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2015 IEEE International Conference on Technological Advancements in Power and Energy

Energy savings potentials in buildings through


energy audit - A case study in an Indian building
Rajesh Tilwani

C. Sethuraman

Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering


Dept. of EEE/ENI
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
K.K. Birla Goa Campus, India
Email: rajesh.tilwani3@gmail.com

Senior Scientist
CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation
CSIR Madras Complex, Chennai, India,
Email: csramcsio@gmail.com, Ph.: +91 44 22541061

Abstract International reports show about 25 to 35%


energy saving potential in commercial buildings. Many
buildings in India, situated in different climatic zones are
energy inefficient since they were not constructed
following energy conservation building codes and
techniques of solar passive architecture. It is impractical to
redesign and reconstruct such buildings. In such cases
retrofitting of utilities provides a cost effective solution
than going for altering the existing building structures.
The aim of this paper is to present the results generated
from a detailed energy audit study conducted in an office
buildings to propagate the awareness of energy saving
potentials in Indian buildings. Based on data collection
and measurement undertaken, the present case study
envisages many energy-saving measures to be considered
for implementation towards achieving the energy saving
potential in the identified areas. The identified areas were
Air conditioning, Lighting, UPSs, Power factor
improvement and installation of Energy Management
System (EMS). The analysis revealed that the public office
building in which the detailed energy audit was carried out
has the annual energy saving potential of 231656 kWh, in
terms of cost saving; it would be Rs. 16.2 Lakhs. In order
to achieve this benefit, it requires one time investment of
Rs. 27.5 Lakhs, resulting the payback period of 1.7 years.
I. INTRODUCTION
The growing energy demand and supply gap is one of the
reasons for hike in price of fossil fuels. The increasing use of
fossil fuels has caused air pollution leading to global warming.
These sources of energy are not replenishable and thus the
focus is shifting towards energy conservation and use of
renewable energy. It is estimated that around 50% of global
energy consumption is due to buildings [1]. Energy
consumption in buildings varies according to climate,
geography, building type and location. The difference between
developed and developing countries is also important in this
context [2]. India ranks fifth as a global energy consumer [3].
By 2035, India will become import-dependent. Indias energy
production would increase by 112%, while consumption
would rise by 132% [4]. Indian government has initiated many
policies and regulatory measures to ensure energy security but
a large number of issues still remain and they require

978-1-4799-8280-0/15/$31.00 2015 IEEE

significant attention. Incorporation of energy efficiency


measures in existing and new buildings will help India to
achieve a reliable energy future [5]. Energy Audit can be
classified into i) Preliminary Audit ii) Detailed Audit.
Preliminary energy audit is relatively quick exercise, it estimates
the scope for saving using the existing or easily obtained data and
helps identify the areas for more detailed study. The detailed
energy audit is carried out in three phases: Phase I - Pre Audit
Phase, Phase II - Audit Phase, Phase III - Post Audit Phase. This
is a comprehensive audit which offers the most accurate estimate
of energy savings and cost [6]. In this present study, the
methodology used for detailed energy audit was adopted. This
paper highlights energy saving potentials and feasibility of
achieving the same in the existing public office building in
India.
II. METHODOLOGY
A public office building located in Chennai, India was
selected to conduct a detailed energy audit study. This
building is like many other buildings in India, constructed
earlier and expanded its utilities to meet the requirement of
functional demand. Such buildings provide a large scope for
energy savings through energy efficient retrofit solutions. The
building is operational for 5 days in a week. The following
steps were taken in order to conduct the study:

A team of engineers consisting of different disciplines


(i.e. electrical, electronics, energy and air conditioning
systems) was formed to address the various tasks of
detailed energy audit involved in an office buildings.
Inventory on list of connected loads, month wise
energy consumption and bill details collected for last 5
years (2009-2014).
Electrical single line diagram was prepared
mentioning the type of loads connected with
transformers and generators to understand the
electrical flow and load distribution pattern.
Performance of energy consuming utilities and various
loads were carried out using electrical and thermal
energy measuring instruments without disturbing the
officials day to day functioning.
Areas with energy wastage and potential for energy
conservation opportunities were found as a results of
various rigorous energy analysis.

2015 IEEE International Conference on Technological Advancements in Power and Energy

Energy saving proposals (ESPs) were prepared with the


details of expected energy savings in kWh, cost saving and
approximate
investment
required
for
proposals
implementation. ESP periods for ESPs were worked out.
Instruments used for this study were calibrated, accuracy of
the instruments checked in full scale range at lab and then
taken to the field for energy study. Transformers loading
patterns were recorded continuously with one minute time
interval during working and nonworking days. Some realistic
assumptions were also made to work out the energy saving
proposals.
III. ENERGY USE
The building is getting power supply from Tamilnadu
Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO)
through 11-kV HT feeder. The incoming high voltage is
stepped down to 440 volts through two nos. of 250 kVA
transformers. Contract demand of this office building is 350
kVA. The total connected load was 550kVA. The annual
energy consumption for the year 2013-14 was 702900kWh.
The annual electricity bill was Rs. 61.0Lakhs. The charges for
maximum demand (kVA) and energy use are as per Table 1.

