Energy management is a system that involves monitoring, controlling, and optimizing the energy performance of the organization. It includes planning and carrying out guidelines to achieve minimum energy use and cost while maintaining comfort levels and productivity within the facility. The main focus is to reduce wasted energy and seek alternatives such as renewable energy sources.
Renewable Energy Sources
Almost all of the Earth’s consumption comes from the sun, which emits solar radiation that could be converted into different forms of energy, such as heat and electricity through the use of available technologies. The operation of these technologies highly depends on geographic location whether it receives enough heat and radiation. Solar energy is considered a major form of energy conservation. Energy from the sun is transmitted to the solar panels. These panels are made up of photovoltaic cells that are used to generate and supply electricity for residential homes or commercial buildings.
The Wind is a source of energy that generates electricity in a cleaner and more efficient way. This type of renewable energy could be used for different purposes such as generating electricity, pumping water or charging batteries. Wind energy is produced through wind turbines, which has a similar concept to windmills but with fewer blades. Most wind energy technologies are used as standalone applications but it could also be connected to a utility power grid or combined with a photovoltaic system.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. The heat is stored in reservoirs which are formed underground. Steam or hot water wells are drilled and brought up to the surface to be used for generating electricity, direct use, or heating and cooling systems. A geothermal resource requires fluid, heat, and permeability to generate electricity. In case the subsurface lacks fluid or permeability, the system could be enhanced to access the earth’s heat. Geothermal energy is considered clean and sustainable.
The U.S. itself has abundant water power supply enough to meet the electricity demand of the country. Water can produce energy from running water through a hydropower system. This system can generate electricity through dams and small turbine systems. Another water power technology used is through marine and hydrokinetic technologies that obtains energy from tides, waves, flowing rivers, ocean currents, etc. It is considered a renewable energy source because water goes through a cycle; therefore, it does not get reduced or used up during the process.
Energy can be obtained from various types of plants and animal wastes. The generation of electricity and heat depends on biomass technologies, which include direct combustion, co-firing, and anaerobic digestion of resources.
Using and Saving Energy in:
- Direct Combustion- Process of burning of wood. The steam produced spins a turbine, which creates electricity
- Co-Firing- Replacing coal-fired fuels with biomass to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions
- Anaerobic Digestion-Decomposing of bacteria to produce byproducts that form a renewable natural gas
Most of the energy used in homes is for space heating, lighting, appliances, electronics, water heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. The lifestyle of the modern society has changed overtime and new technologies are constantly innovating, which requires more energy.
Natural gas is the most-consumed energy source in the U.S.; mainly used for space heating. The most common one is electricity, which is utilized for heating, cooling, lighting and running most of the appliances. To conserve these energy sources, the Congress has passed a National Appliance Energy Conservation Act that requires appliances to meet energy efficiency standards.
Majority of the energy consumed in commercial building are for heating and lighting. Natural gas and electricity are the common energy sources used in most of the buildings. District energy is another source that is usually rarely used in residential homes. It is more efficient when a building utilizes central heating and cooling systems because it can reduce equipment and maintenance cost while saving energy.
Transportation is a necessity to every individual and gasoline is needed to operate these vehicles. However, burning gasoline has negative impacts to nature. It creates air pollution from greenhouse gases emitted through the vehicles’ exhaust. Another issue is the country’s dependence on foreign oil. Our oil resources are also becoming scarce and researchers say that it will be out in 40 to 140 years if it is continually used. Because of these concerns, alternative fuel are being developed to conserve our resources and to reduce pollution and related costs.
The Industrial sector is essential to the country’s economy but at the same time it consumes most of the energy in production of goods for the public.
Predominant energy sources they use include natural gas and electricity mainly for heat and power. Implementation of Geothermal energy energy management, upgrading systems, and developing new technologies are necessary to improve energy inefficiency caused by manufacturing processes.