QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What is the difference between Automated, Semi‐Automated, and Manual measures? Can you also tell us typically which of these measures the utilities will pay the incentives for technology installations?
Semi‐Automated DR is any measure that additional equipment (rewiring, dedicated switches, additional circuit breakers, lamps, etc.) is required to implement a measure that will make participation in a demand response event feasible and reasonable for the customer. An example would be putting in dual A/B lighting so that 50% of lighting could be shut off in a demand response event. It is manual in that human intervention is required, but it is automated in that it allows half the lights to be shut off that would not otherwise be possible. Human intervention otherwise, would be virtually impossible for shutting off only 50% of the lights.
Manual DR is strictly requires human intervention without changing the current system. An example would be having staff at a hotel go into each hotel room unoccupied to shut off HVAC and lighting. Utilities will pay the least amount of incentives for manual demand response measures. These are manual improvements/changes or customer behavior changes to existing equipment.
If the customer is a highly seasonal customer such as an agricultural packing plant, in which during the harvest period say in September the plant may have significant curtailable load and the reduction and can only reduce load in a very limited amount during the summer peak months Applying the method to determine the baseline load profile described by the answer to question 1 yields a result that is only available in one month. How should this situation be handled?, or should the average available be reported?
Average Max kW = kW (available all summer) + kW (weighted seasonal average)
The weighted seasonal average of available load would be calculated by:
Weighted seasonal average load = (# seasonal Months available) / (Total utility’s summer months) * seasonal kW.
Weighted seasonal average load = (1/4) *(kW September ‐ kW summer month)
Average Max kW = kW (available all summer) + kW (weighted seasonal average)
A large customer with significantly peak demand has their facility operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can reduce load during a peak demand event but they cannot completely shutdown. When preparing the DR audit report, should the auditor reflect the load reduction of a complete shutdown or is a partial shutdown?
Why is coincidental or non‐coincidental loads important.
Example of non‐coincidental load:
Reducing Air‐Conditioning reduced load 100kW from 1PM‐3PM
Reducing Lighting 50% resulted in 100kW reduced from 4PM‐6PM
The auditor should report the maximum load reduction of 100kW.
Example of coincidental load:
Reduced Air‐Conditioning reduced load 100kW from 2PM‐4PM
Reduced Lighting 50% resulted in 100kW being reduced from 2PM‐5PM
The auditor should report maximum load reduction of 200kW.
What are some alternatives in boiler efficiency other than new condensing boilers?
Again, that depends on careful evaluation of existing boiler(s). However, you may have the following alternatives in boiler efficiency improvements:
|Boiler System Improvement Measures||
Possible Efficiency Gain
|O2 Trim Packages||
1% – 3%
|4 – 11|
0.5% – 1.0%
|2 – 6|
2% – 5%
|8 – 12|
|Flue Gas Recirculators||
1% for 360 F incr. in combust air temp.
1% for 360 F reduction in stack gas temp.
|Stack gas velocity reduction||
up to 25%
Does boiler excess air reduction really save us on natural gas costs? How much savings can we expect?
If a measure is to shut down a refrigeration system for several hours, do we need to list each piece of equipment separately? Can we just list one measure, “shut down refrigeration equipment” and summarize each component in the appendix?
If during a preliminary assessment, opportunities for demand response are identified in projects currently under design and/or under construction but not included in the historic demand provided by the utility, can these new loads be identified be made a part of the demand response audit?
Some utilities will allow the customer that is adding new load to the facility to participate in the program within 60 days of installing an interval meter.
Can a customer that is a National Account Chain with 38 Service Accounts (Stores) in the utility Service Territory with an average of 135kW of demand (none over 200kW) Aggregate? The Total kW Demand for all 38 Service Accounts (Stores) is over 5,000 qualified kW when aggregated.
One customer I visited with today has about 20 meters of which only 6 are interval meters. The opportunity for demand reduction is from all meters on their existing rate as well as from the interval meters. Two of the interval meters have max peak of 300 and 1400 kW respectively and one is about 120 kW, the rest have max demand lower than 100 kW. In the aggregate, the customer has a demand greater than 200 kW.
