Thermal Modelling Uncovers Some Surprising Energy and Cost Savings

AE Smith are using cutting edge thermal modelling technology, usually employed for designing new buildings, to deliver energy and costs savings to established properties

5 Dec 2010
In a bid to improve their NABERS ratings, Challenger Financial Services have recently contracted AE Smith to find ways to increase the energy efficiencies of their commercial buildings. 

“By using the Dynamic Thermal Modelling technology, we’ve been able to create a sophisticated energy profile that reveals how some very small things can add up to big savings,” says General Manager Business Development, Doug Binns of the 417 St Kilda Rd property. 

In an AE Smith first, the thermal modelling has been used to compartmentalise the building and review what, how and when heat is emitted; making thousands of small calculations around energy consumption. 

It uncovered the impact of small parts on total energy use – in particular revealing that 49 of 150 Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes weren’t working properly. 

“The resulting effect of this relatively small part not working was calculated to be increasing energy consumption by 40%,” says Doug, who adds that small parts are often overlooked as a key contributor to energy use.

“Quite often something like the VAV is dismissed as a small part to replace once broken, but ensuring their effective use has the potential to create significant energy and cost savings.” 

“By uncovering the faulty VAV boxes we’ve been able to help Challenger Financial Services not only work toward improving their NABERS ratings but reduce their electricity costs by tens of thousands of dollars,” adds Doug. 

It’s these results that Doug and the AE Smith National Service team find most rewarding on behalf of their customers; uncovering efficient and cost effective ways to make big impacts on energy use and energy costs.

“As part of the move to improve NABERS ratings in established buildings, many customers are concerned about the costs involved in retro commissioning – but it doesn’t have to be all about replacing large parts with large price tags,” says Doug. 

“It can often be similar to tuning up an old car so it runs more fuel efficiently – as has been the case with 417 St Kilda Rd,” adds Doug.