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A Fresh Look at VFDs

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A variable frequency drive (VFD) is a type of motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage supplied to the motor. VFDs have been in use since the 1980s, and today, the combination of energy awareness, energy regulations, and new VFD technologies are driving an increasing demand for these energy-saving products.

The concept of a VFD is fairly straightforward. Frequency (hertz) is directly related to a motor’s speed (RPMs). The faster the frequency is, the faster the RPMs go. If an application does not require an electric motor to run at full speed, a VFD can be used to ramp down the frequency and voltage to meet the requirements of the electric motor’s load. As the application’s motor speed requirements change, the VFD can turn the motor speed up or down to meet the speed requirement.


Indoor Air Quality and Energy Conservation—Working Together For Healthier, More Efficient Buildings

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sometimes it seems that many energy conservation measures related to HVAC systems are incompatible with providing good indoor air quality (IAQ). However, with a little forethought and proper maintenance, significant energy savings from HVAC-system use can be achieved while still providing good IAQ. Follow these simple guidelines and see how you can improve air quality and maximize energy conservation for your building.

At a base level, take care to provide adequate ventilation and always meet the standards of ASHRAE 62.1-2016.

A good starting point is to understand the basic HVAC energy conservation or retrofit measures that are compatible with IAQ, including:

  • Tightening the building shell, as long as adequate ventilation is provided
  • Reducing internal loads with lighting or office equipment upgrades (if these measures reduce air flow requirements, be sure to consider the increased outdoor air necessary to maintain ventilation requirements)
  • Upgrading fans, motors and drives
  • Upgrading chillers and boilers
  • Installing energy recovery ventilation systems (ERV)
  • Equipment downsizing

House Bill 264 — A 30 Year Update on Energy Conservation in K–12 Schools

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ohio House Bill 264 was enacted in 1985 to allow school districts in Ohio to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings and use the cost savings to pay for those improvements. Generally speaking, the cost of the energy conservation improvements must pay for themselves out of the energy savings within 15 years. Read More...

Tax Deductions for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

In 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act (EPACT), which provided for Federal tax incentives for businesses that enact energy efficiency and savings projects in commercial buildings. This law has been renewed several times, the latest in 2015, extending the tax benefits through year-end 2016. In general, commercial building owners and tenants who purchase and install products in their buildings that save energy may qualify for tax deductions up to a maximum of $1.80 per square of the affected space. Read More...

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