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Energy Management

Energy Management

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First, you have to know

Since a couple of decades, there has been a tradition in France to do establish energy studies as precondition for energy management. There are pre-diagnosis (“pré-diagnostic”), diagnosis (“diagnostic”) and feasibility studies (“Etudes de faisabilité”). These studies are the basics of energy management, and consultancy engineers help decision makers in industrial plants to get them into reality.

Then, you have to act
Simple actions don’t need any investment and can be done in a short delay. There are other actions with capital cost that will turn out to be profitable later. Technical study should be well argued in order to convince services or decision makers of the industrial plant. Even if energy prices are more and more expensive, investment for energy saving has less priority than investment that will improve process.

You need a survey of energy consumption and power

Energy survey is used to detect shifts and anomalies in order to determine their causes and to correct. There are a lot of tools to follow up and count energy consumption. You can use a simple spreadsheed or software coupled hardware and supervision systems. Decision makers should be well informed and assisted if they want get the best suited tool for their specific situation. As we have seen a lot of times, decision making is rarely well done. Thus you can meet frequently in an industrial site sophisticated high-tech equipment that is never used. In fact, no personnel is available to use it.

On the other hand, when new equipment to follow up energy consumption has been bought and installed, “action request” is considered as finished and closed.

You need a global approach for Energy Management

Today, optimizing and reducing energy costs, is no more possible with solutions that can correct failures. This solutions are often very technical and they focus on very specific problems of building constructions, comfort, utilities or process. They don’t take in account global context of production activity. Thus we can see a lot of workshops with a reduced or very unregular – not optimum – activity. This leeds to bad energy efficiency of this workshop. It would have been better to re-organize process and all equipment it concerns.

Purchase service should take part in Energy Management process
When buying new equipment, its energy consumption should be considered. Rather rarely, the power question is taken into consideration: for instance, do we need one big heater or two smaller heaters instead?

Purchasers should also be attentif to use renewable energies in industrial plants: there is professionnel equipment available, for instance with solar panels already integrated.

Decision makers and purchasers should be advised by a specialist

Technology progress offers today very complex solutions and well trained personnel with basic knowledge in energy management is supposed to use it in the best way. Thus assistance and advising by a specialist is necessary. The energy specialist should not only know specific technics of his speciality, he should also know how regulation works and how real-time management of energy relevant features can be done.

Here you can download (format pdf) Briefs on Energy Management in industrie.