How energy efficient is your industrial company?

This month we are showcasing some recent examples from companies and industries which have made the switch to energy efficiency. Implementing energy efficient measures and systems is a lot easier than you may think. Below are 13 relatively simple steps to get you started.

1. Turn it off 
– Compressors, conveyors, machinery, computers and lights left on but not used can consume up to 70% of their full power.

2. Switch to LEDs LED bulbs use about a quarter of the energy needed to produce the same light as halogens and can last five to ten times longer. This makes them the logical lighting choice for energy savings, particularly when manufacturing workspaces need adequate and plentiful lighting. [Read more]

3. Waste heat recovery – Reusing the wasted heat already being generated in industrial processes is one way companies can significantly improve energy efficiency. There are various technologies available today for effective heat recovery. Even a simple heat exchanger can often do the trick. By installing a condensing economizer, companies can improve overall heat recovery and steam system efficiency by up to 10%. Many boiler applications can benefit from this additional heat recovery, such as district heating systems, wallboard production facilities, greenhouses, food processing plants, pulp and paper mills and textile plants. [Read more]

4. Control temperatures – A programmable thermostat can reduce consumption by as much as 15 percent. In some cases, the simple repair and insulation of ducting is enough to reduce Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption by 30-percent. [Read more]

5. Maintain equipment  Regular cleaning and planned maintenance of electrical and mechanical equipment goes a long way towards optimising its performance and lifespan, which can translate to energy efficiency savings.

6. Replace outdated equipment
Improved or upgraded energy monitoring systems, equipment and motors can drastically enhance efficiency. Industrial equipment is the backbone of the infrastructure and services that industries rely on. Many of these systems have been in use for years and the technology may have significantly advanced in the meantime. Upgrading machinery with recognized efficiency ratings could significantly reduce energy and costs. Correctly sized motors that run at higher loads and efficiencies is also an important way to gain energy savings. Consider replacing failed motors with IE3 and IE4 efficiency class motors.

7. Stick to the speed limit In some cases variable or adjustable speed drives, which are devices that can vary the speed of a normally fixed speed motor, can reduce energy consumption by as much as 60%. For a 90 kW motor in continuous duty, this can save over $11,000 USDper year. [Read more]

8. Schedule machinery use When possible, schedule certain machinery outside of peak hours. Peak hours can constitute up to 30% of a manufacturing facility’s monthly utility bill.

9. Optimize air compressors Industrial air compressors are to blame for huge amounts of energy consumption and waste. Some are poorly designed, while others are improperly maintained. Altogether, air compressors account for up to $3.2 billion in wasted energy costs annually in the U.S. In fact, just one leak can cost your business $500 or more per year. [Read more]

10. Conduct an energy audit – It’s impossible to improve your energy use if you aren’t aware of the amount your company consumes in each part of the production cycle. In most cases, plant and energy managers are surprised by the results. These audits don’t even have to be a plant wide, shorter internal audits of systems and processes can be equally as effective.

11. Get everyone on board Successful energy saving initiatives are collaborative, involve all employees and clearly communicate the real business costs and potential. Download our 13 step infographic poster for industrial energy managers and share it with your colleague. 

12. Apply for certification Consider implementing an internationally accredited energy management system (EnMS) like ISO 50001. Some organizations decide to implement the standard solely for the benefits it provides. Others decide to get certified to improve corporate image and credibility among customers, clients and stakeholders. [Read more]

13. Monitor and improve Energy efficiency doesn’t stop once you have updated your equipment and processes. It requires constant monitoring. There are always opportunities to keep improving.  [Read more]