We visited a site last week with several good DR opportunities, however, facility management informed us that major renovations were planned and had been approved that could alter or replace the targeted equipment before next summer. Should our DR analysis focus on the existing equipment and operation, or on the proposed equipment that is part of the planned and approved renovation?
Would a Thermal Energy Storage Project (not an energy efficiency measure) qualify under a typical Demand Response program? There is a possibility of a TES customer shifting a large peak load to the off-peak time period.
Utility Considerations for TES:
1. There are no existing regulations approving the use of TES for Demand Response. However, this could change as these issues are currently being reviewed for future DR consideration.
2. There are possible exceptions to consider.
3. One exception may be if the TES is currently not being used at all. And the customer is willing to bring the TES on line only for DR purposes. Since demand response is based on providing day-ahead notices, the customer can charge their systems the night before to be used when needed during the peak hours on the following day. (The verification that the TES is only being used for DR purposes will be seen with the 10 day averages being used for baseline comparisons).
4. Another exception may be that the existing TES system is broken. The customer may possibly use the incentive to repair the system for DR purposes outlined in the previous answer.
6. Note that some TES systems are only partial storage and therefore only reduce partial loads.
One of my wells has sand in the water. We have to replace impellers every few years because of the poor performance and loss of efficiency. Do you have any recommendations?
I understand how pumps use energy to distribute water but is there more energy needed to provide water for consumers?
Yes. There are many aspects within what is referred to as the “Energy-Water Nexus” which correlate energy and water to one another. Water is needed to produce the energy needed to distribute the water. But what does that mean? According to the EPA, every kWh of energy delivered demands the participation of 25 gallons of water.
A pump that sends treated water to your home is run on electricity provided by your utility. Let’s assume these kWh are created by a coal fired power plant, nuclear plant or a natural gas plant. All of these are combustion processes expelling heat to turn a turbine. This turbine then needs to be cooled, by water which is pumped in using electricity already produced. Power plants water use is shown in the table below in gallons per Megawatt-hour.
Furthermore, water is used in both coal and natural gas mining and extraction. Producing natural gas from shale requires about 0.6 to 1.8 gallons of water for every million Btu (MMBtu), less than 15 percent of the water needed to produce the equivalent amount of energy from coal (Chesapeake Energy, Media Resources: Hydraulic Fracturing Fact Sheet, 2009.).
What about transport of the coal or natural gas to the power plant? This uses diesel and gas, of which water is used in both the extraction and refinement processes! And for natural gas, booster pumps would be needed to transport the gas through the pipeline. And what do you think those booster pumps will be powered buy? You guessed it, more kWh created by the same process it is working to feed.
As you can see there is a significant correlation between water usage and energy usage. Even a small scale efficiency improvement will have a large ripple effect all the way down the line impacting the total water resource allocation for that gallon of water or kWh of energy you are using!
Are there any specific metrics that I should look at to gauge efficiency of a pumping system?
How do VFDs save energy in a water treatment plant?
As with a water distribution plant, water treatment plants have periods of high and low demand. During periods of low demand, VFDs can be used to slow down blowers to generate savings. Please refer to figure given below for additional details on a typical water treatment plant operation. As is evident below, water treatment plants have varying demands placed upon them throughout the day. In addition to this hourly variation of influent water in relation to the daily maximum flow rate for a given day, there is also variation of maximum flow rate experienced by water treatment plants.
Are there more avenues to improve operational efficiency in relation to water pumping?
What are the other advantages of installing a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)?
What is the most common control strategy employed in pump operation?
Motors can be retrofitted with Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) to vary motor speed. By changing motor speed, pump speed can be varied. Pump discharge rate is directly proportional to the operational speed.
My pumping system is efficient; however, my pumps are still consuming a lot of energy. Can anything be done about this?
Can the pump efficiency be gauged without a pump test?
How often should pump efficiency be checked?
