Energy conservation in residential & commercial buildings can be achieved by following steps by all of us, the user, the AC vendor to give efficient AC & educate the user to conserve and the Government to target reduction in AC usage in buildings.

  1. Reducing Excess EB voltages in the day & night, in peak & non-peak hour segments,
    2. Half the building’s load is AC which needs fine tuning in AC machine efficiency,
    3. Air conditioned air circulation in the user area by combining BLDC fan breeze,
    4. Alter the AC comfort temperature settings to human users by combo effect of AC + FAN usage,
    5. By following the BEE mantra as monitor to target energy & run hour reduction by the user,
  • India’s climate suited the human peak hour productivity per day because of the ambient temperature near to our body temperature at 37 degrees C Plus / Minus 5* degrees C, that is 32 to 42 degrees C with comforting RH of around 55 %. The sustained productivity per day was much better as compared to other regions in the globe. And of late, this is going down now due to excess food intake mixed with sugar & spice and little physical activity making us unhealthy. We are applying the same parallels to optimize the power input to the AC machines in our buildings now.

Residential & Commercial Buildings’ Energy Consumption

  • In the residential & commercial electricity consumption, we have to focus here in our daily running AC, where we are losing more energy in our 1000 to 2000 watt rated air conditioners. We are eager enough to replace our 55 watts tubelight to 18 watts LED tube light, as this is energy saving and improving the illumination inside premises appreciably. But more to that, we can concentrate on our 2000 watt energy gulping AC. If we reduce by 400 watts per hour and say 4 units per day on its 10 hour run, i.e. 20 % in our daily usage of AC, then it is huge saving for us individually, for the local EB grid & nation.
    • The commoner thinks that the ceiling fan is a luxury, but is a necessity. But, the rich man must think that the air conditioner is a luxury but, not a necessity all the times of day. But he can combine the poor man’s AC that is ceiling fan along with AC and get better comfort than AC alone. Air conditioning by AC consumes 20 times more power than the power consumed for air circulation by ceiling or fresh air fans. Let us live by adhering to the nature surrounding us, at the same time mildly comforting ourselves first by air circulation only, then only by air cooling utilizing the ambient bulb temperature characteristics.
    • One of the main reasons for EB national crisis today is due to poor supply and excess demand in summer months of year. Apart from drop in efficiency in generation at EB, the excess demand is due to rise of air conditioner loads. The only way to the consumer is to reduce the national EB grid supply demand gap in electricity by curbing the usage of AC in our premises.

Ceiling Fan Mandatory in Air Conditioned Area

  • The ceiling fan is comforting the man by two ways namely by evaporative cooling and by air circulation. To achieve both the functions, the fan has to breathe in, more from its top area under the ceiling. Here, we can increase our comfort levels by better circulation first and next by evaporative cooling from the fan by increasing the down rod size from 10 inches to 18 inches for 10 feet height building, 2 feet and above if the height of building is 11 feet and above. Visualize our old buildings with 11 to 14 feet ceiling height are always cooler than the modern day homes.
    • Check the air breeze from the fan is felt on the floor or at the side walls and escaping out through windows. Are we getting blast of air or gentle & smooth air breeze? If air is breezing through us, it comforts us by evaporative cooling and it is healthy too. A heavy noisy fan is unsafe to sit under due to noise pollution and electronic regulator retrofit can aggravate the noise more! Either service the fan, replace the old bush with new bearings to reduce power & sound. Otherwise, please go in for 5 star fans or the latest BLDC fans that consume only 30 watts now. That is a better option now.
    • BLDC ceiling fans have proved to give more than 50 % savings compared to conventional fans and it is all the more saving in VA when the power cuts are more and invertors come on line. This BLDC fans + LED bulb or tubelight which consume only a quarter VA and last for longer hours on the inverter during power cuts. (Please see the image of old fan and new BLDC fan.) The energy savings by latest 5 Star & BLDC fans is possible, because as the user, we are compromising with the static pressure. But for the static pressure, these fans achieve better heat transfer by air circulation that is what the users get accustomed now. The same idea is extrapolated to the 20 feet diameter HVLS High Volume Low Speed fans that have come to the market now. HVLS fans have started replacing multiples of ceiling fans in big hall area application and improve the comfort.
    • The ceiling fan especially the BLDC type needs to be mandatorily fitted in AC room or hall application. Human is comforted by the temperature, that is 10 *C less than 37 *C, the human body temperature. Hence, raise the AC setting to 27*C from 22 *C and this gives minimum of 10 % electricity savings. But as a mandatory measure, install a BLDC ceiling fan and operate the same at mid position, thus, consuming 10 watts only, and effectively air is circulated from top to bottom only, and not scattered to outside. This practice increases the human comfort because of mild cool air breeze circulated around our human body.
    • Using ceiling or room fan allows you to set the AC thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. AC without room fan will make the cooled air throw at one area and hot pockets in other areas in the room are not medically good to us. Practically felt, it is really the smaller blade ceiling fan + AC are comforting the humans now.
    • Classic example of energy efficiency from the old ceiling fan to the latest BLDC fan workings now.
    • This BLDC fan consumes one unit of power after running for 100 hrs, where as AC consumes one unit in one hour.

