UFitness at North Lakes is 24/7 fitness centre owned by QTM Developments that has an established membership which is continually growing. As membership grows the running costs for the site are also increasing particularly electricity.
GoZERO Energy analysed the site carrying out an energy audit and looked at key methods and solutions to save costs over and above those already in place. Due to the nature of the site running 24/7 the importance of installing energy monitoring was key to provide UFitness with an ongoing analysis of the site. It was decided by QTM Developments to install a 31.2kW solar power system to provide an offset against daytime consumption. The system was approved by Energex to export excess solar generation where AGL agreed to an 8c/kWh Feed in Tariff to add to the estimated payback of the system.
UFitness design – 120 x 260W Winaico WSPs, 1 X 25000CL Schneider Inverter & Ecofront Pro Monitoring system
System approved for solar export – AGL 8c/kWh
Date of install – 4 December 2015
Estimated payback period - 3.8 years
Current cost of power – 20.23c/kWh Peak
24/7 average power consumption from the gird before the solar installation - November/December 2015 - 600kWh
24/7 average power consumption from the gird after the solar installation - January/February 2016 - 477kWh
Actual bill savings comparison for period 30/1/2016 – 26/2/2016 - $1,100
Graphs 1 & 2 – show the solar generation on 25th & 26th Feb 2016 versus energy consumption. Analysis shows on graph 1 a full sunny day the solar generated 188kWh for the day of which a small proportion was exported to the grid. Consumption shows consistently high energy consumption from 7pm to 5am.
Further investigation was carried out to see how to reduce night time consumption.
Post installation of the energy monitoring system it was noted that there was an unusually high kWh consumption during the night time – see graphs 1 & 2 above 8pm to 5am.
It was established that the two large Air Conditioning units were being utilised on some occasions all night and the timers needed to be reset resulting in high consumption between 8pm and 5am. As well as the timers, the set point of the AC units were being changed regularly between 18C and 23C placing more load on the system.
On 4th March AC controllers were installed on the units programmed to reduce AC usage at night time. This measure combined with the solar and operational education for UR fitness staff has further reduced the power bill for March – see graph 3 below.
Graph 3 – Shows the reduction in night time energy consumption particularly note the times between 8pm and 5am
The solutions to date have initially reduced the energy consumption by a further 150kWh to an average of between 220kWh and 350kWh over a 24/7 period. The daytime consumption depends on the nature of fitness classes running from day to day. For some classes other designated rooms at the gym are used using more energy. GoZERO are continuing to work with QTM Developments to help reduce energy costs for the site.
As a result of the energy savings project energy consumption from the grid for the first part of 2016 has been reduced by an average of 45- 50%.
Schneider Conext 25000CL inverter at the gym