Tags Posts tagged with "buildings"


The successive and persistent heat waves that blighted spain last summer broke new records in electricity demand. specifically on 21 july 2016, peak electrical power demand reached the highest figure of the last five years during the summer season, with 40,192 mw. the widespread use of air conditioning was the main “culprit” however the demand for industrial cooling should not be underestimated.

Even before the major heat waves hit, the electricity consumption of large and medium companies last june had increased by 1.5% compared to the same month last year, according to data from the ire, the power grid index. in the past twelve months, the electricity consumption of these companies was up 2.2% on the same period last year. by sector, industrial consumption rose by 3.6% and services by 1.6%.


Compared to june 2014, of the five activities with the greatest electricity consumption, metallurgy demand grew by 2.5%; the chemical industry was down 1.9%; the manufacturing of other non-metallic mineral products increased by 6.6%; the food industry rose by 0.8%; and paper dropped by 17.2%. similarly, the activities that most contributed to the growth in consumption of large companies were metallurgy with an increase of 2.5%; other non-metallic mineral product manufacturing (6.6%); water collection, treatment and distribution (13%); motor, trailer and semi-trailer vehicle manufacturing (7.5%); and rubber and plastics manufacturing (3.8%). Read more…

Manuel Lamúa
Technical Advisor at AEFYT, the Spanish Association for Refrigeration Technology

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2017

FLIR Systems has announced three new Exx-Series advanced thermal imaging cameras for electrical, mechanical, and building applications: the FLIR E75, E85, and E95. The redesigned, Wi-Fi-enabled Exx-Series features intelligent interchangeable lenses, laser-assisted autofocus modes and area measurement functionality, improvements to FLIR’s patented MSX® imaging technology, and a larger, more vibrant 4-inch touchscreen. These distinctive features, combined with increased sensitivity and increased native resolution, will help professionals identify hot spots or building deficiencies before potential problems become expensive repairs.

In redesigning the Exx-Series, FLIR developed a new range of compact intelligent, interchangeable lenses that the camera automatically recognizes and calibrates, eliminating the need for manual calibration. The Exx-Series now also features laser distance measurement that assures precise autofocus to improve temperature measurement accuracy, and specifically for the FLIR E85 and E95 models, provides the data for on-screen area measurement in square feet or meters. In addition, the FLIR E85 and E95 models offer increased thermal detector resolutions with up to 464×348 (161,472 pixels), and measure temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Celsius.


In conjunction with FLIR Tools™, the FLIR E75, E85, and E95 are the first Exx cameras to offer UltraMax®, FLIR’s embedded, super-resolution process that improves effective resolution by four times — up to 645,888 pixels — and thermal sensitivity by up to 50 percent. All models also feature significant improvement to FLIR’s MSX technology, which now utilizes a 5-megapixel visual camera for improved image clarity and readability. These improvements, combined with a display that is 33 percent brighter and 30 percent larger than previous Exx models, yield more vibrant and detailed thermal imagery.

The Exx-Series cameras also feature a rugged, water-resistant design and scratch-resistant Dragontrail™ cover glass over an optically-bonded, projected capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen. A simplified user interface delivers faster, more intuitive operation, and coupled with enhanced Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Meterlink®connectivity, archiving and report generation has never been easier.

Source: FLIR Systems

HVAC units are big consumers of energy in the majority of installations in a range of sectors. They can account for 60% of the electricity bill in tertiary sector buildings such as hotels, hospitals, shopping centres, industrial and office blocks. The way forward to finding solutions that achieve energy savings in this field is based on access to information. As a result, Indoorclima is developing the Climate management Big Data, offering vital information on the operation of chiller and rooftop units from manufacturers worldwide. Having knowledge of their actual operation in a wealth of situations (both those inherent to the units and those relating to the installation or location) is providing the keys to developing the necessary algorithms to be able to parameterise each installation in terms of optimal performance and thereby reduce energy consumption from 20% to 50% depending on the installation.

HVAC installations have a low level of energy management. One major issue is the lack of the control over large output units that are usually located in regions with difficult access, and the preventative maintenance itself that is very basic, generally reduced to the minimum regulatory requirement. As a reference, of the total sales of HVAC units in 2012, only 15% corresponded to regulation and control systems. And this, in sectors where HVAC units consume more than 3,000,000 kWh/year, representing disproportionate and unnecessary energy costs.

And this has provided the basis for the work of Indoorclima in its search for a solution whose main aim is to save energy in HVAC installations. Read more…

Silvia Escámez
María del Mar Romero
Óscar Marinello

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2016

Mexico is collaborating with the United States and Canada in R&D to drive the energy transition, particularly the appropriation, capture and use of carbon as well as the reduction in methane emissions and energy efficiency in buildings.

During the plenary session (the third working session of the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial – CEM7) and the meetings of the Mission Innovation (MI) initiative, the three countries proposed the launch of the CEM Energy Management Campaign: A Drive to 50001 Energy-Saving Partners, whose aim is to achieve one thousand certifications for energy management systems by 2020.