We are using an average utility rate in our energy cost savings calculations but I am hearing that we might get a lot larger savings if we use the exact utility rates in our calculations. What should we use?
What is the basis for utilities or energy commissions not to except fuel switching from say electric to natural gas or vice versa as a demand side management or energy efficiency project?
What are Energy Advisor programs and what is their function in energy efficiency?
What is an energy audit and how is it performed?
The process of conducting an energy audit can be very simple or complex depending on the type and level of calculations involved in the audit. First and foremost, the energy auditor obtains the annual energy usage bills for the building and then current energy data is monitored to create a baseline and establish what the current energy costs are. In the next step of this process the auditor conducts a space-by-space inspection of the building. During this inspection, the auditor examines energy consuming items (could be any plug load type for example lighting, HVAC or anything else) as well as areas that waste energy. With this new data obtained during the inspection the auditor then calculates the current energy usage and proposes new energy savings strategy and documents the findings into a summary report which is then provided to the customer
What is an Energy Efficiency program and how does it work?
An Energy Efficiency program is a strategic/systematic system that continuously assesses and reduces the energy consumption (Both residential and non-residential) by implementing new technologies and by testing them in filed and by leveraging various utility level engineering and engineering firms to evaluate and determine best available technology options for their customers and provide technical supports to enhance market penetration.
There are usually three stages for each utility level energy efficiency program and each stage is delivered by respected community organizations and building contractors. The Three baseline stages defined per program are as follows:
1. Eligibility criteria and eligibility confirmation stage:
- All customers must provide proof of income
- Homeowners must provide proof of ownership
- Renters must provide the property owner’s written permission
Install appliances or implement other recommendations. The California Public Utilities Commission requires installers to:
- Meet or exceed existing codes and regulations (Title 24 and 20)
- Follow accepted building practices (LEED and other applicable titles)
An inspection is performed before and after the installation of an energy efficiency project in the home/business development to confirm the baseline condition of the equipment prior to installation and new equipment following installation.
We are in the process of designing a building that will be served by Pacific Gas and Electric. Our plan is to achieve a LEED Gold certification through the USGBC and we will be applying for a Savings by Design Whole Building incentive. One point we will be eligible for is Enhance Commissioning. Does Pacific Gas and Electric provide an additional incentive for Enhance Commissioning?
I realize that there are so many factors in calculating energy efficiency savings but can you explain to me a process to follow that can withstand independent review?
If your question is on the custom type of energy efficiency measures you are right on wanting to develop a robust calculation methodology that is reasonable and can withstand an independent review. Otherwise in a program based approach or even on single project basis your claimed savings may be substantially reduced. Check out the following robust process in developing energy savings estimates that Lincus applies:
- Energy consuming equipment has a load profile and a performance profile. The load and performance profiles can be constant or variable. You need to consider the load and performance when estimating energy savings for a piece of equipment, especially when the load or efficiency do not remain constant throughout an entire year of operation.
- You need to have a measurement and a verification plan for the load and performance following standard M&V methodologies for that specific measure. Typically, M&V cost should not exceed 10% of the energy saving benefit.
- You also need to decide on your energy savings baseline above which you expect a reasonable savings. The baseline may be: a) replace on burnout, b) new load or equipment, c) retrofit add on and d) early retirement.
In general, energy savings calculations are done using either spreadsheet calculations or an hourly simulation model. Whether using spreadsheet calculations or modeling software, the energy savings are calculated by subtracting the post-installed energy usage from the baseline energy usage. This is presented in the equation below:
Annual Energy Savings = Baseline Annual Energy Usages – Installed Annual Energy Usages
What is the best approach to determine the interactive effect of energy efficient lighting retrofit as it reduces the AC load for different building types? Your feedback is appreciated!
When performing an energy efficient lighting retrofit an additional benefit is the reduced cooling load. On method for calculating the savings from reduced cooling load is shown below.
