How FM professionals are equipped to optimize maximum demand

The maximum demand in India skyrocketed to the zenith in 2019 summers. The hot weather during the season coupled with the general tropical climate, the easy accessibility of power and the elections during the mid-year prompted the maximum demand of the nation increase to record heights. The northern part of the country is ranked as the numero uno in maximum power demand and is closely followed by the western and southern parts. The eastern and the north-eastern parts of the country trail behind by a significant amount. 

Understanding and precise monitoring cum analysis of power patterns are instrumental in gathering sufficient know-how about the response of a building during different circumstances. Facility managers can make their needs felt in this regard.

Understanding demand charges :

Apart from the consumption charges, the energy expenditure takes its toll in the form of apparently fixed service charges or network charges. These are also known as the charges for demand which are typically measured for a year-long maximum demand in case of premises- residential or commercial. Mismanagement of the electricity load for a particular building may result in the payment of hefty sums and this can multiply several folds if mismanagement occurs over a region in India. 

How can Facility Management provide solutions to optimize Maximum demand :

  • India’s power needs are variable and depend on topographical as well as socio-economic factors. But in general, the initial step in maximum demand management results in assessing the load profile of a building. The essential loads of a particular premise would enable Facility Management professionals to sketch the overall performance of the premise throughout a year, subject to multiple conditions. 
  • Facility managers need to understand the current-tariff rates by considering power charges which vary throughout the day. Peak hours of current consumption are generally between 3 pm to 9 pm. Off-peak periods are demarcated between 10 pm to 7 am whereas the time in-between these two commonly witness shoulder rates.
  • Demand management generally encompasses the heavy use of equipment and machinery. Facility managers are equipped with the authority to spread out the power usage of a building throughout the day. Another way to effectively deal with demand management is to shift the essential loads of these premises from peak hours to off-peak hours.
  • The adoption of smart monitoring systems has the power to notify facility management professionals about the maximum power demand of buildings so that they can switch off the less essential loads to minimize demand.
  • During extreme temperatures, the regulation of temperature controls will relieve the cooling systems of a building from unnecessary strain. Facility managers have access to a building’s power management system by virtue of which they can effectively establish air-conditioning temperature set-points in specific parts of the building where the usual density of people is high throughout the day.
  • Alternating power sources like solar water heaters, natural gas-fired chillers, pumps, and local generation can help check the maximum energy usage in case of any building.
  • Upgradation of old and inefficient equipment by concerned facility managers results in the permanent reduction of peak energy usage.
  • Facility managers can practically tackle maximum energy demands by addressing the issue with energy storage solutions like battery and thermal storage. Energy storage options enable certain power services to switch from grid to storage during the hours of maximum energy requirement.

A foolproof and sound way to effectively optimize maximum demand and ensure a seamless demand management procedure involves careful planning by the facility managers. Facility management solutions should comprise of correct calculation of utility costs and the knowledge of quantifying major and minor loads across a property. Hence the final results will be the minimisation of maximum energy requirements of the country and the excess power can thus be used for the progress of the nation.

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