Practically we use mid position 3 in our ceiling fans.
BLDC fan consumes only 11 Watts
ONLY 25 % power of what our existing fan consumes.

Classic example of Energy Efficiency from the old ceiling fan to the latest BLDC fan workings now.

This BLDC fan consumes one unit of power after running for 100 hrs, where as AC consumes one unit in one hour.

Air Conditioners

  • In the residential electricity consumption, out of the total say, 20 units per day consumption, and more than 10 units is consumed by the AC. If the same AC is monitored by just retrofitting single phase static watt hour meter costing just Rs 400/-(ISI branded static watt-hour single phase rated 5 to 30 amps), then we can have day to day control of AC electricity consumption in domestic and commercial buildings, instead of annoying over inflated monthly EB bills.
    • Also we suggest that AC OEMs can add this hour usage meter as an integral part of the indoor AC. This will show AC machine total run hours and the AC compressor run hours happening due to cut-in-cut-out to show the AC user how effectively he uses his AC in his premises. When the user buys star rated AC for Rs 30,000, the OEM is suggested to integrate this hourly usage meter (this will cost only few hundred Rs only) at the indoor unit of their split AC.
    • Thus, the AC OEM can help the consumer to monitor the AC & its compressor run hours in the usage. This is what BEE says “Monitor your energy usage to target the reduction of the same.” The consumer will be made aware of the AC KW consumption per hour in its total run hours, and relatively compare his AC efficiency with others around for the given same application like bedroom, office cabin, computer room, etc.
    • AC OEM is giving now, the energy efficient inverter AC and is more efficient in usage compared to 5 star rated AC. Now many existing AC users are using retrofit electronic gadget costing only few thousands to their AC so that the gadget’s sensor-driven software algorithms are designed to detect the AC compressor’s thermodynamic saturation and optimizes the same. In fact, this retrofit is a sensible move taken by the AC user and this gives around 20 % savings in the existing rated AC. Instead of going for new inverter duty AC, this is a low cost option available to you in between, to optimize your AC running cost.
    • Keep your AC healthy by routine servicing & improving the heat transfer at the evaporation coil and at the condenser coil outdoor first. Fine-tune the AC setting temperature and check for the Freon healthy pressures at suction and discharge. If your AC fails in many of the above aspects, then it needs replacement. Replacement option is given priority only to an AC with defective internals as mentioned above, where the energy conservation is not possible as shown in its energy meter now.
    • In AC usage, everyone is accountable to local & global warming. First the AC user, as electricity consumer, and next the AC OEM who had given previously, the energy-inefficient AC, and last but not the least, the Government, which needs to promote mandatorily, the energy conservation in AC, AC machine hour & KWH monitoring, star rated AC promotion and sales tax reduction in Star rated AC & other energy saving & monitoring gadgets.

Word of Caution: This KWH meters’ image does not promote or canvass its brand. Because of the price affordability at Rs.400/-, its image is displayed here. Green lit digital power guard is a portable type costing Rs 2000/- displays the W, VA instantly when plugged to any appliance at its power socket.

 

Why AC daily power consumption varies?

Even when the same AC runs for nearly fixed hours of the day, still the AC consumption in domestic or commercial buildings varies due to many factors namely:-

  1. AC indoor temperature settings are set from 20*C to 26*C now suiting to individual needs.
    2. AC evaporator filter gets clogged, goes unnoticed; and to clean the same once in two weeks.
    3. Condenser coils getting choked over a period of few months to years, to clear the dust first.
    4. AC outdoor unit can be torched under the Sun or we can comfort the same by weather roofing.
    5. The refrigerant leaks minutely over a period when not noticed; AC runs more hours to cool.
    6. The AC compressor run hours vary due to operating for more hours or more people inside.
    7. The conditioned air when leaking out of premises, forces the AC compressor run fully.
    8. Heat source like fridge, deep freezer has come inside premises; increase the AC run hours.
    9. Higher ambient outside and solar heat ingress from the roof increase the AC run hours.

