Saving R480 000 pa in energy costs

Issue 7 2021 Security Services & Risk Management, Residential Estate (Industry)

Inpower routinely uses its energy optimisation techniques to save bodies corporate (BCs), property owners associations (POAs) and homeowners associations (HOAs) money. With every building, estate or complex being a unique case, there’s no easy fix-all for high energy bills. One such case is Canal Quays in Cape Town, which was able to lower its power bill by about R500 000 per year.

Canal Quays conundrum

Canal Quays is a chic apartment block located canal-side at the Waterfront just three minutes away from the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Comprising 74 units and secure underground parking, the building is not so different from many other residential blocks, hotels or office spaces in terms of energy consumption. When the body corporate was billed for 35 000 kWatt hours per month, it raised concerns and a clear need for energy optimisation presented itself.

Inpower experts assessed the site and conducted evaluations of the various energy consumption equipment in the building for energy optimisation. They quickly identified the source of inefficiency: the subterranean parking ventilation system. The system uses large fans to extract and replenish fresh air. With vehicles operating in the enclosed space, the ventilation system removes poisonous carbon monoxide gas from the air to ensure the building is safe.

However, the fans were operating with 100% uptime representing a gross inefficiency. This is roughly analogous to leaving a light on all day and all night even when it’s not needed.

Turnkey energy optimisation solution

Inpower experts installed carbon monoxide detectors throughout the underground parking area to monitor the air quality. Based on the data collected by the carbon monoxide detectors, Inpower experts were able to program a specialised fan-curve and control process. This system ensures that the air quality is always safe and that the harmful gases are extracted as needed. However, it has the added benefit of reducing the extractor system’s operation times and energy consumption.

Thanks to the solution developed and implemented by the Inpower team, the body corporate energy consumption per month decreased from 35 000 kW hours to 15 kW hours. The bottom line? A total saving of roughly R40 000 per month, adding up to just under half a million rand per year.

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