During 2021 we received at Azimut, experts in energy efficiency, three inventors who claimed to have a technological development capable of produce energy in a perpetual and clean way , with just an initial boost their projects promised to supply a home, a small plant and even an entire industry without the need for fuels or primary energies such as the sun, the wind or the sea, in addition to being friendly to the environment.
Project: Medellin – Bogota highway.
Let's talk about energy efficiency
15 years as a teacher, expert in energy efficiency, generated in my mind a clear answer: “IMPOSSIBLE ”. The second law of thermodynamics It continues to be a fundamental pillar of our business and when asked to see each of the inventions in person, some refused to agree for fear of professional secrecy, while others stated that they were missing a piece from a Chinese laboratory that would the miracle.
The idea of a machine capable of delivering more energy than it enters, is still an unresolved dream (at least on planet earth, we do not know what advantages and laws will govern other worlds); however, we have had for many years a solution similar to that of perpetual motion in our environment and we have wasted it: Energy efficiency and specifically one of its pillars, technological substitution .
It is part of energy efficiency, the renewal of assets such as lighting, motors, compressors, air conditioning and, in general, any industrial or commercial equipment that due to its high energy consumption is possible exchange it for a new equipment and that provides at least the same original features, but at a lower operating cost.
Additionally, technological renovations generate less environmental impact due to lower consumption or the use of safer substances for the environment, as in the case of air conditioners. So far nothing is new Does it make sense to renew equipment when it is obsolete? not?
Experience within the world of energy efficiency has shown us the market barrier to making new investments when the assets are still operating, even with obvious difficulties and inefficiencies. “This year there is no budget, we do not have the money to make that investment, there are more important investments at the moment or the team is not as bad as you say ” are common market statements. Less than 5% of technological substitution offers, under traditional investment models, are approved within three months of being presented. one
Here comes the interesting part: If you were guaranteed that the difference between what you pay monthly for the operation of your equipment and what you would be paying after the change, is enough to pay for the replacement and you also have money left in cash, would you hesitate to do the change?
Let me explain it differently: you have before you a prototype of a perpetual machine (at least for a while): the money you have earmarked for the monthly operation of your air conditioning or your lighting is enough to change it for a new one, pay for the new operation and It leaves money available for you to invest in strategic company projects. Is more money going out than coming in? Not really.
It’s just about take advantage of the difference between current and future operating costs, and determine the correct time frame for the fiscal year to close financially; It is not a perpetual machine after all, but you renewed the assets without the need for extra capital, freed up money for other activities and in the process mitigated that of your operation.
The (New world trend of decarbonized, decentralized and digitized energy: energy efficiency) it opens the way to new technologies and business models, which empower the user and give them tools so that an expense typically relegated to prompt payment to avoid cuts, becomes a manageable, planable and, above all, optimizable raw material.
We will expose two cases in which the previous affirmation was true. Today these customers enjoy new assets, lower consumption and less generation of greenhouse gases, thanks to technological substitution.
Case 1: Fluorescent lighting represents approximately 40% of the energy matrix of a shopping center without central air conditioning (central air represents about 70% of said matrix), new lighting technologies double and, in some cases, triple the efficiencies in Lm/Watt, going from 70Lm/W in compact fluorescent “saving” bulbs to more than 200Lm/Watt in units type State-of-the-art LED downlight .
Energy savings typically exceed 50% and typical returns on investment for this type of retrofit are in the order of 2.5 to 3.5 years.; Therefore, business models between five and seven years allow the savings generated by the technological change to be enough to pay the debt service related to the investment, the operation and maintenance plan, the smart metering to manage the savings and, above all, some money for other investments. See ESCO models on our blog to delve deeper into the business models that make technological substitution viable.
Case 2: Industrial water pumping is another suitable candidate for technological substitution; a correct redesign of the hydraulic networks and a selection of equipment based on efficiency, has allowed us to achieve savings of over 60% .
We recently redesigned, selected, installed and operated a cooling water system with exceptional results. Once again, the money committed for the operation was enough to cover the obligations derived from the substitution and leaves money on the table for eight years, a reasonable time to understand the opportunity as an “almost perpetual” financial movement.
In conclusion, technological substitution, as an energy efficiency tool, is profitable, sustainable and strategic for any company ; determines the necessary terms based on the savings obtainable and structures the operation. Let us do it for you, so that you are not dependent on the valuable and coveted budget of the business and still can show results.
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