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Entries » Blog » How do you Measure your Plant’s Energy Usage?

Doug Ortiz |

How do you Measure your Plant’s Energy Usage?

Diminishing resources, rising prices and increased sensitivity to environmental issues makes the efficient use of energy more important today than ever before, especially in areas with high consumption.

Using intelligent power management with energy-efficient components can easily optimize energy management in process plants and significantly reduce operating costs. Be sure to take advantage of systematic, scalable solutions; from basic power monitoring to complete, integrated energy management with transparent visualization of consumption from the process control system.

Energy management is not a single product; it is a strategy. Implementing the energy management strategy can be broken down into a three-step process:

1. Identify
2. Evaluate
3. Realize

  • Identify
    In order to provide transparency for energy data, intelligent devices must be capable of capturing energy information. Installing devices that have this capability creates easy tracking and measuring of energy potentials, which can be understood and incorporated into the energy management strategy. 

  • Evaluate
    Once you are able to identify the devices in the plant that are energy management capable, your process control system coupled with the plant’s energy management software (which can be incorporated as an add-on or 3rd party software package) can provide transparency of energy usage to operations and plant managers. This information can include the load profiles, trend usage and provide detailed reporting.

    Well-designed and optimized energy usage helps to reliably avoid the cost of consumption peaks. Using an energy management software package makes it possible to monitor power limits with integrated load management. The plant can selectively switch off consumers to smooth large peaks and comply with the contractual limits made with energy suppliers. Loads can be dropped in unstable supply networks, to continue operation of the other plant critical components with the remaining supply.

  • Realize
    Intelligent energy devices coupled with energy management software makes it possible to reduce energy peaks and avoid exceeding set power limits.  The operators can be made aware in real-time via Warning/Alarm messages if excess power usage is expected.  Additionally, the process control system should be able to program the load management through start/stop of electrical loads, as well as assign priorities of the loads.

Incorporating these three steps into your energy management strategy will help you to decrease energy costs and environmental issues, and it will provide the ability to measure and understand your plant’s energy usage patterns. 

For information about how Siemens can help you easily measure your plant’s energy usage, click here.

To learn more about process control systems, please click here.

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