The goal of an energy management system is the reduction and continuous optimization of energy consumption in the company. Energy costs represent a high proportion of total production costs, especially for manufacturing companies. It is precisely here that potential savings in energy consumption and thus also potential cost savings can be identified through continuous energy management. In the following article, we would like to share our experiences with our customers from medium-sized manufacturing companies and point out the five typical savings potentials that we regularly observe in manufacturing companies.
Everyone knows it, you turn off the television at home and the red standby light lights up brightly in front of you. At this moment the television continues to draw electricity and costs you a lot of money a year. We also observe the same scenario in the industry, except that the „industrial television“ costs you significantly more money than the domestic one. When operation is stopped, unnoticed standby loads can be easily identified and subsequently avoided by measuring the main electricity meter. If unusually high standby loads are identified by a measurement, the cause must be identified in the next step and is reduced by a shutdown or a suitable countermeasure. This reduces power consumption and energy costs.
Standby loads can be identified immediately by evaluating the load profile on the main electricity meter.
In the case of industrial companies that purchase more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year, the output (kW) is usually measured in addition to the energy quantity (kWh) and billed by the grid operator. This takes account of the increased load on the supply network after a certain amount of power has been withdrawn. In an ordinary tariff, payment of the benefit is based on the annual peak load, the highest 15-minute load that has occurred in a year. This annual peak load is thus the result of the actual power curve and the averaging of this curve in a 15-minute time window. With the help of high-resolution data (15-second cycle), such performance curves can be precisely analyzed and findings on load management can be derived. This can, for example, lead to wiring diagrams for machines and systems in order to prevent an increase in the peak load and thus save on the electricity bill.
The peak load can be read from the peak load memory on the main electricity meter.
Transformers are often operated inefficiently and lead to energy losses during voltage conversion. Causes for these losses can be, for example, outdated technology, poor design, operation at an inefficient operating point or other errors. The efficiency of transformers can be easily checked by measuring the transformer underside. Here a comparison of the measurement data at the upstream transfer meter (RLM meter) and the downstream measurement points is carried out. This comparison is particularly interesting during off-peak periods (e.g. weekends). Should significant inefficiencies occur, these can be identified immediately and savings potentials realized promptly.
Harmonic oscillations represent a „pollution“ of the network and are harmful for equipment, machines and highly relevant for operational safety. They can bring production lines and IT systems to a standstill and even lead to cable fires. One possibility to avoid such operating uncertainties by „harmonics“ is the high-frequency measurement of the currents in the company network. This enables the identification and causes and the targeted derivation of measures to prevent harmonics.
By continuously measuring the energy consumption of individual machines and systems, anomalies in consumption, for example, can be detected that indicate a defective machine. The measured consumptions are compared with historical data to determine unforeseen consumptions. The linking of energy data with data bases from production, for example the number of units produced, also allows conclusions to be drawn about anomalies via the formation of key figures and comparison with historical data. If more energy per piece is consumed in production than expected, it is worth taking a closer look at the machine and thus anticipating and avoiding possible production downtimes at an early stage.
Practical experience shows that energy saving potentials are dormant in most manufacturing companies and can be realised most reliably with the aid of continuous measurement of electrotechnical parameters. On average, our customers save 8% of their energy costs with the help of the ENIT Agent. The continuous recording of high-resolution energy data thus represents the essential foundation for possible savings. Detailed examples of possible cost savings can be found here: