Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saving Energy by Eliminating Fax Machines

One of the most common office machines besides a PC is the fax machine. Many offices have multiple fax machines on each floor. While they don't consume large amounts of energy, there is a promising technology on the horizon to reduce the number of fax machines. This technology is called IP Faxing or FOIP (Faxing over Internet Protocol). There is a good article explaining the technology and benefits to IP Faxing here. Saving energy and saving money with IP Faxing or FoIP.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saving Money with Home Automation

Here's an article about combining automation technology with residential appliances, air conditioning, even blinds and drapes to automate the functions of the home to make them more energy efficient.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Saving Money with an Energy Audit

Energy audits are a great way to get started in establishing your energy consumption baseline and to establish goals for reducing energy. There are many online checklists and forms to help with home/residential energy audits.

For commercial or industrial energy audits you will likely need to find someone certified as a Certified Energy Consultant or Certified Energy Advisor. There are also some online tips for locating and selecting an Energy Consultant or Energy Advisor.

Saving Energy with Window Treatments

Have you ever gone out to your car on a cold winter day, get in and the car is toasty warm. Or have you ever gone out on a warm day and get in to find the seats and steering wheel so hot you couldn't touch it. Both of these are the result of the sun shining through the glass on your car. Fortunately most cars have some degree of window tinting to help reduce these effects. Unfortunately your house probably doesn't.

Windows can be a useful source of free warmth in the winter but a big problem in the summer. Fortunately there are solutions in window treatments. These window treatments can be used like the leaves on a tree, there to provide shade in the summer and open to let the sun through in the winter.

Window treatments can fall into many categories, each providing varying degrees of protection from the sun.

Some options to investigate for your particular application are
* Awnings
* Blinds
* Draperies
* High-reflectivity films
* Insulated panels
* Mesh window screens
* Overhangs
* Shades
* Shutters
* Storm panels

Some of these such as films and tinting work great in the summer but also prevent the warmth of the sun from penetrating in the winter.

Helping the Environment by Reducing Energy Consumptin and Improving Energy Efficiency

Today there is a lot of talk about helping the environment, global warming, greenhouse gasses, air pollution, water pollution, etc. There are some ideas such as carbon credits, carbon offsets by planting trees and reducing oil production. While these may or may not have a positive impact on the environment at some point in the future, there is a more definite way with proven efficacy to reduce the impact on the environment.

The best way to reduce the impact on the environment NOW is to improve energy efficiency of our homes, cars, factories and schools. This is a doable process that begins within the pages of this blog. Here we discuss many ways to make quick and lasting reductions in energy and utility consumption.

How Solar Power Works (A non-technical view)

Reducing energy cost with solar power is a white hot topic today. Many people understand that solar power can help reduce energy but do not understand how. Nothing reduces energy like a free energy source (the sun).

For a non-technical explanation of how a solar power(photovoltaic system) works and how a solar hot water system works, Duke Energy has a good article here.

For a good explanation of how to size and install a solar power system, Duke Energy has a good article here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reducing Energy with Water Treatment

Many industrial and commercial machines require cooling. Most often this cooling is done with cooling water. The two most common ways to cool with water are once-through or closed loop with a cooling tower.

Once through cooling uses fresh city water, cools the machine and goes to drain. Replacing this, right off, is a huge dollar savings. With the cost of water and sewer a cooling tower could offer a 1 year payback or less just on these cost.

The other, preferred, way to cool this machine is with a closed-loop cooler such as a cooling tower. Cooling towers use the evaporative cooling effect to cool water. They are very efficient and consume only what water is evaporated. The downside of a water staying in cooling tower is it's propensity to have biological growth such as algae. This is countered with water treatment.

Proper water treatment can be as simple as using chlorine or bromine. Another, higher tech solution, is an ozone generator. The ozone generator produces ozone O3 and injects it into the water. This ozone is a powerful biocide and keeps the water crystal clear. Using a reputable water treatment specialist is key to understanding your water treatment needs. Proper water treatment can also improve air quality and reduce certain health issues such as legionnaires disease.

Untreated water causes machine fouling from algae inside the cooling tubes. This slowly takes machine efficiency away and can even cause machine damage. Properly applied water treatment with a cooling tower saves water, sewer and can improve machine efficiency reducing energy consumption and energy cost.