A new generation

We have discussed industrial energy efficiency for many years, and it still provides an opportunity for huge electrical savings in most facilities. Electric motor driven systems represent close to 90% of electrical costs in some process industries. Efficiency upgrades represent the most cost effective method of energy conservation.

By John Malinowski, Baldor January 1, 2010

We have discussed industrial energy efficiency for many years, and it still provides an opportunity for huge electrical savings in most facilities. Electric motor driven systems represent close to 90% of electrical costs in some process industries. Efficiency upgrades represent the most cost effective method of energy conservation.

Additional help is available by partnering with various suppliers and agencies to network about successes that can be adopted in your business. The government is actually here to help you reach your goals and the assistance available is very good.

Upgraded motors mandated

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 goes into effect December 19, 2010 and will raise the minimum efficiency of 1 — 500 horsepower motors sold in the United States. We have discussed this in previous articles (date?). Canada is adopting a similar legislation that will begin January 1, 2011.

Most general-purpose motors in the range of 1 — 200 HP will have efficiency raised to NEMA Premium efficiency levels and larger motors to Energy Efficient levels with NEMA Premium designs available as an option. This law includes motors sold as replacements and on new equipment, including imported goods.

Each company should establish a solid relationship with a preferred motor supplier through their local distributor and the motor manufacturer’s sales office. Motor manufacturers have local support available to assist with motor selection and offer solutions to technical challenges.

Set repair / replace guidelines

So, what is the next step? Replacing operating motors in today’s economy is becoming more difficult as many companies are now looking for returns on their capital in less than 12 months. Unless the motor is old or oversized, there isn’t enough savings available to pay for the upgrade in this 12 month period, even with rebates from a utility or energy program. Today most motors are replaced at time of failure, so a sound repair or replace policy is needed.

One must establish guidelines on when to replace the motor based on the efficiency of the old motor, cost of electricity, available rebate or tax incentives and the hours it operates. When repairing, there are guidelines set forth by the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) in ANSI/EASA AR100-2006, “Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Apparatus”.

Installed motors should be marked for action on failure — replace with a NEMA Premium efficient motor, a standard motor or repair. To avoid unnecessary downtime, the stockroom should have the appropriate motors available for replacement. Old inefficient motors should be scrapped.

Local EASA facilities are an integral part of any operation and can assist with failure analysis and offer solutions to improving plant uptime. A good relationship is essential to saving energy.

Get to know your utilities

Each company should have a good relationship with their electricity supplier so they are aware of any incentives and programs available. Most utilities are being mandated to offer efficiency incentives to their customers. These vary widely from assistance with surveys to rebates for upgrades. And the rebates are changing from a fixed amount per horsepower to now paying for kWh saved.

Such a program doesn’t focus on a specific efficiency solution, but it pays for total savings that might include right-sizing, NEMA Premium motors, adjustable speed drives and more efficient power transmission components. You should look beyond raising the efficiency of a motor from 88% to 92% when it is coupled to a pump that is only 50% efficient. The entire motor-driven system needs to be evaluated.

System analysis

As we move forward to more comprehensive system analyses, there is help available from our government. The U.S. Department of Energy has an Industrial Technologies Program that leads the national drive to reduce energy intensity and carbon emissions by changing the way industry uses energy. ITP sponsors cost-shared R&D, and supports the use of today’s advanced technologies and energy management best practices.

ITP is split into several areas:

Technology delivery to apply proven best practices to boost efficiency and productivity in compressed air, motor-driven, process heating and steam systems by using:

  • Software assessment tools

  • Technical publications

  • Training

  • Qualified specialists

  • www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/

    • Save Energy Now is a national initiative of the Industrial Technologies Program to drive a reduction of 25% or more in industrial energy intensity in 10 years.

    • Energy assessments performed by a DOE Energy Expert or Industrial Assessment Center

    • Ally organizations provide support

    • Free software tools and training

    • www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/saveenergynow/

      • Industrial Technologies Program provides cost-shared R&D in several key technology areas common to most energy-intensive industries. Because of the widespread application of these crosscutting technologies, even small improvements in their efficiency can yield large energy savings.

      • Combustion

      • Distributed energy

      • Energy intensive processes

      • Fuel and feedstock flexibility

      • Industrial materials for the future

      • Nanomanufacturing

      • Sensors and automation

      • www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/program_areas/index.html

        • ENERGY STAR industrial partners

          Besides the assistance available from the DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency has additional assistance available through ENERGY STAR. https://www.energystar.gov . Monthly Web-based presentations update partners with success stories from various industries and organizations.

          Several manufacturing industries have been identified by ENERGY STAR and these focuses provide industry-specific energy management tools and resources, develop the corporate structure and systems to better manage energy, and reduce energy use within that industry.

          These focus groups offer an opportunity to network with peers and include most of the major companies within that industrial sector. Present focus industries include:

        • Breweries

        • Cement manufacturing

        • Corn refining

        • Food processing

        • Glass manufacturing

        • Motor vehicle manufacturing

        • Petroleum manufacturing

        • Pharmaceutical manufacturing

        • Pulp and paper processing

          • For each industry or process, a plant energy performance indicator (EPI) is designed. This software allows data to be gathered to evaluate plant energy performance and benchmark to an ideal facility and between each company’s facilities. The EPI is developed by EPA and Duke University.

            Private sector help

            There is also help available from many non-government agencies such as National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA- the trade organization for the motor and drive industry), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Alliance to Save Energy, Hydraulic Institute, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) and many other groups.

