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Case Study: Improve the efficiency of car park exhaust fans

Peter Davis, Avanti Apartments

Peter Davis

"We cut energy bills by installing CO sensors in the car park".

You can do this project!

Our car park has a 90 kilowatt exhaust fan which sucks the fumes out, and two smaller fans which blow clean air in.

We installed C0 (carbon monoxide) sensors in the car park a few months ago in the hope that we could reduce the number of hours the fans run, and therefore save on energy costs.

What was the result?

This project has been a fantastic success. We’ve been watching the fans since we installed the sensors and we’ve found that there isn’t enough build up of C0 in the car park for them to come on at all. They used to run on timer switches that automatically turned them on 6 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Now we just turn them on for an hour once a month to test that they are functioning correctly. They are connected to the fire system so it is vital that they come on automatically if required.

We are saving a huge amount of money as a result. It should be noted that we have undertaken several other energy saving projects; and our monthly energy use has fallen from 75,000 kilowatts a month to about 29,200 kilowatts a month as a result.

How did you fund the project?

We funded the project out of the sinking fund. It cost about $45,000 to install the C0 sensors but we estimate the payback period to be just 2-3 years; so it’s a no-brainer.

What advice would you pass on?

First I had to believe that these energy saving projects would work and save us money – and then I had to convince others of that. But after we completed our first ‘lighting replacement project’ and installed LEDS the reduction shown in our energy bills were proof enough.

I need to thank my fellow committee member David Ashton, and the whole Executive Committee of Avanti Apartments at Hornsby - for allowing me to dream and then agreeing to this very bold venture that was initially started about five years ago.

We now have our own website for owners and the new building link computer program will enable all owners and tenants to communicate with our onsite building manager. Things are really coming to fruition and we are able to prove our success through energy savings.