Manage Demand: Appliances and IT

Once heating, cooling and ventilation, then lighting are taken care of, a building’s next major consuming area is usually a mix of appliances, IT, pumps and pumping.

For an office building, Information Technology (IT) equipment has traditionally been a major consumer, particularly with servers on 24×7.  However this is shifting rapidly, as desktop and laptop devices have improved enormously in their power consumption, and as server functions have shifted offsite or “to the cloud”.  This has had a double benefit for offices – not only is local energy consumption of the devices down, but the heat load from the devices no longer needs to be compensated by the building’s air conditioning.

Having said that, investigating the IT load is important.  Traps can include photocopiers/printers, which almost never seem to use their power saving features properly, servers or desktops hidden away and on 24×7, lighting and ventilation systems for older server rooms that are no longer used much but the HVAC systems are still running.

Other “appliances and devices” that need investigation include:

  • Refrigerators and freezers.  Plenty of opportunities to improve these with newer technology.
  • Commercial kitchen equipment.  Balancing heat and cooling loads and air flows is crucial.
  • Commercial laundry equipment.  Managing heat loads, recovering heat, and being ready to jump to newer technology is all important.
  • Pumps and fluid flow equipment.
  • Pool and spa heating and management, including condensation and airflow management.
  • Commercial water heating (see the Hot Water Generation pages).