Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How industrial firms can cut their energy consumption

In commercial and industrial buildings, as in the home, monitoring your energy usage is the first step to taking control of your energy bills.

Once you know which systems in your facility use the most energy, it makes it much easier to understand where savings could be made, explains lighting consultant Daisy Energy in a recent article.

However, there are many things that can be done -- with or without an energy audit -- to reduce the energy consumption of your business.

Here are eight top tips:

1. Changing shifts to avoid peak energy costs: If your energy provider offers variable rates, find out when the highest and lowest charges apply and think about adjusting employee shifts and machine operating times to off-peak hours.

Similarly, demand side response incentivises a business to reduce consumption or switch to on-site energy generation resources in response to signals when demand on the grid is at its highest.

2. Daylighting: Using skylights and windows to bring natural light into your building can reduce the need for artificial lighting, and the latest energy efficient windows won't cause heating or cooling issues.

In existing structures, adding windows to the North-facing wall of your building will provide relatively even light, with little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain, Daisy Energy says.

3. Lighting controls and energy-efficient lighting: With energy consumption from lighting ranging from 35-75% of a business's total energy usage, using lighting controls such as dimmers, motion sensors, occupancy sensors, photosensors and timers can have a big impact on costs and extend the life of your lighting.

Switching to LED lighting is another sure-fire way to cut energy costs as it uses at least 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.

4. Building recommissioning: This involves investigating, analysing and optimising the performance of equipment and building systems to ensure they are at optimal operating capacity.

According to Industrial Controls, studies show that this process can lead to reductions of 10-15% in annual energy costs.

5. Reduce the load put on the HVAC system: Make sure air vents are clear of obstructions, and properly seal doors, windows and roofs. A programmable thermostat allows you to program automatic adjustments in temperature in different areas at different times, to ensure no air is being circulated in unoccupied areas. Re-directing waste heat from the factory floor to heat water and warm spaces also decreases the load on the HVAC system and increases energy efficiency.

6. Service compressors and motors to keep everything running efficiently.

7. Turn off equipment not in use.

8. Motivate all employees to take responsibility for energy savings: Invite workers to contribute energy saving ideas; recognise those who reduce their consumption; and educate all employees about new energy-saving equipment, sensors and practices.

To enquire about an industrial energy management software and view some more case studies, click HERE.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Demand response flexibility can cut energy bills by 10%

June 13, 2018

Industrial users can reduce their energy bills by up to 10% by participating in demand response programmes, according to the UK's Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).

With demand-side response, energy users vary the amount of electricity they use at certain times in response to a signal or incentive from their energy supplier. For example, they can power down certain equipment for a while, use on-site generation and/or battery storage technology, and use more power when supply is plentiful.

Businesses that are able to be flexible in their energy use can benefit from price fluctuations in the energy market and receive payments for reducing how much energy they use at times of peak demand or when the capacity of the grid is constrained for technical reasons.

A joint report from ADE and RenewableUK says that UK industry is not yet taking full advantage of the significant cost and carbon savings available from demand response and flexible grid services.

The report, 'Industrial competitiveness in a low carbon world', sets out a new model of industrial energy use in which industrial firms are able to boost their competitiveness while also helping the UK to achieve its decarbonisation targets through active participation in the energy market.

ADE director Dr Tim Rotheray explained how, despite often being presented as being mutually exclusive, there is clear alignment between decarbonisation and industrial competitiveness.

"New business models reveal the sleeping potential for flexibility embedded in industrial processes which can be harnessed without disruption to core activities. By tapping into this potential and creating a more flexible power system, we can create a win-win situation for industry and deliver cost-effective decarbonisation," he said.

"A more flexible power system creates a stable power grid, which can then accommodate more renewable energy to meet our decarbonisation targets at least cost. The industrial energy users providing flexibility also benefit with lower energy bills and increased competitiveness when operating in a decarbonising global economy."

To read on about software tools to apply, click HERE

Friday, June 1, 2018

Energy efficiency allows firms to tap 'hidden fuel'

May 31, 2018

At a time when the global demand for power is continuing to rise, energy efficiency is comparable to a new source of energy within the global power grid.

In fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has described energy efficiency as the world's "hidden fuel" because of the huge energy savings that can be made.

An article for Investing News Network (INN) gives the example of heating systems in two commercial buildings -- one standard and one energy efficient. The building with the energy efficient system can provide the same level of energy at a lower cost, thereby reducing operating costs for the business and increasing net operating income.

A 2009 report from the United Nations found that "the building sector has the largest potential for delivering long-term, significant and cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions," while National Resources Canada has stated that energy efficiency, achieved through retrofits and other means, is a "high-volume, low-cost approach to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions."

One way of improving a building's energy performance is through its windows, INN noted. Properly treated or glazed windows reduce heat gain by reflecting heat energy, and can reduce the amount of air conditioning needed to offset temperature rises.

Bigger projects like replacing a heating system or re-insulating the building are known as deep-energy retrofits.

"Due to their disruptive and cost-intensive nature, deep-energy retrofits are usually triggered by non-energy-related factors, such as a significant change in building occupancy. However, taking the opportunity to replace these components with energy-efficient options can lead to substantial savings," said Paul Ghezzi, chief executive of energy efficiency specialist Kontrol Energy.

Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and energy management software can help firms get a clearer picture across the business and detect areas of high energy consumption.

The technology essentially turns a building into a live system of connected devices reporting information in real time, INN said.

"Through this real-time energy management, building owners and assets managers gain access to deep analytical profiles of how energy is used and also where there are potential for improvements and savings," Ghezzi explained.