Most organizations know that they need to save energy, but many are unsure of the best way to go about it. Energy management practices ensure compliance with local regulations regarding energy efficiency, in addition to saving costs and resources. Companies that adopt energy management strategies are also more likely to sustain their competitive edge by reducing production times, enabling more efficient workflows, and giving them an overall increase in productivity.
In general, industrial facilities use four main types of energy management strategies: conservation, substitution, generation, and efficiency.
Conservation reduces the overall demand for energy by reducing the use of energy-intensive equipment or processes. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help conserve energy and reduce costs. Optimizing the process and integrating new technologies are just some of the ways to increase efficiency, lower emissions, and save on costs.
Substitution replaces an energy-intensive process with a less energy-intensive one. Finding effective energy substitution strategies can be essential for reducing energy costs and long-term emissions. It's important to consider the downstream effects of any energy strategy before implementation, such as changes in cost or facility infrastructure requirements.
Generation refers to creating on-site power using renewable resources, such as solar or wind power, etc. The processing industry has long relied on fossil fuels to power their factories, but with rising environmental concerns, energy generation strategies are emerging with ways to reduce emissions and utilize more sustainable sources of energy. Businesses in processing industry have started looking into new technologies like fuel cells. These combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity in an efficient and clean way. Industrial sized batteries are also becoming increasingly popular for short-term performance optimization; storing electrical energy for later use instead of relying on generating it directly when needed.
Efficiency measures improve the way equipment or processes use energy without reducing output. Processing industries face unique challenges when it comes to conserving energy - their equipment may need to run at full capacity in order to operate efficiently, and the waste-heat generated by the processes needs to be accounted for. A strategy used successfully by many processing companies is investing in new, energy efficient technologies and solutions. As well as utilizing renewable sources of energy where possible, they can also reroute heat or gasses into other systems when appropriate, and make sure all insulation is up-to-date.
The industrial facilities can use any combination of these strategy types to create a customized approach to managing their energy needs. Management must weigh the benefits of various approaches against the costs associated with implementing them in order to make strategic decisions about how to best meet their facility’s needs.
Are you doing enough to save energy in your own processing facility?
As the global energy costs increase, it’s important to not wait to take steps to monitor, manage, and reduce the amount of energy consumed by every processing unit in your facility. As process industry professionals, we are always looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption in our field. Taking 10% off the top over the course of one year should be an achievable goal. The process involves making simple changes to equipment and operations, tracking usage areas, attempting to refine further, and staying dedicated to a long-term plan. Some areas worth concentrating on include switching out inefficient equipment, reducing electrical motors' speed where appropriate, and investing in new technologies that can bring value fast.
Educate your employees and build a culture on energy conservation practices
Its important to allow your employees the opportunity to learn about best practices in energy conservation. There are many tools available to them that can help illustrate how energy is used and which components should be better managed or adjusted for improved efficiency. It will also create a framework for consistency within company operations. Allowing your team the opportunity to be involved in process improvement plans can not only boost morale, but also save considerable resources.
Ultimately, by implementing energy management strategies, your energy conservation can have a significant impact on the business. By focusing on these strategies like energy substitution and efficiency, you can reduce your facility’s environmental impact, as well as save money. To ensure the best results, start by creating an actionable plan to reduce energy consumption, substitute your most costly processes where possible, generate your own energy, and improve how processes use energy in your facility. Further, invest in educating employees on ways they can participate in energy saving operations.
Investing in innovative technologies is also important for reducing the amount of electricity consumed and minimizing the carbon footprint for both our current and future generations. Many companies are surprised at how quickly these investments can pay for themselves in cost savings and improved efficiency. With commitment to greener practices, companies can make a difference today - one kilowatt hour at a time!