An engineering company’s perspective on energy efficiency
Written by Frank Bossel, International Business Development Director.
What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is traditionally defined as optimising the difference between directly-used energy (or useful output) and the energy that is consumed, which is generally higher due to loss. This subject cuts right across industry, construction, and transport, as well as the people who work at the heart of energy efficiencies to ensure that they are fully effective.
As we reach 2020, what are the issues?
In recent years, there has been a multiplication of standards, audits and stakeholders involved in energy efficiency. Today, however, the challenge is to go beyond standards and develop a global vision that takes into account the technical aspects, as well as supporting change by factoring in human behaviour and cultural habits. To achieve this, digital advances, especially via smart apps, are critical to positioning consumers at the centre of the process.
Moreover, although new infrastructure and equipment are now designed with energy efficiency or even energy conservation in mind, there is still much to be done on the existing, aging infrastructure. People must be convinced of the need to renovate or retrofit their installations, and prove that we can achieve the goals of energy efficiency without reducing comfort levels, but in fact by improving them.
What can an engineering company contribute?
Engineering is central to the energy question and can contribute at various levels:
- in the audit phase by helping identify and measure an installation’s energy flows,
- by having a global vision of HSE regulations and standards,
- by suggesting the most efficient and cost-effective solutions, in terms of materials, equipment and electronic systems, so they can be integrated into a coherent whole,
- by monitoring consumption using a supervision system,
- and finally, by virtue of its capacity to locally optimise the planned proposals and solutions.
This list is obviously not exhaustive. Engineering expertise in managing complex projects is also vital to companies involved in these major projects.
Assystem has recently been involved in one of the largest energy performance contracts in the world in Dubai, involving the renovation of 157 residential buildings, including the replacement of 5,000 air conditioners, the modernisation of 6,000 air conditioners, 85,000 light fixtures and 34,500 water systems, which together impacted 42,000 people.