SABC Auckland Park Complex: eta-Award 2010

Posted by Rip Wyma (22 June 2011)

In November 2005 Johnsons Controls Facility Management (JCFM) was awarded a contract for energy performance management at the SABC facility in Auckland Park.

Shared Energy Management (Pty) Ltd (SEM), a specialist in energy and water performance contracting, was appointed as sub-contractor to manage the project for JCFM. The task was to reduce the energy consumption and electricity bill of South Africas National Broadcaster.

SEM performed a detailed energy audit on the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system of the complex during 2006. Typical energy management principals were used during the study. Detail measurements were used to understand the building operation, as well as to identify any problem areas and areas of savings opportunities. Detail simulation and modelling were used to determine the effect and efficiency of any conservation initiatives. This also identified the impact that these initiatives would have on the indoor conditions of the buildings as the correct indoor conditions are vital for the client. The operation and maintenance personnel were also closely involved.

From this, the savings opportunities were identified and the potential for cost and energy savings was calculated. These strategies included:

  • Extending the Building Management System with a phone switching module to switch lighting and air-conditioning remotely via phone when required.
  • Reconfiguring and reprogramming all the AHUs (air handling units) cooling and heating controllers to minimize over-cooling and unnecessary reheating.
  • Recommission the air economiser control cycles on the AHUs.
  • Install dry mist evaporative cooling in the plant rooms at the outside air intakes to pre-cool and humidify the dry outside air during winter.
  • Install Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on the chilled water pumps to reduce the flow and energy consumption of the pumps during part load conditions.
  • In addition, the heating boilers were gradually phased out as no additional heating in winter was required.

The initial projections showed an estimated cost saving of R3, 500,000/yr, with an installation cost of R 2, 500 000. There was an estimated 19% saving with a direct payback period of 9 months. The energy savings started in August 2007. The savings in the first year of operation was in excess of R4, 200,000, 16% more than predicted! Up to July 2010, the project has saved in total over 56,000,000 kWh, with a maximum demand reduction of 3,500 kVA per month. If one assumes an average household consumption of 800 kWh per month, the energy saved by this project could have powered about 2000 households for this period of 36 months. With 1.1 kg CO2/kWh emission factor, 61,000 tons of CO2 have not been released into the atmosphere.

A graphical representation of the monthly energy savings can be seen in the graph on the left.

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