8 Simple Ways to Successfully Reduce Energy for a Demand Response Event
- June 17, 2013
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1. On-Site Generators
If you have a generator that can take your facility partially or completely off the grid, it is important to keep it fully fueled and ready to respond during the hot summer months, when the grid operator typically issues emergency reduction events. During the event, be sure the generator is not only functioning, but that the transfer switch is engaged which will actually displace the grid power.
Keep in mind, activating your generator 15 minutes before the event begins and keeping it on until 15 minutes after the event will ensure success.
2. Air Conditioning
Emergency events are usually held during the summer months when the sun is blazing and everyone is trying to stay cool by blasting the air conditioning. Instead of simply turning the AC off and making your staff uncomfortably hot, there is a method that can prevent this. It's called Pre-Cooling.
Let's assume you set the thermostat at 72°. Two hours prior to the start of the event, you would reduce the thermostat to 66° and let your facility completely cool down. When the event begins, you would increase the thermostat to 82°, preventing the AC from running any longer but ensuring your facility remains cool during the event. Many facilities that include Pre-Cooling in their reduction strategy leave their air conditioning turned off for the entire event.
3. Lighting Fixtures
Shutting off any unnecessary lighting fixtures in your facility is the simplest method of reduction for any organization. Identify all areas where lighting can be reduced, especially where natural sunlight will suffice. You may not be able to completely reduce lighting in all areas, but shutting off even 50 percent will prove to be beneficial.
4. Chiller Capacity
If your facility operates any chilling systems, these can be manipulated in a way that will effectively reduce your electric consumption. If possible, reduce chiller capacity by 25-50 percent. Or, similar to Pre-Cooling, you can run the chilling systems at a higher rate before the event, and shut down during the event.
5. Equipment and Machinery
Depending on your facility, this strategy will have a varying effect on your level of reduction. Manufacturing facilities can shut down production lines or other major machinery; hospitals can shut down medical equipment that consumes a large amount of energy; and office buildings and schools can unplug copiers and fax machines.
During an emergency event, machinery and other equipment are usually the most susceptible to damage caused by voltage fluctuations. When a utility is trying to avoid a blackout, they may reduce voltage across all or part of their system, commonly known as a brownout. The only way to avoid damage to equipment caused by these voltage fluctuations is to completely shut down during the event.
6. Pumps, Fans, and Motors
Again, the success of this method will depend on your facility type. Shutting down as many pumps, fans, and motors as possible will yield significant reductions. For example, if your hotel or resort frequently runs a pool pump, make sure it is switched off for the duration of the event.
7. Freezers and Cold Storage
If you have any type of cold storage or freezers, turning those off entirely will yield a significant reduction. It is important to make sure the doors to the unit remain closed during the event so the temperatures remain at an acceptable and safe level.
8. Kitchen and Dining
Facilities with kitchens and dining areas should reduce lighting and avoid using dishwashers, electric ovens, microwaves, fans, and other motors during an emergency event. Unplugging freezers for at least one hour will be a sizeable contribution to your energy reduction plan. Again, be sure to keep freezer doors closed to keep the internal temperature at an acceptable level.
By now, you should understand the basics of participating in demand response and common reduction strategies your facility can implement. It is strongly suggested that you put your specific plan in writing and review it with the staff you will rely on to carry it out.
If you have any additional questions, ECS has a full team of consultants and engineers who can assist you in developing the most effective reduction strategy. Emergency events are rarely called, but when they are, it is important to be as aggressive as possible since your facility's payment will directly reflect your performance. The more you reduce, the higher your payment!
Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc.