Create a Facility Energy Management Plan

This is a sidebar to the feature story "Automating Energy Consumption" which appears in the March, 2008 Issue of Automation World.

Create a Facility Energy Management Plan
Plants managers who want to reduce the consumption of energy in facilities can create a plan that addresses all areas of energy consumption. National Instruments Corp. (NI), an Austin, Texas-based automation products vendor, suggests using these guidelines for determining energy consumption and addressing potential energy savings strategies:

• Find inefficient systems and faulty systems and repair them
• Adjust clock-controlled systems for shorter operational time and ensure systems are not working on holidays
• Lower general energy usage
• Find the rate tariff best suited for the energy profile at your place of business.

In order to implement energy facility management, several things are needed:

• Data logging a few of the most important equipment parameters such as electrical usage, gas usage, and forward and return temperatures. While sampling may be every five seconds, a good periodic data storage is 15 minutes, giving 96 registrations per 24 hours.
• Automatic collection of data, storage, displays and Web access to data
• Automatic reports to provide overview
• Automatic calculation of least-costly rate tariff
• An energy engineer with a keen eye to figure out if energy is wasted or should be used differently. The engineer should be able to calculate savings based on change scenarios.
• A contact within the facility who has the power to enforce changes.


NI estimates that plants can achieve a 10 percent to 25 percent savings in energy consumption at facilities by implementing this plan. NI notes, however, that an engineer with a keen eye for energy savings is hard to find.

To view the main story "Automating Energy Consumption" go to: www.automationworld.com/view-3995.

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