1411 Determine the Present Condition of the Facility

The purpose of this step is to create a starting point. The questions to be answered are: (1) What equipment and systems are in the building? (2) What material is available to describe each system and/or its components? (3) What needs to be done to get the energy-related systems into working condition and to keep them that way?

This step should incorporate (1) vendor data and operating specifications for as much of the installed equipment as possible, kept in a notebook, a file cabinet, or a computer data base (depending upon the size and complexity of the facility); (2) a diagram of each major system, showing the location of all important equipment and the direction of all fluid flows; (3) a complete list of all the equipment in the building, showing the name, location, and condition of each item; and (4) a comprehensive list of maintenance tasks required for each piece of equipment. This information constitutes an equipment reference source unique to the equipment in your facility. It should be kept current, with each addition initialed and dated, and its location should be known to all maintenance personnel and their supervisors.

The preparation of the notebook and the compilation of the other data is made much easier if separate energy-related systems are defined within the plant so that the systems can be examined in turn. A suggested classification of these systems would constitute (1) the building envelope, including all surfaces of the facility exposed to the outside; (2) the boiler and steam distribution system; (3) the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system, together with its controls; (4) the electrical system; (5) the lights, windows, and adjacent reflective walls, ceilings, and floors; (6) the hot-water distribution system; (7) the compressed-air distribution system; and (8) the manufacturing system, consisting of motors and specialized energy-consuming equipment used in the creation of products. Each of these systems should be inspected, the condition of each part noted, and a diagram drawn if appropriate. The following descriptions and tables have been prepared to assist you in this inspection.

Building Envelope

This consists of all parts of the facility that can leak air into or out of any building. Its components and appropriate initial maintenance measures are given in Table 14.1. The envelope should be described by a blueprint of the building, showing locations and compositions of all outside walls, windows, ceilings, and floors, and the locations of all outside doors. The primary malfunction of this system is leakage of air, and this leakage can often be detected by sight—looking for cracks— or by noting the presence of a draft. Infrared scanning from the outside can also be helpful. The benefits from maintaining this system are (1) a reduction in the amount of air that must be heated or cooled, and (2) increased comfort due to decreased drafts.

Boilers and Steam Distribution Systems

(These systems are described in greater detail in Chapters 5 and 6). A boiler is often the largest consumer of fuel in a factory or building. Any improvements that maintenance can make in its operation are therefore immediately reflected in decreased energy consumption and decreased energy cost. If the steam distribution system has leaks or is not properly insulated, these faults cause the boiler to generate more steam than is needed; eliminating these problems saves money. But boilers can malfunction, and steam leaks can cause severe burns if maintenance is performed by untrained personnel. The first step in proper boiler maintenance is usually to get the boiler and the steam distribution system inspected by a licensed professional. It is possible, however, to examine your own boiler and determine whether your system has some of the more conspicuous problems. To estimate the value of repairs to this system, assume that any boiler that has not been adjusted for two years can have its efficiency increased by 25% by a suitable adjustment, with a corresponding decrease in fuel consumption and in projected fuel costs. In steam distribution, a defective steam trap can typically waste 50,000,000 Btu/yr, at a cost of between $100 and $1000, depending upon the source of fuel. The savings from boiler and steam distribution system maintenance measures are thus worth pursuing. The system components and an appropriate set of initial maintenance measures are given in Table 14.2.

Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Systems

(These systems are described in more detail in Chapter 10.) The purposes of these systems are to supply enough air of the right temperature to keep people comfortable and to exhaust harmful or unpleasant air contaminants. A complete description of this system should include a blueprint with the location of all damp-

Table 14.1 Problems and solutions: the building envelope.

System Component Problem Initial Maintenance Action

Table 14.1 Problems and solutions: the building envelope.

System Component Problem Initial Maintenance Action


Loose fitting

Weatherstripping, new threshold, or frame repair

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