At this forum, Mexico’s Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, made reference to the progress of the Energy Reform as regards electricity, explaining that as a result of the first auction, 11 successful bidders with a total investment of US$2.6bn would construct 2 GW over the next three years distributed between 12 PV plants and 6 wind power plants. As regards solar photovoltaic, this segment has achieved one of the lowest prices in the world.

During the Mission Innovation working sessions, the Secretary of Energy indicated that the R&D investment in clean energy made by the members of this Initiative represents a turning point in public investment to support the development of clean energy, sending a clear message as regards the areas on which each country has decided to focus its efforts, including those at high risk or with technological uncertainty. He added that gradual and long-term investment by the private sector will be fundamental to complement public investment to stimulate these technologies in the market.

In this regard, Secretary Coldwell announced that, in order to foster private sector participation along with researchers and academics in the field of clean energies, Mexico in collaboration with the World Bank and the Global Environment Fund, has launched the PRODETES Award geared towards SMEs to develop and commercialise green technologies.

During his speech at the CEM7, the Secretary of Energy highlighted that Mexico’s targets, as set out at the last CEM6 forum, include the supply of 10 billion efficient, high quality and low cost light bulbs; the strengthening of the Clean Energy Solutions Centre that offers technical assistance for the development of policies in 80 countries; as well as the use of smart grids and renewable energy sources,.

Moreover, he commented that Mexico is taking part in global efforts to accelerate the transformation of electricity models towards systems that include enhanced integration of green, reliable and accessible technologies.

Secretary Coldwell concluded that by means of the CEM, Mexico and its members support and are committed to the transition towards a clean and low carbon energy sector to mitigate the effects of climate change. He added that thanks to the initiatives of his Ministry as regards the transformation of the electrical system for renewables and energy efficiency for large volume users, Mexico’s new energy model offers a favourable environment for public-private associations and investment.


New homes should incorporate the innovation that we are already using in our cars or on our mobile phones, but the technology must be easy-to-use and intuitive. Such technology should significantly help energy efficiency form part of the home to achieve nearly zero energy dwellings.

The European Union Directive 2010/31/EU has standardised the nearly zero energy building (NZEB) as the new challenge for 2020, by reducing energy consumption, optimising installations, increasing the use of renewables and caring for the environment. Mobile solar control systems could improve efficiency yet further to help achieve an NZEB.

These automated systems operate even when the house or building is unoccupied ensuring that the solar protection is always in the optimal position for saving energy. When the building is occupied, the protection is positioned for thermal comfort and illumination.

The saving made by one home depends on four factors: use, orientation, climate zone and constructive solutions. Average domestic consumption is approximately 150 kWh/m2 or some €20/m2. The challenge is to reduce the 150 kWh/m2 to almost zero by 2020. Traditional and innovative constructive solutions have to be incorporated into new homes to achieve the targets set by the EU and standardised under Royal Decree 235/2014 of 5 April with the energy certification.

Innovation and systems have to adapt to the new needs of homes, offering a flexible solution which is customised to cover the requirements of each household and responds to the new commitments to reduce demand and energy consumption. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

Despite the high potential of passive strategies combined with solar systems for saving energy in buildings, the energy consumption of their temperature control requirements is one of the biggest problems facing today’s energy sector as it has severe repercussions on the environment. As a result, past decades have seen a growing interest in promoting energy efficiency in construction, which in turn has stimulated research into this area.

One such example includes international initiatives on a range of projects that form part of the ECBCS and SHC programmes from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Within the framework of current regulations, this interest has also been demonstrated through various European Directives and in the gradual entry into force of legislation on this subject (Technical Building Code. Updated Basic DB HE Document on Energy Saving 2013). The implementation of the new European Directive, EPBD 2010, requires technologies to be available that can achieve nearly zero energy buildings as well as methods to reliably assess and profile the energy performance of constructive components and buildings.

The majority of current regulations that refer to energy quality and to energy saving in the temperature control of buildings apply to the design phase, calculating the theoretical energy consumption, usually by using dynamic thermal simulation software. However, some studies have revealed that the real performance following construction of the building can be significantly different to this theoretical performance. It is clear that testing and in-depth modelling of real-scale buildings has to be carried out, reinforced by integrating an extensive range of low consumption energy technologies. Read more…

Julio Ramiro y ! and Antonio Caamaño
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and CIEMAT Group OMEGA-CM Project

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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Analysis of potential and integration opportunities for DHC networks

The development of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology has received a boost over recent years by the increase in electricity generation plants. Despite this, Spain currently has very few CSP facilities for thermal applications, largely designed to cover the demand for heat in industrial processes or for the temperature control of buildings. However their application for thermal use has a huge development potential in the country given that some regions have a very high availability of direct solar irradiation. The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) has undertaken a technical-economic study on the incorporation of CSP into district heating & cooling (DHC) networks, using a reference network situated in Jaén. The results obtained conclude that the incorporation of CSP installations into DHC networks is a viable and attractive alternative that is both technically and economic competitive.

