Energy Audits – Energy Diagnosis – Energy Efficiency

In recent years, Piona Engineering SA has turned its attention to the fields of energy diagnosis and energy audits, which are the first stage in the process of improving consumption efficiency.

The Green Energy Audit (Eco Energy Audit) is a key component of any energy efficiency program, and its importance stems from the fact that it is used to establish parameters for future measurements.

Our activity consists in collecting and analyzing data from the energy use of various users. These data (which in the second phase are analyzed to study specific consumption) come mainly from invoices or bills. Measurements are made on the basis of precise economic criteria. The best measurements become part of the Action Plan, on the basis of which we create a report for the Energy Audit with all the measurements and parameters necessary to make a decision.

The Energy Diagnosis of a building is a systematic set of survey, collection and analysis of parameters related to the specific consumption and operating conditions of the building and its various installations and systems. Thus the energy diagnosis of a building can be defined as a “technical-economic evaluation of energy flows”.

The diagnosis has the function of:

  • Defining the energy balance of the building
  • Identifying potential technological redevelopment interventions, including insulation systems;
  • Assessing the technical and economic opportunities for each intervention;
  • Improving comfort and safety conditions;
  • Reducing management costs;

We process the collected data to generate energy models from which it becomes possible to obtain the distribution of power and consumption by type of use (lighting, air conditioning, process cooling and air conditioning, compressed air, other services, process areas), by cost center, by electric cabin and department, by time and by season.

We then analyze the energy situation, thus framed, critically and in comparison with average consumption parameters in order to identify improvements aimed at reducing consumption and costs, and in view of a preliminary assessment of technical and economic feasibility. Each proposal is accompanied by an economic plan that shows the client the benefits that can be achieved by the proposed investment (i.e. an energy plan that assesses not only the technical feasibility but also-and especially-the economic feasibility of the proposed actions).

We have a strong experience proposing solutions through “Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) for both the public and private sectors and offering the possibility of Third Part Financing (TPF) for efficiency projects and their subsequent management.

Analysis and Diagnosis of Energy Consumption and Reporting Systems

Thanks to our experience in the design of building automation systems with integrated thermoregulation, and through the use of special monitoring systems, we are able to get a complete overview of energy consumption accurately divided by type of use (Cooling, Heating, Processing, Lighting, etc.)

In order to carry out the energy diagnosis, we make a historical reconstruction of consumption trends, where possible drawing on supervision systems data logs. Where this is not possible, we reconstruct the trends with the use of measuring equipment suitable for this purpose.

In order to implement the energy performance analysis, it is ideal to have data for a time interval of 3 years, so we implement automated reporting systems with time intervals appropriate to the degree of accuracy desired.

For this purpose, we automate data sharing with web sending procedures (for instance with Task scheduling software). Data collection is carried out directly on our servers without interfering with customers.
These systems make it possible to:

  • Monitor the efficiency of equipment in real time with a comparative analysis of data on energy used compared to energy rendered, based on the expected returns of the various equipments/systems;
  • Analyze the data and program maintenance interventions on the basis of the actual need for intervention and not on mere time planning, thus making interventions more effective;
  • Carry out comparative analyses between different locations (including geographical locations), configurations and aspects of various buildings;
  • Standardize future systems on the basis of collected data;
  • Standardize group guidelines concerning timetables and operational arrangements, even in cases of geographical dislocation;
  • Extrapolate guidelines for future maintenance;
  • Gain independence from the use of Local Servers and their associated maintenance costs, and simplify updates and optimization that can be performed directly on Piona Engineering SA’s storage and/or server farm;
  • Periodically check the efficiency of both the detection system (effective savings compared to forecasts) and the systems themselves;
  • Analyze actual energy savings also on individual parts of the system’s extension to all its parts or to the parts that are significant from an energy point of view.

Piona Engineering SA asks customers to adopt measurement and detection systems and instruments with “open” interfaces and “non-proprietary” protocols such as:

  • Meter bus;
  • Knx;
  • Lonworks;
  • Modbus Rtu;
  • Bacnet.

These options enable the client to remain free and not tied to any specific company in the field of energy analysis, with systems that can be supervised and analyzed using different types of platforms.

Example of Operational Provisions for the Complete Acquisition of the Necessary Data for a Detailed Energy Diagnosis

In order to achieve all of this, it is necessary to use devices for measuring and analyzing the energy absorbed by every component of the system. The following steps are necessary:

  • Extraction of data from the supervision system database that controls thermoregulation, if there is one;
  • Extraction of data from the supervision system database that controls lighting, if there is one;
  • Extraction of data from the cold chain management system database, if there is one (e.g. in supermarkets);
  • Installation of energy meters on the lines of the general electrical panel (power center), for all main lines with exclusive power supply (Main Loads, etc.). The remaining parts are monitored by meters installed on the distribution panels, where the various power lines are first divided (lighting, emf, etc.), in order to analytically reconstruct the various types of consumption, even if they are fragmented and/or distributed;
  • Inspection and supervision of AHUs to verify the presence of all sensors/probes necessary to assess their efficiency and/or interfacing with control units/PLCs;
  • Limiting the use of meters in the presence of balanced three-phase loads by recording energy on a single phase in order to optimize the costs of measuring equipment;
  • Use of openable transformers in order to avoid additional installation costs and downtime, since these devices can be position even in the presence of voltage.