Applications of Relative Monitoring

  • Relative condition monitoring of air conditioners
    1. If more ACs are installed inside the same premises.
    2. When the AC is serviced, the daily KWH reduction before and after the service done.
    3. When ACs are serviced to give more attention to service to Excess power consuming AC.
    4. Same area cabins and same size AC why still the varying KWH consumption can be studied.
    5. KWH reduction can be noticed instantly on every AC in-house efficiency improvements.
    6. In case of Freon overcharging, KWH consumption increases first to show impending breakdown.
    7. If the stabilizer malfunctions or due to heavy voltage variations, the KWH varies.
    8. If two AC at the same premises are 3 star and 5 star, the 5 star savings can be confirmed by monitoring.
    • The outdoor unit operating in the shade will consume upto 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun. The high side of the split or the back side of window AC can be provided with cost effective shelter. AC efficiency improves and it can be seen in the proposed AC machine run hour meter.
    • Clean the air-conditioner filter every week or month depending on usage. Clean the fins once in a month. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and may damage the unit. Clean filters enable the unit to cool down quickly and use less energy. Dirty filter makes you sick too. Today buy a spare Air filter @ Rs 100/- and keep it ready as active standby. Now you have the time & effort later to clean the removed filter with detergent water leisurely not in a hurry, thoroughly and effectively. You can keep it ready for next day and insert the same whenever required.

Fridge & Other Appliances

  • The only appliance working for 24 hours in a day is our fridge. With daily power cuts, it is safer to fix a time delay model voltage stabilizer (preferable with voltmeter) and high low voltage cut-out options, to the fridge. The fridge needs not daily face high voltages during resumption after power cuts. This applies to sophisticated electronic gadgets, lighting in domestic & commercial areas. Ice formation inside the fridge freezer is energy loss. Make use of the summer and winter settings of fridge thermostat so that fridge is set to optimum cool temp twice a year. Loss through higher cold temperature settings increases fridge run hours daily.
    • The power cuts happening now force us, to keep our stabilizers guard active. Whenever power cut is over and on resumption, high voltage comes in and only after loading from the consumer ends, the voltage drops say from 250 to 220 volt gradually, for example. This is hazardous to our appliances. Especially, in some areas, the night voltage stays high above 250 volts, where as in day time it is normal. Fridge, AC &TV are equipment used for more hours in house. So, it is better to install a matching stabilizer to each of the above. The stabilizer to have time delay in giving output to appliances.
    • Instead of fixing an individual Automatic voltage stabilizer for individual fridge, TV, audio etc gadgets now, it is prudent to install a higher KVA Automatic voltage stabilizer at the incoming itself. As all the downstream equipment are safe and power saving in the output volt band of 200 to 220 Volts Ac i.e. at 210 Volts + or – 5 % , it is suggested that the stabilizer OEM to limit their output variation as above and not more % than that.
    • The OEMs have to give a priority in watts and VA saving first. Existing stabilizers buck only after allowing the output to surge to 270 volts, so as to buck to 240 volts. All our appliances are put to over voltage strain, especially, at night facing above 250 volts always and consume more watts & VA. We need this stabilizer not only for our appliances safety but also for their power saving too. The stabilizer OEM must ensure energy saving & optimized output, then automatically, the safety protection gets achieved from this stabilizer. The Government to approve of this energy saving output aspects especially in the stabilizer manufacture.

Govt Can Promote Appliance Sale By Combo Schemes Prioritizing Energy Conservation

Summarizing above points towards energy conservation by the user, Government can initiate for combo schemes through vendors:

  • When the AC vendor sells one AC, the Government can guide to sell along with, one BLDC fan. In addition to this, the user can be advised to have one KWH meter, one run hour meter, one automatic voltage stabilizer, one aircon saver, one spare AC air intake filter, so as to reduce the consumer’s AC running power cost upto 30 % from the existing full load consumption.
    • When the vendor sells Fridge etc appliances, the Government can guide to sell automatic voltage stabilizer either to fix near the fridge or better to fix now, the above Total Automatic voltage stabilizer at the Lighting EB Incoming 5 Amps rated circuits.

Conclusion

  • Thinking & acting on conservation measures catalyzes our social responsibility, caring for others and sacrificing our selfish comforts. When we are safe and healthy, conservation prevails. If safety fails, conservation fails and pollution starts. So comfort our AC machines to get more input power savings, first target the input power to appliances, and reduce the same, monitor the individual energy consumption & optimize the same, thus paving for greener environment.

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