Energy makes up as much as 60 percent of the operating costs of batch and continuous-process plants. Many industrial companies interested in lowering energy consumption have already tackled much of the low-hanging fruit in their facilities, such as putting in more energy-efficient lighting, fixing compressed air leaks, tuning boilers or adding variable speed drives and energy-efficient motors. A more significant opportunity for savings, however, lies in better managing the energy consumed by production processes.
Taking that next step has long been a challenge because of process complexity and the lack of actionable information, but ENMAT is making the job easier. By providing a window into production processes and energy consumption patterns the ENMAT system gives plant personnel new tools to manage energy use in the same way they manage other resources.
Batch and continuous process operations can also use ENMAT to reduce utility charges by avoiding peak demand penalties, using the most cost-effective sources of energy, and generating reliable consumption forecast models.
Managing the demand side According to the U.S. Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS), the process itself uses 84 process of all energy consumed by a process facility, on average. The proportion is even greater in certain industries, such as mining, metals and mineral processing, and water treatment.
What’s more, true process energy optimization often goes hand-in-hand with reduced maintenance costs, less downtime and increased throughput. After all, machines that run less frequently and at lower temperatures tend to break down less often, which essentially yields higher ROI.
Reducing energy costs from production processes requires managing the five most important factors that determine both utility charges and total energy consumption,
These factors are:
- Energy Event Management. Detection and analysis of process changes that cause consumption to exceed forecast
- Peak Demand Management. Minimizing peak demand, which triggers higher utility rates or penalties.
- Scheduled Demand Management. Minimizing costs by shifting demand to lower cost time periods.
- Idle State Management. Minimizing energy draw during idle process conditions.
- Demand/Response Management. Offering energy capacity back to the grid per request in exchange for incentives.