1. Determine the reduction in energy consumption by the lighting system. To do this you will need to know the baseline systems W or kW demand and the building schedule. The lighting schedule is where you will see the difference in load between building types. For instance a hospital emergency room (ER) that operates 24 hours a day, seven days per week versus a large office building that operate form 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. If you were to replace a 60 Watt lamp with a 13 Watt CFL in the ER the difference in overall load would be as follows: ΔWattage = Baseline Wattage – EE Wattage = 60W – 13W = 47W
- kWh = ΔWattage x Annual Hrs of Operation / 1000 Watts/kW
- For the ER: 47W x 8760 hr/1000W/kW = 411kWh
- For the Office: 47W x 2607hr/1000W/kW = 122kWh
2. At this stage there are two applicable methods to calculate the interactive effects.
a. Use a previously calculated interactive effects ratio to find savings. For California the Database for Energy Efficiency Resources provides such interactive effects ratios. In this case the interactive effects are 1.17 for a hospital and 1.18 for a large office. To calculate the total saving from the retrofit the following equation can be used:
- Total kWh Savings = lighting savings (kWh) x Interactive Effects Ratio
- For the ER: 411kWh x 1.17 = 480.87kWh total savings
- For the Office: 122kWh x 1.18 = 143.96kWh total savings
b. Next you will need to determine what portion of the year is cooling season and continue with the steps below. One source for this information is The Advanced Lighting Guidelines from the New Buildings Institute.
3. Now you will need to determine the portion of the heat generated by the lighting system that needs to be removed by the AC system. A typical quantity is roughly 90%.
4. Determine the Coefficient of Performance (COP) for the HVAC system. To do this you will need to know EER or SEER for the system. Then you will use the following equation. A typical EER for existing units is 10.
- COP = EER/3.412
- COP = 10/3.412 = 2.93
5. Use the following formula:
- Savings from Reduced Lighting Load = Fraction of the Year of the Cooling Season x Heat Load from Lighting ÷ COP
Care should be taken to avoid over estimating or double counting savings. A good example would a project where heat pumps were upgraded to higher efficiency units and interior lighting was also upgraded. The calculations for the interactive effects between the lighting and HVAC systems should run with the new energy efficient heat pumps rather than against the baseline system. The savings from the HVAC retrofit will have already been captured in the calculations comparing the baseline heat pumps to the new heat pumps.
How much will an EM&V cost?
How long does an EM&V study take to perform?
How do I compare to other utility companies in program management?
Below is a graph showing the range of utility company levelized costs by measure/program. This data was taken from previous EM&V projects performed by Lincus. Using this graph and your own levelized costs, you can see how your utility company compares to others.
What kind of qualifications should I look for in an EM&V consultant?
What protocol is used for EM&V?
What does an Impact Evaluation entail?
Why should I conduct an Impact Evaluation?
What does a Process Evaluation entail?
Why should I conduct a Process Evaluation?
How can I improve my energy efficiency programs?
Why should I have EM&V performed and how does it benefit me?
Generally most Public Utility Commissions require Public Utilities and IOUs to provide an independently produced report which evaluates, measures, and verifies energy efficiency savings and energy demand reductions achieved by their energy efficiency programs on an annual basis. For example, in CA, AB2021 requires both an ongoing assessment of the programs as well as an evaluation of additional potential savings within the POU service territory. IOUs in all states are required to have their energy efficiency programs independently evaluated.
Measures will have varying duration levels (i.e. 1‐3 hours for an HVAC setback versus indefinite for a continuous process interruption). Does the program have a minimum or target duration of curtailment for a measure to be included in the estimated load reduction for the demand response assessment?
If a customer has an existing emergency generator that could be used to reduce demand, can this capacity be counted towards demand reduction, either as a manual or an automated process? Would demand response incentives be applicable to controls that could automatically start a backup generator?
(A) If the backup generator is using diesel fuel, the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in your locality may not allow its use for other than emergency situations or testing.
(B) Operation permits specifically state generators cannot be operated for profit.
(C) If the backup generator is natural gas, it is possible the permit may allow it to operate at any time. If this is the case, the auditing engineer must attach a copy of the permit for verification.
Customers and contractors have typically more knowledge regarding the rules of emergency generation operation.
