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What is a Demand Controller?

The K-MAC, Phase III, Demand Controller is a microcomputer load control system that can save hundreds of dollars per month on your electric bills with no inconvenience to you or your operation. K-MAC's Demand Controller was originally designed for the Arizona Public Service utility, and has been adapted for applications with a wide range of businesses such as restaurants, retail outlets, supermarkets, schools, churches, country clubs, and various other businesses. The controller monitors the amount of energy you need, and, consequently, registers the optimum billing demand on your electric meter every month. The controller's memory provides another important feature. It stores the highest demand peak for each of the previous two months, as well as, a 24-hour demand profile for the previous 33 days. With this information, K-MAC develops a more complete understanding of how a particular business operates. This 'Energy usage record' also provides an accurate accounting of the maximum demand used at your facility. This can be very useful if a billing question should arise.

How does it work?

The Demand Controller constantly measures the power you are using in your business and will adjust run times, for short duration's, on certain electrical devices when the power load is too high. The maximum demand peak that the Demand Controller will allow is determined by simply adjusting a few settings. The order in which the devices are turned off is determined by you when the Demand Controller is installed, and this order can be modified at any time. When the power consumption returns to an acceptable level, the Demand Controller will automatically allow the loads to turn back on.

The Demand Controller knows when to do these things by performing many complex mathematical calculations every second. It uses programming techniques that provide for the lowest peak demand charge, automatically and efficiently.

The Demand Controller is a fail-safe system. It does not turn anything on. It only takes equipment off-line, and only for short periods of time. In the unlikely event a problem develops with the controller, the electrical loads will not cycle into an "off mode". They will operate in a normal manner, as though the Demand Controller was not in place.

The Demand Controller is housed in a UL approved enclosure that is mounted near your main circuit breaker box. It has a remote read-out control that can be located anywhere in your facility. This control will allow you to monitor your power consumption at any time and permits any changes to be made quickly and easily.


How does it save?

The Demand Controller will take some non-essential, electrical loads off-line during critical (demand peak) periods. For example, at fast food restaurant's demand peaks are normally reached during the lunch period. An ice maker may not need to operate during this time. Ice can be made during non-critical periods before and after lunch. Similarly, hot water use is minimal (pots, trays, floors, etc. are not usually being washed at peak food-serving times), and the water heater does not need to operate at full capacity, if at all, during the peak period.

Some other loads can also be cycled for relatively long intervals during peak times. A freezer or cooler compressor may he safely shut down periodically during power peaks to significantly lower the demand load. The thermal mass of the product stored inside of the chilled compartment will prevent the temperatures from being compromised.

HVAC units will have their compressors (and electric heaters, if they are all-electric models) cycled off for precise periods of time. By allowing the compressor to be off for short duration's while the fan continues to circulate air through the chilled evaporator coil, the de-humidification. process continues. This permits "free cooling" to take place. [Extreme care is taken to prevent the "short cycling" of any compressor. The cycling employed by the Demand Controller falls within the compressor manufacturers warranty guidelines.]

An added benefit of this process is that temperature swings are minimized., thereby increasing comfort levels. By maintaining a relatively constant temperature, a person feels more comfortable even at higher or lower than normal temperatures.

Another very effective technique for lowering demand is to shift loads to off-peak periods. Certain tasks can be done at night when many other loads are not energized. For example, warm items can be chilled/frozen at night, instead of during peak times. Freezer and cooler compressors can be worked to their fullest after normal working hours to significantly lower the temperatures. Daytime operation of the compressors can be minimized. If your utility has a special rate for time-of-day metering, the Demand Controller is even more effective in the savings process.


How to get started

Unless your building is under two years old, we would like to have a minimum of one, preferably two, years of billing history. Copies of actual bills are best. We need to know your electrical usage history and patterns, so we can optimize the process of lowering your demand. We will schedule an on-site review of your operation to determine what is appropriate to be controlled. If our analysis shows that we can provide you with a pay-back period of between one and one and one half years (so you get at least a 40% return on your investment or better), we will work with you to get started and to begin the installation.

Is it easy to install?

The installation process is relatively uncomplicated and can take place during normal working hours. A simple wiring hook-up will connect the K-MAC Demand Controller to the equipment items that are to be controlled. By working with your management staff., we will determine the best settings for the various times of the year, while insuring that your day-to-day operations are accommodated. This "fine-tuning" process has little or no impact on the workloads of your personnel. The goal of K-MAC is to make the Demand Controller transparent to your operations personnel as well as your customers. It will be in place, but they will not notice it.

Only you will notice it - through reductions in your monthly electric bills.


Applications for Energy management

Office Buildings Funeral Homes Franchise Stores
Warehouses Convenience Stores Schools
Nursing Homes Light Industrial Hotel/Motels
Supermarkets Churches Apartment Complexes
Banks Health Spas Retail Stores
Shopping Centers    

What can be controlled?

The electrical loads typically controlled are the heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC) units, large refrigeration. compressors, space heaters, and water heaters. In restaurants and similar places, additional items which can be effectively controlled are: smaller compressors, ice makers, steam tables, large kettles used to keep food warm, warming ovens, etc. In general, controls are not incorporated into cooking and baking equipment (such as fryers, ovens, and grills), where food quality may be affected. Other good candidates for controlling demand usage are: electric resistance heating units, certain battery chargers, non-critical process equipment, and other devices where operation can be deferred

Suggested Items to Control :
Heating & Ventilation Systems Ovens Fryers
Exhaust/Intake Fans Pumps Lights
Hot Water Systems Prep Rooms Frozen Foods
Supply Fans Grills Dairy
Air Compressors Battery Chargers Produce
     
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