            These groups hold many conferences, trade shows and education on various topics.

            Empower an energy advocate

            Each company should have someone empowered to review energy usage and work with facilities to drive down usage. Until the recent downturn in car production, the manufacturers in Detroit didn’t think they could turn off equipment or the process would suffer.

            Chrysler shut down all their plants for nine weeks and they found that equipment could be turned off when not needed, saving electricity without a sacrifice in quality. This person can also be the liaison to the utilities and assist with establishing specifications for motors, drives and repairs.

            Get involved locally

            Each state has a Public Service Commission that monitors the policies of the utilities and their rate structure. Directives on energy efficiency often originate at their meetings. There is often a lack of representation from the industrial sector at these meetings.

            The commissioners do not get to hear enough feedback from the mainstream users, usually utilities trying to justify rate increases and lawyers trying to get assistance for low income residents. The energy advocate should attend these PSC meetings and provide input to indicate the needs and concerns of each company.

            Networking to identify additional energy and productivity opportunities is essential for reaching the next step in sustainability. Moving forward to achieve real savings will be more complicated than simply swapping out simple components. But as systems are re-engineered, larger savings are possible.

            There are numerous state, federal and local programs that can help manufacturers measure and improve motor and energy efficiency

            Whether running an industrial manufacturing operation (above) or driving a process conveyor line (below) the operation of motors in your plant should be monitored and measured to ensure optimum efficiency.

            Efficient energy management drives optimal performance

            By Marcia Walker and Phil Kaufman, Rockwell Automation

            Forecasts project world electricity demand to grow 3.2% annually from 2006 to 2015, with U.S. manufacturers alone spending more than $33 billion per year on electricity. Similar demand exists for oil, natural gas, and other energy sources. In response to these burgeoning energy demands, local and federal governments and the utility industry are promoting initiatives to reduce energy consumption, and plans are moving forward for new power generation sources to resolve the instability and bottlenecks in the nation’s power grid.

            It is becoming not only socially responsible — but also financially essential — for manufacturers to identify energy-efficient solutions for their plants. However, identifying these potential savings can be daunting. Manufacturing processes are interlinked, and plant floor layouts have grown larger and more complex to meet changing market demands.

            Traditionally, industrial energy consumption has been seen one-dimensionally as an unavoidable, unmanageable cost of doing business. But the fact is, the most effective energy-management strategy is one that adopts a three-dimensional approach — using less energy, cheaper energy and a more optimized approach to consumption and supply.

            Using less

            While many companies collect and profile energy data, often they use manual processes that are unreliable and time-consuming. Smart, automated devices can give users better data and, in turn, better power management. This can include devices installed in the power flow at the point where that power is converted to mechanical energy.

            Before implementing the required energy-management technology and underlying infrastructure, companies will benefit from an assessment of overall consumption to identify potential savings. This analysis allows all incoming energy sources to be monitored and reviewed.

            One key area of focus for reducing energy consumption is on electric motors, since they drive most production output and consume the most electricity. This is where advanced motor management solutions can deliver huge results. For example, power-optimization tools — such as variable frequency drives, energy-efficient motors and gears, motor controllers and software — all can deliver immediate, measurable bottom-line savings.

            In any manufacturing process that requires less than 100% of the designed speed, manufacturers should consider integrating variable frequency drives for both low- and medium-voltage applications. They can significantly reduce energy costs, and, when properly applied, help eliminate valves, increase pump-seal life, reduce power surge during startup, and contribute to a more flexible operation.

            Cheaper energy

            In addition to using less energy, companies also can use cheaper energy — by managing where, how and when energy is used in order to harness it when it is least expensive, such as during off-peak times. By developing an integrated energy-management program based on accurate consumption and spending patterns, and demand profiles, companies can calculate power consumption costs among various production lines. With more accurate information about actual production costs, managers can make more intelligent business decisions.

            To enable such knowledge, an effective monitoring program is essential. Such a program can include a network of digital power-monitoring devices that capture and communicate power-consumption information.

            This allows plant managers to gather detailed information on power consumption in different areas of their plants, on specific machines (such as refrigeration compressors), and even on individual product lines. Each department is seldom aware of its consumption on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.

            By simply metering consumption, small opportunities for improvement can be identified to provide a significant impact on energy usage, resulting in immediate financial savings. In addition to usage data, managers have access to power-quality information that can improve productivity and lengthen equipment life, further enhancing profits and efficiency.

            Optimize energy

            The third, most sophisticated dimension of an effective energy-management strategy — and the one with the most financial impact — is in optimizing energy use so as to achieve production goals in the least expensive, most profitable way while balancing the many variables inherent to manufacturing. In other words, you can actively manage your energy as one of many inputs to the overall production equation. Such a sophisticated view is impossible if energy is viewed simply as plant overhead.

            Once manufacturing energy-consumption data is stored and analyzed in the information system, you can begin to see clear trends of how energy has been used among various historical events, such as a specific product cycle or batch.

            While manufacturers have large energy demands, they also have large opportunities for savings. Technologies and expertise are available that allow manufacturers to take control of their energy costs and protect their business from energy-market fluctuations. The bottom line is — energy costs are controllable. The key is identifying energy-management goals, developing a corresponding strategy, and putting the technology in place that enables manufacturers to accurately monitor, analyze and control energy consumption and quality.

            For more information, please visit www.rockwellautomation.com/solutions/sustainability/ to download a copy of the white paper titled “Industrial Energy Optimization: Managing Energy Consumption for Higher Profitability.”