- Written by Catherine Luthin
Like any major industry, energy has its folklore and myths. Today I’d like to present you with a few of those myths.
Myth: Bringing in night air that’s cooler than air inside a building will cut the next day’s cooling load.
Reality: Depends on your neighborhood. Is the total heat content – air plus moisture – of the incoming outside air less than the conditioned air in the building? A significant chunk of cooling load comes from drying out wet air. What might work well at night in the dry plains may not work so well in humid coastal areas. If the interior air is warmer and more humid, it makes sense to replace it with cooler and dryer outside air. But if the outside air is cooler and more humid (as is often true at night), then such “night flushing” could introduce more heat in the air’s humidity than is displaced from its lower dry-bulb temperature.
Myth: Improving the efficiency of lighting, electric appliances, and motors could significantly reduce oil imports.
Reality: This will only be true in Hawaii, where oil is the major source of fuel for its power plants. For all of the US, less than 2% of electricity comes from oil. The US has eliminated most oil-fired generation, using it now mainly in small peaking units, not in the large base load plants.
Today, nearly all of our kilowatthours come from coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro. (Source: Energy Information Agency)
Myth: Turning on all your lights at the same time results in a much higher demand charge than starting all of them just a few at a time.
Reality: When fluorescent lights running on electronic ballasts are first switched on, they may indeed pull 10 times as much power as they do after startup. But that high power draw lasts less than 2 seconds. Utility demand charges, on the other hand, are based on the most kilowatt-hours consumed in a 15 or 30-minute period. A brief high draw has essentially no impact (less than ½ of 1%) on the kWh consumption in that period, and thus very little impact on the peak demand charge. Turning on all the lights at once, however, might cause a circuit breaker to trip.
About the Author:
Catherine Luthin has over 25 years of financial and energy management experience within the corporate, non–profit and regulatory environments. She is the President of Luthin Associates, an energy management consulting firm that proactively manages energy procurement and sustainability services for their clients. Catherine chairs and manages Consumer Power Advocates (CPA), an association of non-profit institutions whose primary goal is to decrease the cost of energy by focusing on regulatory decisions and programs which impact energy consumers in New York State. Catherine is a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City Energy Policy Task Force, BOMA NY’s Energy Committee, the Association of Energy Engineer’s Certified Energy Procurement Board and she is Energy Policy Chairperson for the Association of Energy Engineer’s Council on Women and Environmental leadership. Catherine has also been a guest lecturer at Columbia University’s Environmental and Energy Policy Department. If you are interested in Catherine’s services you can contact her at: (732) 774-0005.
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.
“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”
“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”
Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.
“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”