With some customers, there is a lot more opportunity to upgrade equipment under various energy efficiency programs than just Demand Response. If the detailed demand response audit integrates energy efficiency and demand response, the Utility could save significantly in program budget since we are already on site and the measures can be very much related. For example: if we recommend that the customer adds on a receiver tank to his 50 hp air compressor to be able to do demand response, we should also recommend a VFD to reduce start/stops and to regulate the receiver tank pressure (while saving kWh).
How do you define the demand response baseline?
The typical Utility program is geared toward assisting customers in price responsive programs such as Demand Bidding and Critical Peak Pricing, so that they can respond to a call or a utility signal to reduce load. The triggers for those programs are the utility or the Independent System Operator issued alerts, based on day-ahead forecasts of the demand and/or daily peak temperature at your location at or above a certain temperature. The triggers all have one thing in common ‐ usually high temperatures during the summer tariff months (June, July, August and September). Based on the criteria above, we would recommend that the DR auditing engineers use the following approaches to determine demand response potential in order to estimate the load impacts from demand response and use the following definitions to calculate the baseline.
Customer Estimated Energy Baseline (CEEB)
The CEEB is used to help determine the customer’s demand reduction for an engineering study to assess the potential for demand reduction. The CEEB is defined as the estimated baseline will be determined using a 10 day rolling average energy usage profile of 10 similar days during the summer season (June through August) that include the maximum average summer demand for that customer. Then, the three highest usage days consisting of the time periods from Noon to 8:00p.m. will be extracted from the 10 days for the CEEB. The CEEB will be calculated on an hourly basis from Noon to 8:00 p.m. using the average of the same hour for the highest three similar days. The CEEB will include Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, and will additionally exclude days when the customer was paid to reduce load on an interruptible or other curtailment program or when customers were subject to rotating outages. The CEEB will be determined by the engineering contractor conducting the study using the aforementioned protocol. The CEEB may vary for each hour and for each event.
Estimate of Demand Reduction (EODR)
The Estimate of Demand Reduction is the amount of kWh/hr that the engineer estimates could be achieved during a demand reduction event. This is based on the estimate of load reduction calculated as a result of the inspection of the site, nameplate and diverse demand values for equipment, operational hours and load factors, ability (and willingness) to shed load, and the ability to sustain the load reduction for the entire hour. The load reduction approach should not affect the health, comfort, safety, or productivity of the occupants, tenants, or persons affected by the strategies, and should be agreed upon by the customer especially in areas that may affect the production or sales of goods and services necessary for customer service and quality of environment.
When estimating the EODR, the DR engineer must also look at the ability of the customer to implement the strategy on both a manual and automated basis. It is typically the utility’s preference that the load reduction strategies be automated so the customer can take advantage of technology incentives to defer portions of the costs for these equipment and services. Manual approaches to load sheds are acceptable, but must be clearly and fully documented and agreed upon by the customer. The ability of the customer location to reduce load on consecutive days (and to what limits that response) should also be examined. The EODR will be calculated by subtracting the calculated demand value for each demand response reduction approach from the CEEB, on an hourly basis.
Customer Specific Summer Baseline (CSSB)
Some utilities are adopting a more accurate and representative baseline to be able to estimate the customer’s available demand response load during the summer weekday/non‐holiday timeframe. This alternative baseline is called the Customer Specific Summer Baseline (CSSB). This baseline is used to establish the available customer kW from which demand reductions can be estimated during the peak hours ending 12PM through 8PM.
The CSSB is a baseline that quantifies the customer hourly peak load that may be available for consistent and repeated dispatch throughout the summer months. The Customer Specific Summer Baseline (CSSB) is defined as:
For each hour ending h:
CSSBh = Customer Specific Summer Baseline (summer average weekday, non-holiday, demand for the dispatch hour ending h).
h = the hour being calculated represented as hour – ending (e.g. 12 pm is the hour beginning at 11 am and ending at noon)
N = the number of summer weekdays that are not holidays (if a full summer of current year’s data is not available, include the previous year’s data for the unavailable month timeframe)
i = summer weekday, non-holiday, number being added to the sum by the current cycle of the counter (all summer weekday, non-holidays, must be part of the sum)
kWi = Average hourly demand for the individual hours that make up the summer average demand for the dispatch hours (kWh)
Why do pumps lose efficiency?
