Tailor energy efficiency to fit the application

Implementing the most useful energy efficiency solution requires some careful evaluation and planning.

By Jim Montague

Because each process application has its own unique combination of components and operating characteristics, implementing the most useful energy efficiency solution requires some careful evaluation and planning. Most system integrators and suppliers confirm that the primary steps include:

  • Inventory all existing applications, components, software and their operating conditions to establish baseline profiles of their energy consumption.

  • Document all operating procedures, including best practices and poor practices, so existing systems can be accurately characterized and non-linearities can be eliminated or reduced.

  • Investigate sources of poor power quality onsite, such as drive systems with harmonics issues that waste energy as heat. Replace passive power-filtering devices like capacitor banks with activate power-filtering that use electronic to monitor system loads.

  • Implement energy accounting centers (EAC) and sub-metering of applications and strategic equipment in the facility to get more granular profiles of what devices and processes are using how much energy and when.

  • Research and identify an independent system integrator, who can be trusted to help identify energy-efficiency problems or other difficulties, compare and contrast available technologies, and devise the most useful solution for them.

  • Investigate a few simple data points and streams that could be monitored and compiled with minimal labor, but could still produce in some useful efficiencies or significant energy savings

  • Encourage accountants, plant managers and company leadership to invest in energy efficiency by extending payback periods for related projects from the usual one year to three or four years.

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Power under control - part 1 and part 2

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