It’s no secret that industrial processes can use a lot of energy. In fact, the industrial sector consumes over half of the world’s total delivered energy and, according to a report produced by the US Energy Information Administration, global power consumption in this sector is set to increase by an average of 1.2 per cent a year. However, if your business burns through a lot of energy, there may be ways you can cut your carbon footprint – and bring your bills down in the process. Here we take a look at three ways you can lower your power usage and become a greener, leaner organisation.
1. Raise your awareness
Increasing your awareness could be the first step to addressing the problem of excessive power consumption. By taking an in-depth look at the ways your company uses energy, you may be able to identify areas of wastage and take steps to address this problem. It’s especially important to analyse equipment that requires large amounts of energy to run. For example, if you use compressed air and gas systems that take lots of power, it may be worth fitting them with specialist monitoring equipment to see if you can make savings. According to http://www.air-equipment.co.uk, monitoring systems make it possible to measure power usage, actual system demand, the levels of leakage and any pressure drops. In turn, this information can enable you to revise and maintain your compressors to ensure they operate as efficiently as possible.
Similar monitoring equipment is available for a range of other machines and systems, and by using technology like this to really drill down into your energy usage, you stand to make potentially significant savings.
2. Invest in the most efficient equipment
You may find that you could benefit from replacing or improving inefficient or outdated equipment. It’s now possible to access a range of innovative power saving solutions and, although getting this new tech will require some investment, it could enable you to slash your energy use and bring you big savings in the long-term. To return to the example of air compressors, incorporating heat exchangers into these systems can enable you to harness an otherwise wasted resource. These systems use the energy generated during the compression process to heat water, which can then be utilised in a range of applications.
Fitting variable-speed drives to control the flow of electricity to motors is another good example of a power saving solution. Motors can account for as much as two-thirds of the electrical power used in industrial plants. Many traditional systems are set to run at full tilt continually while in use. In contrast, variable-speed drives allow you to control the flow of power into motors, meaning you can use energy in a more targeted, effective way.
3. Educate your workers
As well as making sure you have the best possible equipment in place, it’s important to educate your personnel on the importance of using power efficiently. Simply encouraging them to switch equipment off when it’s not in use and making sure they turn the lights out when they leave rooms can cut your energy usage. Bear in mind that even seemingly small savings can mount up over time and have a big impact on your company’s carbon footprint.
Taking steps like these should help you to lower your power usage, but if you do these things and still think you’re consuming too much, it may be worth bringing in a specialist firm to conduct an energy audit of your premises.