Fig.1 Month wise energy consumption for the year 2009-14

Line chart prepared for month wise energy consumption


for the past 5 years is shown in Fig.1. It was observed that the
energy consumed in the month of December during the last
five years was less compared to other months. The reason
behind this may be less or no requirement of air conditioning
systems due to the low atmospheric temperature in December
month. The energy consumption is gradually increasing from
December to April and then decreasing in the month of May
which may be due to holidays and very less functional
activities during that month.

Fig. 2 Actual demand in KVA for the year 2009 to 2014

Table-1 Electricity charges


Sr.
No

Particulars

Value

Contract Demand, CD

350 kVA

Billing Demand, BD

315 kVA

Demand Charge

Rs. 300/kVA

Energy Charge

Rs. 7.0/kWh

The actual demand (kVA) was always less than the


contract demand (350kVA) except for one month i.e. Aug.
2009. It might be due to simultaneous operation of more
number of connected centralized AC units. There is a
possibility of maintaining the actual demand to 300kVA (Fig.
2) but since the billing demand is 90% of 350kVA, there
wont be any benefit of maintaining the demand to 300kVA
until and unless there is a proposal from the management to
surrender the excess demand to TANGEDCO. Based on the
present trend of loading pattern and expansion in activities, it
has been suggested to the management that there is no need of
surrendering the demand.

978-1-4799-8280-0/15/$31.00 2015 IEEE

Based on information of major equipment installed the


approximate percentage of connected load in kVA is given in
Table-2 and Fig. 3
Table-2 Connected load details in kVA
Sr.
No

Name of Energy

Connected load

Consuming Utilities

in kVA

Centralized AC

66

Stand Alone AC Units (167Nos of 1.5kVA)

250

Lighting

80

UPS

65

Solar Water Heating System

21

Others (Pump, Reverse Osmosis, Lift etc.)

68
Total

550

2015 IEEE International Conference on Technological Advancements in Power and Energy

Fig.3 Percentage of connected load in the building

It was observed that the connected load of standalone air


conditioning unit was 45% of total electrical load; centralized
ac unit was 12%. It can be stated that the office buildings
located in India especially in the southern region may
consume about 55 to 60% of total energy for air conditioning
systems alone followed by lighting, 14%; UPS, 12%; Solar
water heating system, 4% and others which includes pumps,
RO plant, lift etc, 13%.
IV. ENERGY SAVING PROPOSAL
ESP 1: Replacement of energy inefficient old centralized AC
plant with energy efficient inverter variable refrigerant flow
(IVRF) system.
The tropical climate of Chennai makes air conditioning
one of the major energy consumers during summer months.
Presently the building is using a centralized air conditioning
plant, vapour compression type. The centralized ac unit
consisting of 3 separate units is shown in Fig. 4 and has the
capacity of running with 3 nos. of 22TR refrigerant
compressors in each unit. The present conventional system
installed runs with full speed at all the times. Manual
intervention is required to change the operating condition of
compressor system.

The main advantage of IVRF system is that the speed of


the compressor motor can be varied from 3% to 100% and
maintains constant room temperature throughout the period of
operation. The work of heat transfer fluid and working fluid
refrigerant is done by refrigerant itself thus increasing
efficiency [7]. IVRF reduces duct losses [7]. An experiment
conducted by the team revealed that IVRF air conditioning
systems consume 40-50% less power than centralized air
conditioning system currently installed. The study revealed
that the air conditioning systems are not being used properly.
The employees sometimes leave their rooms without closing
the doors and windows which causes the cool air to escape.
Thus general awareness is to be created which will lead to
energy saving without any investment. Poor maintenance of
the old air conditioning units is causing less overall efficiency.
Thus proper maintenance will ensure a long life of system and
increased efficiency as well.
ESP 2: Use of Energy Monitoring and Targeting System
(EMTS)
Once the energy flows are transparent there would be a
scope for energy saving. Energy flow transparency is the
basis for creating energy bench mark i.e. specific energy
consumption. Continuous comparison of target values against
actual values paves the way for reduction in energy
consumption. The benefits of EMTS include energy cost
savings up to 15%, better preventive maintenance and waste
avoidance [8]. At present there is no energy recording system
installed in this office buildings. Payment for the energy use is
done as per the bill received from TANGEDCO.
The energy performance index (EPI) of Indian buildings
ranges from 200 to 400 kWh/m2/yr. Leaders in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Rating for
Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) have adopted Energy
Conservation Building Code (ECBC) as a minimum
compliance requirement. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)
has developed a star rating for buildings based on actual
performance of buildings in terms of its specific power
consumption kWh/m2/yr. Hence, it is suggested to install
online energy monitoring and targeting system. In the 1st
phase of EMTS, it is proposed to monitor energy consumption
status at 16 points mainly at the outgoing feeders of MV
Panels.
ESP 3: Energy Saving on Standalone AC Units by
improving the overall performance

Fig.4 Photo image of centralized AC plant installed in the building.