According to the census undertaken by the Spanish Association of DHC Networks (ADHAC), there are currently around 270 DHC networks in Spain with a total combined installed capacity of 1,139 MW for heating and cooling. Out of the existing DHC installations, approximately 30% use renewable energy (mainly biomass) and only one incorporates solar power. This is the DHC network at the Balearic Science and

Technological Innovation Park, ParcBIT. This network is supplied by a CCHP plant that provides electricity, hot and cold water to the technological park as well as to 5 buildings belonging to the Universidad de las Islas Baleares. Hot water is generated by two cogeneration motors of 1,460 kWt and 1,115 kWt each, backed up by a 1,000 kWt biomass boiler, a solar installation with a 900 m2 flat collector and a 2,000 kWt fuel boiler. The hot water is distributed through the network to cover hot water demand and also to feed the absorption chillers (432 kWt and 1,318 kWt respectively) to generate cold water. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

On 16 February, the European Commission presented its first strategy to optimise heating and cooling in buildings and industries. The EU Heating and Cooling Strategy is the first EU initiative to address the energy used for heating and cooling in buildings and industry, which accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption. By making the sector smarter, more efficient and sustainable, energy imports and dependency will fall, costs will be cut and emissions reduced. The Strategy is a key action of the Energy Union and will contribute to improving EU’s energy security and to addressing the post-COP 21 climate agenda.

Heating and cooling refers to the energy needed for warming and cooling buildings, whether residential or in the services sector (for example schools, hospitals, office buildings). It also includes the energy required by almost all industrial processes as well as cooling and refrigeration in the service sector, such as the retail sector (for example to preserve food across the supply chain, from production to supermarket and on to the customer). Currently, the sector accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, accounting for 13% of total oil consumption and 59% of total gas consumption (direct use only) in the EU. The latter equates to 68% of all gas imports. This is mainly because European buildings are old, which implies various problems, including:

• Almost half of the EU’s buildings have boilers installed prior to 1992, with an efficiency rate of below 60%.
• 22% of gas boilers, 34% of electric heaters, 47% of oil boilers and 58% of coal boilers are older than their technical lifetime. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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Under the motto “Make your building more livable,” Siemens will show at the light+building trade fair how commercial buildings can be comfortable while also offering economical operation. Among the highlights will be energy services aimed at improving the performance and energy efficiency of buildings. Siemens will introduce its expanded portfolio of services under the name “Navigator powered by Sinalytics.”

Navigator powered by Sinalytics is the basis for a number of services which analyze the current performance of a building and optimize it using the insights gained. This includes remote monitoring and maintenance of technical plants, measuring and metering concepts as well as monitoring of energy flows and consumption in the building. Navigator is based on the new Sinalytics platform which consolidates all digital services from Siemens.

Navigator collects building data relating to power, heating, cooling and water consumption as well as air volumes of HVAC plants. Energy engineers aggregate the data and turn it into meaningful reports on energy consumption, costs and emissions. These reports can then be used to make decisions about non-investment measures, such as demand-based building automation adjustments, or investment measures, such as replacing a boiler. Energy management using Navigator thus increases transparency and energy efficiency within the building.siemens2

Siemens has expanded its consulting portfolio and will introduce new offerings at light+building to help customers with energy procurement planning and strategy, emission trading and optimization of network charges. These services are also based on Navigator. In addition, Siemens offers consulting for a variety of energy audits and building certifications.

“Navigator and our services allow us to turn Big Data into Smart Data. This provides true value for our customers by helping them operate their buildings as energy-efficiently as possible – from energy procurement to continuous compliance with energy standards to technology migration,” said Martin Quednau, Advantage Operation Center Director at Siemens AG.

Integrated refurbishment: Madrid City Council’s commitment

During 2014, in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, out of its 239 newly-constructed buildings, 116 achieved energy certification C. However 43 have D and 15 are rated as E, with just 11 obtaining certification A and 54 rated with B. This information is according to the January 2015 report, updated on 31 December 2014, issued by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism regarding the energy certification of buildings.

These figures speak for themselves of the need for awareness, especially on the part of citizens that need to make it clear that they do not want to continue purchasing energy drains. Buyers have to be aware that the mortgage on their home is amortised over X years and paid off, however the energy mortgage in the form of energy bills, continues right up to the last day of the life of the building, and increases as both the installations and the building degenerate, as well as from the increase in the cost of fuel itself.

It is apparent that in terms of energy efficiency there is still much work to be done. It is sad that, with less than 5 years to go until the European Directive requires the implementation of nearly-zero energy consumption buildings, new buildings are still being constructed that do not achieve more than a D or E energy certification. A golden opportunity is being missed to attain this necessary saving in energy and emissions by the ongoing construction of inefficient buildings. Read more…

Pilar Pereda
Architect, Adviser to the Sustainable Urban Development Department at the Madrid City Hall

Article published in: FuturENERGY November 2015

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