Energy Efficiency and User Interface
The user interface is very important in achieving exhaust system energy efficiency. A sophisticated, well-designed, and expensive variable volume laboratory exhaust system is useless if the operators do not use a fume hood as it is designed. Periodic training "refreshers" should be offered in addition to initial, comprehensive training for fume hood users. Operators should use an EMCS that monitors the sash positions of the facility's fume hoods as well as their face velocity and alarm status. The energy-efficient operation of each fume hood should be insured either by observation, e.g., night watchmen checking positions, or remotely with the EMCS. The "air-vest" is a new device currently being researched that should improve both operator safety and the energy efficiency of the fume hood.