978-1-4799-8280-0/15/$31.00 2015 IEEE

The unit used for describing the heat extraction capacity of


an air conditioner is ton of refrigeration (TR). It was observed
from the results of measurement that the overall specific
power consumption (SPC), kW/TR of connected standalone ac
units was varying from 0.60 to 1.47kW/TR. The average
specific power consumption was found to be 0.935kW/TR. It
is possible to maintain the specific power consumption as
0.8kW/TR or even below upto 0.6kW/TR if the stand alone
AC units are maintained well, by effectively using the
thermostat control, removal of dust accumulated in the filter,
maintaining the refrigerant gas pressure, slightly increasing
the room temperature setting by 2 to 3C during favourable

2015 IEEE International Conference on Technological Advancements in Power and Energy


ambient condition and switching off the individual ac units
when not required etc.

ESP-6: Energy saving by having Separate Lighting Feeder


with Servo Voltage Stabilizer

ESP-4: Energy Savings on UPS by optimum loading

The voltage of the power supply varies between high and


low throughout the day and is not constant. There are many
disadvantages of variable voltage. Most frequent of which is
breakdown of the electrical equipment. Servo voltage
stabilizer gives a constant output voltage even when the input
supply voltage varies. It reduces breakdown of machinery and
equipment. It has high efficiency so will lead to energy saving
[11]. During the audit, the potential to reduce the voltage
variation in lighting loads was discovered. The voltage
measured continuously on 250kVA transformer LT side varies
from 370 to 470V. It was suggested to installing a separate 3
phase lighting feeder with a servo voltage stabilizer to control
the voltage variations. At higher voltage, for every 1% voltage
reduction there would be a saving of 1 to 1.2% energy
consumed by the lighting loads at higher voltage. The servo
voltage stabilizer would provide stabilized voltage for the
lighting equipment. The performance of chokes and ballasts
would also improve due to the stabilized voltage supply to the
lighting loads.

Most manufacturers test their UPSs at full load to show


high efficiency of their product. But in real world most UPSs
are generally operated at 25 percent to 60 percent of full load.
Hardly any system runs at full load. This results in less
efficiency of UPS system than expected [9]. In this building 5
Nos of 10kVA and 3 Nos of 5kVA, total 65kVA UPS was
installed in this building at various places. The loading
patterns of these UPSs installed were studied during the
energy audit. Sum of measured load at UPS input and output
point was 22.5kVA and 12.86kVA, Table 3. It was observed
that except one all other UPSs were lightly loaded i.e. less
than 25% of full load.
Table-3 Details of UPS installed and its loading patterns
UPS Installed Location

Connected
load in
kVA

Load
at UPS
output
in kVA

% Loading
w.r.t output
kVA

Admin Office
Near Projector Room
Near Projector Room-New

10
5
10

2.19
0.63
1.48

22
13
14.8

Near Projector Room-Old


UPS room MF1
UPS room MF2
UPS room MF3
UPS in hostel internet
Total

10
5

5.76
0.44
1.08
0.68
0.60
12.86

57.6
9.0
10.8
6.8
12
18.25 avg

10
10
5

65

It is known that the efficiency of UPS at 100% loading


would be 93%, there would be meager 3% reduction in
efficiency up to 30% loading and if the UPS is loaded less
than 30% there would be drastic reduction in efficiency. It
was proposed to operate the installed UPSs at atleast 50% load
always by shifting loads from very lightly loaded UPS to
another lightly loaded UPS, which is proposed to be operated
at 50% or more loading .Thus it saves the no load losses of
lightly loaded UPSs. The no load losses due to heat dissipation
would be 750W to 1kW for 10kVA UPS.
ESP-5: Installation of Capacitor Banks at User End to Improve
the Power Factor
Real power is the power that performs the actual work.
Reactive power (kVAr) is not the useful work but is required
to sustain mainly inductive loads like motors. The power
actually consumed includes both real power and reactive
power and is called as apparent power. Power factor is the
ratio of real power to apparent power [10]. During the energy
audit the power factor at most of the places was found to be
less than 0.8. The total reactive power needed to increase the
power factor to 0.98 was calculated and equivalent capacity of
capacitor banks was proposed to be installed. This exercise
will cause reduction in I2R energy loss where I is the expected
reduced current due to improved power factor and R is
corresponding cable resistance.