What is the cost of pump overhaul?
Who should be proactive about pump efficiency?
So long as it runs, why should I be bothered with efficiency?
In addition to reduced energy consumption, improving operational efficiency can sometime lead to increased pump capacity. Energy consumption by pumps can be as high as 30% of your total load in your plant. For Water Districts and Agricultural customers, this number will much higher.
The old adage “Prevention is better than cure” holds very well for pump operation as well.
Why is the type of pump important?
What are the important classifications of pumps?
Where should I look for information on CA utility incentive programs?
How do I account for my greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as an organization?
What is Cap and Trade?
What is AB32?
When performing GHG Verification activities, reporting entities often ask how long they’re required to maintain their records. How long must they keep reporting-related information on file?
What is Demand Control Ventilation (DCV)?
What are variable air volume air handler systems and how do they save fan energy and cooling energy ?
What is Supply Air Temperature (SAT) reset in building HVAC and how is it going to save energy?
Typically HVAC systems are designed such that the difference between Supply Air Temperature (SAT) and room set point temperature is 20 degree F. If the set point temperature is 75 degree F, the SAT is 55 degree F. When the cooling/ heating loads in the spaces decrease, the demand can be met with increasing SAT during cooling season and decreasing SAT during heating season. This increases the operating hours of outdoor economizer, compressor/ chiller loading which help in saving energy. However, the supply air volume might have to be increased. The optimization of savings from reducing chiller/ compressor loads and savings in fan power helps decides when SAT reset has to be implemented. SAT is commonly reset based on one of the feedback from one of the following variables.
- Room set point temperature: SAT is adjusted based on the feedback from zone temperature. This is an effective method since it is directly based on the zone loads; it has lower negative interaction with static pressure reset strategy.
- Out Door Air Temperature: SAT increases with decrease in outdoor air temperature and vice versa. This is effective in zones having loads dependence on outdoor air temperature with similar loads like perimeter zones with similar occupant functions. This is not effective when the loads are primarily not dependent on outdoor air temperature.
- 3. VAV box damper position: As the zone loads increases or decreases in the spaces, the primary air dampers begin to open or close. Using the damper position, the SAT is adjusted. This method might be ineffective is static pressure reset control strategy is also based on VAV damper position.
SAT reset and static pressure reset control strategies have huge interactions and sometimes may not result in savings expected from individual strategies. As stated earlier, optimization of the savings possible from these two strategies has to be performed before executing the strategy.
What are variable air volume air handler systems and how do they save fan energy and cooling energy ?
I am hearing a lot about maintenance issues with water-cooled condensing units and the local distributor is telling me that I can save a lot with a water-cooled HVAC unit. Can you help me sort out all costs and benefits to see if air cooled or a water-cooled unit is cost effective?
Lincus engineers have seen that water source heat pump units and their economics work well when the site requires multiple smaller HVAC units. An example would be condos where each unit requires anywhere from 3-10 tons. The average cost per ton for water source heat pumps between 3-10 tons is roughly $ 1,100 per ton. Another example would be facilities where packaged/split AC units cannot be installed due to space constraints. In cases where there are multiple units, the cost of installing the ancillary units (boilers, pumps, cooling towers, piping, etc) may also be justified due to the number of HVAC units that you could possibly connect in one common chilled water loop and the efficiency increase on all these units. Water source air conditions will definitely not pay off well in all other circumstances which is why, the air source AC units are the units that we commonly see.
I am trying to come up with a reasonable annual efficiency degradation factor for air source air conditioners and heat pumps. Is there a study or any data based on Lincus’ M&V of HVAC equipment?
When de-lamping fixtures for energy efficiency, what are the methods of maintaining adequate light levels?
