Monitoring and controlling the energy efficiency of utilities is becoming increasingly important in all industries. A major driver for this is the increased costs of water, gas, and electricity, coupled with the increasingly popular ISO 14000 environment management standards that forces industry to measure their energy consumption.
Utilities provide energy for plant processes and building operation in all sectors of industry. Air, compressed air, saturated steam, natural gas, cooling water or heating water are amongst the most common media used. Generating, transporting and distributing these media requires considerable energy, and undoubtedly, these costs will continue to rise in the future. Therefore, every plant or facility operator’s goal should be to operate and control these processes as efficiently as possible.
It is still common practice at many sites, that energy consumption is only measured at the custody transfer point on a monthly, quarterly or even yearly basis. Clearly this frequency is not sufficient for energy reductions to be realised. An automatic Energy Monitoring Information System (EMIS) close to the point of use is simple and cost-attractive to set up, and enables the continuous monitoring and targeting of energy efficiency.
What is energy management?
Energy management is a cyclic operation (Figure 1). Everything starts with the basic Data Collection where energy consumption is measured and converted to appropriate engineering units. The data from the field devices is transferred via HART, Fieldbus or even wireless networks, to replace the manual reading and recording of measured values.
By analysing the data, metrics such as loading profiles can be determined and comparison between energy consumption, drivers and targets can be achieved. When combined with production data, the EMIS provides powerful tools to monitor and record other critical measures such as drift, deviation, efficiency and savings.
At the Communication and Reporting stages, it is important that the appropriate information is delivered to those who need it and in a way in which it can be interpreted and lead to process improvements. Reports can be customised be to suit senior management, engineers, operational staff, accounts, and environmental managers and can form the basis for further evaluation of energy reduction strategies and projects. A vast array of financial, operational and performance data can be made available via a secure web enabled Energy Monitoring and Targeting software suite, which can be installed locally or even hosted remotely.
Results of implementing an Energy Monitoring Information System typically can save 5 to 15% of annual energy costs and deliver additional benefits in terms of improved planning, processes and productivity. Simultaneously this process supports the plant’s environmental strategy and reduces its carbon footprint.
Endress+Hauser has one of the world’s most comprehensive range of measurement and control technology products, to supply you with a modular and open system to objectively assess your energy consumption and plant efficiency.
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