Saving energy in industrial environmentsPlant Engineering, October 9, 2014
One of the most important factors to saving energy in the industrial environment is to obtain the knowledge that equipment is running, and how well the shafts and rollers are moving. Even when the plant runs 24 hours every day, not every piece of equipment runs continuously. Some things are working constantly, like air handling fans, while other equipment runs periodically, on a regular schedule or only as needed.
Knowing the length of service is an absolute requirement, and knowing the time of day of equipment operation will give you the information needed to help keep your plant electrical energy use lower, especially during the peak demand periods, when the utility charges a premium for the power supplied.
Measuring electrical power consumption is the easiest energy source to monitor when adding this capability to an existing system. Measuring natural gas or other petrochemical fuel use accurately would require metering devices that are integral to the piping systems, often very exotic and elaborate, while measuring electrical power can be added externally, at relatively low capital investment levels without the need of cutting and threading. Disconnecting the incoming power and adding suitable current sensing devices and connecting to the mains power for a voltage monitoring sensor is simple and completed quickly.