In the previous Turnkey Public and Private Schools and Entertainment Centers Programs, CFLs were not allowed. What other lighting has been cut out of the measure summary?
About 40% of our oil production pumps are closed loop hydraulic reciprocating pumps and we are looking into replacing them with the rod beam pumping systems. We have some estimates from our vendor but I wanted to hear it from an independent expert on converting from KOBE to Rod Beam pumps. Will we save any operating and maintenance costs?
What are variable speed drives (VSDs) and pump off controls (POCs) on oil wells? Am I eligible for project incentives?
The first measure is a variable speed drive (VSD). This technology is a universal measure that has been applied to many processes that require modulating pump operation. A VSD provides the capability to adjust the speed of the pump motor based on the demand requirement. Note that the VSD does not take instantaneous readings that control the pump in real time. The speed must be adjusted manually or based on set schedules. However, by merely introducing the flexibility to run the pump at the desired capacity, energy usage per well is more efficient since the pump does not run beyond the demand requirements. This measure is NOT eligible for incentives since it is Industry Standard Practice (ISP).
Pump off controls (POCs) are real time controls that monitor the fluid production rate for each well. The “sufficient” flow rate is determined individually by the operator. Once flow rate drops below the pre-determined threshold, the well is automatically shut off to allow for fluid build-up until the fluid levels in well bore is sufficient for useful pump operation. This measure mitigates the pump operation during times when fluid levels are not deemed acceptable for operation and therefore are a tremendous source of energy savings. However, incentives for this energy measure are restricted to minor producers since POCs are now Industry Standard Practice (ISP) for major producers. The major producers are defined as Chevron, Exxon, Occidental, AERA, Plains Exploration, and Berry Petroleum and all subsidiary or parent companies.
What is SMART Well technology and how does it save energy?
SMART Wells are technologies that have recently been emerging in the oil production field. The scope of work for this measure entails drilling new wells or re-drilling existing “standard” wells (active or inactive) to incorporate SMART well technology. The “standard” well is defined as one that uses a slotted liner that is inserted into a casing with perforations over the entire length of the well bore, thus permitting unrestricted flow from all directions. As a result, excess water is lifted and unnecessarily expends energy. The proposed solution is “SMART” well technology that incorporates a casing with selectively placed perforations along the bore to allow oil-water mixtures to flow from sub-zone s that contain sufficient oil/gas producing content, while minimizing flow from water saturated sub-zones. This is achieved using geological surveying to custom design the bore for each individual well.
By reducing the volume of water lifted, energy savings are realized in (3) phases of the oil production process: artificial lift power, surface transportation power, re-injection power. The details of each process in defined as follows:
– Artificial lift – the process by which the underground fluids are drawn to the surface via introduction of pressure.
– Surface treatment/transportation – the process by which the extracted oil/water mixture is moved to a designated refinement/treatment and collection zones.
– Re-injection – the process by which the separated water is re-injected to the well/reservoir to help in artificial lift as wells as to comply with geographical standards stating that the displaced oil/water mixtures extracted for oil production must be replenished.
An energy metric is created using production data and site parameters which estimates the amount of energy required per barrel of fluid produced. Oil production can range from hundreds to thousands of barrels of fluid per day. Given this estimation, a substantial amount of energy can be saved by removing water throughput.
We are an oil production facility in California with more than 100 oil production wells. The artificial lift system is the sucker rod pumps. We would like to find out how we can calculate energy savings resulting from converting existing oil wells to “SMART” wells. The “SMART” well conversion can reduce water-to-oil ratio from an oil production well by using selectively perforated casing inside the well. The wells are currently operating 24/7 except for some maintenance down time.
Energy savings will be achieved in: 1) Energy Required to Lift Product Fluid (Artificial Lift), 2) Energy required for surface pumping, and finally, 3) Energy required for reinjection. Annual kWh savings is the difference between the pre-installation kWh and the post installation kWh. Energy savings is calculated based on the oil and water flow rates for the well for baseline and installed condition.
