates more efficiently than using one large pump. 

In the example of draining and filing up a tank, the repeated stopping and restarting of pump wears it out and leads to unreliable pump operation. These adverse effects are even more severe when the pump is over sized.

Adopting a smaller pump with lower capital cost is a good solution to reduce intermittent operation of the existing pump.

In conclusion

There is an overall bias towards over sizing of pumps due to unknowns such as pipe fouling, scaling and future production rates, however, one cannot turn a blind eye on its negative effects on overall efficiency of the system, maintenance costs and power wastage.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic stress on industries has catapulted savings derived from energy efficiency into the limelight. Adoption of measures to curb losses due to over sizing of pumps is prudent.

HOW DO CFL AND LED BULBS WORK?

By Ruth Carol Atieno

One of the ways to achieve energy savings and energy efficiency at large is switching to CFL and LED bulbs as they save energy and produce brighter lights compared to the regular incandescent bulbs. But have you ever asked yourself what is the technology behind them and how exactly do they work? Today I will answer your questions.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

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There are two types of CFL, the integrated CFL lamp and the non-integrated CFL lamp. The integrated lamps have ballast and lamp which is connected to the single unit. On the other hand, in a non-integrated lamp, the ballast is permanently fixed with the luminaire and only the tube are replaced when it is damaged.

A CFL uses about 30% of the electric power, and has a lifespan of 5,000-10,000 hours. This is not the case with an incandescent bulb. CFL bulbs operate by using the low pressure mercury vapor gas to produce the visible light.

When an electric current is switched on, the mercury vapor is energized, causing it to send out ultraviolet (UV) energy. The phosphor coating on the CFL’s glass tube absorbs the UV energy, which causes the phosphor to produce visible light. Different colors and temperature of the light emitted is achieved by combining different phosphors.

Because of the lamps’ increased efficiency, CFLs prevent mercury release into the environment.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

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LED bulbs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours and saves up to 80% of energy.

Unlike a CFL, which can be in form of a vacuum or glass tube, an LED is a solid semiconductor material which emits light when currents pass through it. In other words, light is produced when the electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons.

The color of the light is determined by the energy required for the electrons to cross the band gap of the semiconductor.[5] White light is obtained by using multiple semiconductors or a layer of light-emitting phosphor on the semiconductor device.

Conclusion

I personally feel that LEDs have more advantages as compared to CFLs. Take a look at for instance the lifespans of both, LEDs have a longer lifespan. When it comes to energy saving, LEDs will save you 80% while CFL will save you 70%. Even though CFLs limit the release of mercury into the environment, I would still go for LEDs which do not have any mercury in them.

Reference

Circuit Globe

Architect Magazine

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THE 3 DISTINCT BENEFITS OF BECOMING A CERTIFIED ENERGY MANAGER (CEM)

By Chris Mbori

If there is one course that has altered my career as an Energy Manager then it has to be the Certified Energy Manager (CEM). I undertook my Certified Energy Manager course back in 2011 and my professional life has never been the same again.

The CEM is by far the most recognized and premier certification programme for energy managers offered by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). This CEM course is recognized in about 130 different countries across the world. I have derived many benefits both tangible and intangible from doing this programme, but the 3 main ones that I have personally gained directly attributable to this certification are:

1. Career Distinction

On achieving this certification I was immediately able to distinguish myself as an energy professional. This offered me more opportunities to secure a better job that attracted higher remuneration. With the CEM certification, I was later able to start Eenovators Limited, an energy consulting, training and management company. I both got licensed as an energy auditor and my firm as an energy auditing firm.

Many energy professionals across the world are now required to have the CEM certification to be able to keep their jobs. Energy Service Companies and Utilities companies for example, prefer hiring CEMs as their energy professionals. The CEM certification therefore does help energy professionals get better jobs and have better job security. The same concept applies to energy professionals running energy consulting companies. Having CEMs in their companies translates to more energy assignments from clients on account of the presence of credible professionals to deliver on work assignments. 

2. Help Companies Realize Huge Financial Savings:

Being a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) is more than just having initials after your name. It is committing to one’s own professional development and using the practical knowledge acquired to make a positive impact in the energy space. It’s only through that commitment that one can renew this certification.

After I became a CEM, to keep the certification, I involved myself in doing numerous energy audits, very often without any payment, for many energy consumers with a need to reduce their energy costs. Most of these clients saved a lot of money as a result of the audits and recommendations. This encouraged me to take this up as a career and help more commercial and industrial customers take advantage of the significant financial savings derived from becoming more efficient and using clean energy for production.

Any company that trains its staff in the Certified Energy Manager course can immediately accrue a return on investment through the savings from the energy interventions proposed by the CEM. The direct Return on Investment is therefore a very attractive option for companies looking for business sustainability.

3. Creating Valuable Networks:

Being a CEM has helped me expand my network not only in the energy space but also in other professional networks. Having a distinguished certification has opened many doors that I would otherwise not have walked through, and I have also managed to receive local and internationally recognition owing to the impact of the professional work my team and I have achieved in the energy space. Having access to the right network has also resulted in global travel to many countries, meeting and networking with many other energy professionals across the world who have not only helped build my energy career, but also helped grow my business.

There are probably more benefits that one can achieve by becoming a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) including increasing professional career opportunities, getting industry recognition and adding value at the work place. I have had the opportunity to experience all of that. However, a change in career, saving companies money and expanding my network stood out for me. Are you a CEM already? What has stood out for you?

If you want to become a CEM, you can register for the course by simply visiting the AEE website.

Or if you are in Africa you can register with the Institute of Energy Professionals Africa.

The courses are offered in both Live training (physical training) or Livestream (online).

Chris Mbori is the Managing Director of Eenovators Limited. He is passionate about energy management and its positive impact to our world. You can connect to him through his LinkedIn account