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V. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


The ESPs in Section IV were proposed after the analysis of
data obtained from energy audit. Payback period for each
proposal was calculated to assess the feasibility of the ESPs.
The payback period was calculated by dividing the investment
on an ESP by the annual cost saving through the
implementation of ESP.
The annual electricity consumption of present
conventional air conditioning plant is 168780 kWh. With
IVRF system installed this will reduce to 101250 kWh. This
means saving of 67530 kWh and Rs. 4.73 Lakhs per year. The
total investment required to install IVRF system proposed is
Rs. 15 Lakhs. Thus the payback period for this ESP would be
3.17 years.
The annual energy consumption is 702900 kWh. The
projected annual energy saving after the installation of EMTS
is 35145 kWh. This means an annual saving of Rs. 2.46
Lakhs. The total investment required for purchase and
installation of EMTS is 6 Lakhs. Thus the payback period for
EMTS would be 2.5 years.
The total installed capacity of all standalone AC units is
282.5 TR. The annual energy consumption @ 0.935 kW/TR
considering minimum 5hrs/day and 22days/month operation is
348662 kWh. Annual energy saving achieved by maintaining
SPC at 0.8 kW/TR would be 50342 kWh. This corresponds to
Rs. 3.52 Lakhs. The approximate investment required for
general maintenance to keep SPC at 0.8 kW/TR is 2.5 Lakhs.
The payback period for this ESP would be only 9 months.
The total installed capacity of UPSs is 65 kVA. Whereas
the actual loading at input of UPSs was only 22.5 kVA and
corresponding loading at output point was 12.86kVA. It was
proposed to keep UPS capacity as only 30 kVA and to make
the remaining 35 kVA as standby. The annual energy saving
by keeping 35kVA standby and thus saving 3.5kW power per
hour is 30660kWh. The annual cost saving by keeping 35

2015 IEEE International Conference on Technological Advancements in Power and Energy


kVA UPSs as standby would be Rs. 2.14 Lakhs. The
investment required for load setting and control would be
around 1.5 Lakhs. The payback period was calculated as 8.5
months for this ESP.
The annual energy and cost savings after power factor
improvement from existing to 0.98 would be 37755kWh and
Rs. 2.64 Lakhs respectively. The capacitor bank at different
sizes needed to be installed for power factor correction at
different end user places was 115kVAr and their installation
would cost Rs. 1.15 Lakhs. The payback period for this ESP
would be 5.22 months.
Presently connected lighting load is 80 kVA. The annual
energy consumption on lighting is 102240 kWh. The average
voltage recorded was 444V. By maintaining the lighting
voltage at 400V, the approximate energy saving would be
10224 kWh. This corresponds to annual saving of Rs. 0.715
Lakhs. Approximate investment required for separate 3 phase
feeder with servo voltage stabilizer is Rs. 1.4 Lakhs. The
calculated payback period was 2 years.
VI. CONCLUSION
The data for energy consumption of the building for 5
years i.e. 2009-2014 were collected and analyzed. A detailed
energy audit was carried out which was followed by in-depth
analysis of the data obtained. This was done to find out the
energy consumption by various equipment installed in the
building. This led to identification of opportunities for energy
saving. Energy saving proposals that were cost effective were
proposed. The energy consumption by centralized air
conditioning unit is expected to be reduced by 40% with a
payback period of 3.17 years. Atleast 5% of total energy
consumption would reduce with a payback period of 2.5 years
because of installation of EMTS. The energy consumption by
standalone air conditioners would reduce by 15% with a
payback period of 9 months. By optimum loading of the
UPSs, 5% of total energy consumption would be saved with a
payback period of 8.5 months. The total energy consumption
would reduce by 5.6% after installation of capacitor banks
with a payback period of 5.22 months. The breakdown of
lighting loads would reduce along with energy savings after
the installation of servo voltage stabilizer with a payback
period of 2 years. Many other low cost measures such as use
of energy efficient pump and effective use of solar water
heating system were proposed along with general
recommendations to further help in reducing energy
consumption in this building.

978-1-4799-8280-0/15/$31.00 2015 IEEE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors thank Prof. Amod Kumar, Director, CSIO
Chandigarh and Prof. K. Srinivas, Chief Scientist and Scientist
in Charge of CSIO Chennai Unit for their support given
during the time of this energy study. The authors also thank
the temporarily formed energy audit team members Mr. N.
Balakrishna, Mr. Y. Vijayakrishna, Mr. Vamshi Gole, Ms.
Chandini Chandrasekaran and Mr. R. Gopinath for their fullfledged support given in the field to take measurements and in
the office to prepare the detailed energy audit report.

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