It is important that the measurement period for the water and oil flow rates be a reasonably representative period for the current operation so that the savings may be reliably calculated. Additionally, well depth, surface discharge pressure, and the re-injection pump discharge pressure are required. Energy savings is calculated as the difference between the annual baseline and post installation energy consumption. The annual operating hours should allow for the maintenance outages as well. Since this type of pump operates 24/7, we recommend that you calculate the peak kW demand savings by dividing the annual kWh savings with the annual operating hours. This is reasonable because the pump operates 24/7 except for some maintenance time and the kW demand is expected to remain constant.
What is a “Turnkey” program?
In the Turnkey Entertainment Centers Program, what does the customer need to do to receive lighting retrofits/upgrades?
What are some tips to ensuring that a new program manager/analyst fully understands program policies and procedures?
Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then summarize with what you already told them.
Schedule in time for training and estimate the time needed to manage the learning curve. Assign tasks, responsibilities, and milestone deadlines to assess performance and set expectations. As the new resource develops skills and comfort applying them, request feedback on their workload and ease them into similar tasks until they are fully loaded. Revisit their workload at pre-determined intervals (i.e. weekly) to assess if their work needs further development or if they are ready and able to take on additional tasks. Ensure that you constantly remind and reinforce the required protocols and procedures until it becomes second nature to the new resource.
We are trying to figure out if and why we should look at pumps and blowers as a part of our energy efficiency program offering. What potential do you see for pumps and blowers in a program?
From the technical perspective, efficiency losses may come from motors, bearing and electrical losses (9%), column and shaft losses (5%), and impeller and bowl assembly losses (31%). As per the CA study, average energy savings per pump is about 34,000 kWh per year.
In addition to the pump efficiency improvements, a utility program may evaluate the use of variable speed drives (VSD) if the flow is or may be made variable based on the water demand.Please note that VSD applications are more complex and should be evaluated based on operating parameters. Energy savings for properly commissioned VSDs should be about 20-30%.
From the program design perspective, you need three main ingredients such as 1) selection and training of pump testers, 2) pre-qualification of pumps based on certain factors that will help you reach a benefit cost ratio of greater than 1.0, and 3) marketing and outreach campaign to ensure that your program will reach its savings and demand reduction goals. By the way, pumps are a great source for demand response as well, if you have a demand response program or if you are thinking about starting one. Similar opportunities are also available for blower systems used in wastewater treatment. At Lincus, we have designed and currently implementing pump and blower testing programs for three investor owned utilities and if you need further information on program details please contact us.
I am thinking of getting the Bosch water heater and would like some before and after energy bills or savings information. Also, any problems or drawbacks to on demand water heaters?
While each system has their advantages, like any purchasing decision, the drawbacks should also be considered. For tankless water heaters, these include capacity, how quickly hot water will reach the point of use, and minimum flow rate to activate the water heater. With respect to capacity, tankless water heaters have limits to the amount of hot water they can produce at a given time. Another drawback of the tankless water heater could be that since there isn’t a tank of hot water waiting to be used, it takes a little longer for water of the desired temperature to leave the water heater, approximately 10 – 20 seconds in some cases. Some models have a recirculation pump option built in, which allows for hot water to constantly be circulated through the lines, so you will have hot water instantly whenever you need it, however there will be line losses (loss of heat) during the recirculation. That being said, you will no longer experience heat loss from a tank, and with the higher efficiency of the tankless water heater, it is likely the result will be a net benefit. A third potential drawback is the minimum flow rate required to turn the heater on. The flow rate to activate the heater ranges from 0.5 to 0.75 gallons per minute. This is only an issue for occasions when a very low flow of hot water is required.
When selecting a tankless water heater you will need to consider how many devices will be using the water at any time and also the flow rate of those devices. Add up the flow rates of your devices and select based on that capacity. You will also need to take into account the temperature of the incoming water. Typically, incoming potable water is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler incoming water temperature will require additional heating capacity to reach the desired temperature.
Tankless water heaters can be a good investment considering the savings that can be achieved through efficiency, as long as the water heater is sized appropriately for the application.