9th May 2017

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency has become a vital focus area for manufacturing companies seeking to reduce costs, limit emissions and pollution and avoid upcoming penalties such as the carbon tax.  Our team can provide a wide range of energy efficiency services, ranging from focused equipment-level studies to system-level assessments, as well as the development of holistic energy management systems aligned to the ISO50001 standard. We also project-manage the implementation of recommendations made.

In all instances feedback can be in the form of presentations, reports or both.

It is best to take a site-level approach to energy efficiency, as this allows for the integration of systems. For example, heat recovered from a compressor could be used to heat boiler feedwater. The next best option is to consider individual systems. Below are the individual services and system-level assessments we undertake:

Development of an Energy Management System

Achieving sustainable energy efficiency is an ongoing process, and will not come about as the result of an audit. Energy Management Systems provide holistic frameworks that can be used to determine energy use, identify which energy users require the most focus, identify energy efficiency opportunities, continuously measure and assess performance and ensure that energy performance is improved on a continuous basis.

Our team can provide support with establishing the required frameworks as well as the technical skills required to identify, implement and evaluate individual energy efficiency projects. We can also assist with the development of procedures for the management and operation of significant energy users (SEU’s).

The programme is managed by a UNIDO-accredited EnMS expert.

Site Energy Profiling

An important first step in driving energy efficiency is to understand the contributions from various sources of energy used on site, the cost paid per unit of energy for each and the cost of delivering that energy (i.e. considering the efficiency of delivery). It is also important to understand how much of that energy is used for individual operations. This requires extensive measurement.

A statistical baseline is also constructed, which the site can then use to measure true energy performance.

It is not unusual for significant cost-saving opportunities to be identified over the course of site profiling.

Tariff Analysis

It is often possible to reduce electricity costs simply by switching tariffs or by changing operating philosophies to minimise the impact of existing tariffs. We analyse historical electricity bills, help you to fully understand your tariff and then formulate appropriate strategies to minimise electricity costs.

Power Factor Correction Assessments

For sites that pay for maximum demand and/or network access, power factor correction presents a proven approach to reducing demand charges. An assessment involves power logging and review of historical demand levels. The optimal level of capacitance is then determined and the feasibility of installation of power factor correction systems (or augmentation of existing systems) is determined.

Fuel switching

Are the fuels you currently use for steam generation and process heating the lowest cost option available? By considering energy content, unit cost, combustion efficiency and emissions, we can assess current fossil fuels in use and determine if more cost-effective options are available.

Boiler Efficiency Testing

Boiler efficiency is a function of stack losses, blowdown losses, shell losses and for solid fuels, ignition losses. Using site-level measurement and analysis, we determine your boiler’s efficiency level, diagnose performance problems and submit a short report advising on options to improve efficiency. We also quantify the cost of poor boiler efficiency to your business.

Boiler Plant Assessments

This assessment considers your boilers, hotwell, water treatment plant, feedwater system and blowdown system and identifies opportunitie to improve efficiency and enhance operations and reliability. It includes boiler efficiency testing, but also examines legal compliance, maintenance practices, operating practices and aspects of plant design.

Steam System Assessments

Maximising steam system efficiency requires consideration of steam generation (boilers), steam distribution, steam users and condensate recovery. A steam system assessment identifies and quantifies opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs across your steam system. Varius measurements are carried out, including flue gas analysis, surface temperature measurements and conductivity tests. Historical data is reviewed, including monthly fuel consumption data, water consumption, chemical usage and plant throughput. A statistical steam system baseline is constructed. A quantitative model is built of your steam system, and various efficiency projects are evaluated.

Compressed Air System Assessments

Compressed air can be a significant electrical energy user, and optimisation requires consideration of the compressors, air distribution network (including piping and ancillary equipment such as receivers, filters, dryers and pressure regulators) and compressed air users. Optimising the system requires consideration of these elements as an integrated whole. An assessment would include physical mapping of the system, logging of data (e.g. compressor input power, air flows, dew-point, pressure) and the identification and quantification of opportunities to reduce energy consumption and cost.

Lighting Assessments

Lighting is generally not a dominant energy consumer on industrial sites, but often presents many opportunities to reduce energy use at low cost. Lighting projects can also deliver demand savings. Solutions include behavioural changes as well as changes in technology. An assessment would involve construction of a comprehensive lighting inventory and the development of solutions for each individual room or area. Power measurements and lighting measurements (lux) would also be carried out.

Refrigeration Assessments

Refrigeration assessments encompass refrigeration plant (compressors, condensers, piping and valves), users (evaporators) and gas reticulation (return loops). Solutions involve technology as well as operating and maintenance practices. It is often possible to make significant savings with limited investment in refrigeration systems. Measurements would include compressor input power, refrigerant temperature and pressure, surface temperature, cooling water temperature and conductivity and product temperature.

Pumped System Assessments

Pumps can be significant energy users, and offer various opportunities for reducing energy use. Solutions can be as simple as reducing running time or flowrate and can extend to plant and pump modifications to reduce pressure drop and/or achieve higher levels of efficiency. Measurements include input power, pressure and flowrate, and these are considered together with plant and pump design characteristics.

Fan System Assessments

There are many similarities in our approach as regards fans and centrifugal pumps.

Heated Systems (other than those involving steam)

Manufacturing plants employ heating to various degrees, and in some industries (e.g. foundries) heating is the dominant energy user. These systems could employ electricity or fossil fuels. Assessments could therefore seek to reduce energy use and demand contributions. Measurements could include power logging, fuel usage  and temperature measurements, and these could be analysed in conjunction with throughput. Solutions could include fuel switching, design modifications, insulation and other approaches.