Reducing Energy Consumption and Costs with PowerSight
Three Ways to Save
There are three main ways to save money in a facility with a power analyzer.
The first is to do a full facility energy audit to evaluate load profiles and identify areas for improvement. If action is taken to rectify a problem or save power, PowerSight can verify the savings that were made.
The second way is determining circuits or equipment that are causing extra utility charges to be incurred (such as peak demand surcharges, power factor penalty charges, or expensive usage during peak hours on a time-of-day rate schedule). You can locate potential issues, correct shortcomings, and verify corrections with an analyzer.
The third is by challenging and verifying utility energy charges. This does not require any action to be taken towards remedying an efficiency problem with equipment in a facility, but rather rectifying an erroneous bill due to a faulty utility meter. This happens less often but can result in huge savings over time when it does.
PowerSight analyzers are designed to make it easy and intuitive to log, interpret, and report all essential measurements for saving money on energy costs.
Follow the Process for Raw Rower Consumption
1. Audit where the power is going. Ideally, you would monitor all circuits simultaneously over an evaluation period of a week or a month and then see the patterns and locations where power is being consumed. Summit Technology maintains one of the largest stocks of rental systems in the world, so you can monitor any number of circuits and equipment simultaneously. Our TestPlan Manager™ is also the most efficient and error-free method for doing multi-point monitoring.
2. Alternatively, you would make educated guesses of what equipment is using the power and monitor them to see what the reality is. Again, you would do at least one day, better yet a week or a month to see its power consumption profile.
3. Identify alternatives. Depending on load profiles, you may:
• opt to rebuild or overhaul equipment to get it performing to its expected results.
• opt for more efficient motors or adding VSDs,
• opt for lower cost lighting or active lighting controls,
• consider retrofits to generate power on elevators, escalators, etc.,
• consider changes of insulation and sealant.
• even simply change temperature set points.
Depending on where the power usage is located, there are any number of vendors who will be anxious to sell a solution to you.
4. Verify the “solutions”. The power analyzer that identified the “before” power usage can then be used to verify the “after” savings, hopefully before a firm purchase of the solution is made. PowerSight can be used to verify any savings on any circuit or piece of equipment, included direct connection monitoring of 4160V motors and 12.5KV distribution transformers.
Deal with Surcharges and Peak Rates on Your Bill
A substantial component to your bill may be due to peak demand charges, power factor penalties, or usage during peak rate periods.
Follow the process:
1. Audit the facilities or make educated guesses to monitor likely equipment or branch circuits that are causing the surcharges.
2. If addressing peak demand charges, determine what equipment or circuits were making contributions to demand during the peak demand period. Consider taking them off line during the peak demand period or improving their performance to lower the surcharge or even shift to a different, lower, demand period. PowerSight does peak demand period calculations that are displayable on the analyzer and are included in reports, for great before/after verification.
3. If addressing power factor penalty charges, determine the equipment generating the most VAR. This can be done by logging power and power factor or VAR directly. Motors can benefit from addition of VSDs. Any circuit can benefit from addition of power factor correction equipment. Monitoring the power factor profile can guide towards choosing passive or active power factor correction equipment.
4. If you are hit by a time-of-day rate schedule, determine what loads can have their duty cycle shortened or even eliminated during the peak rate periods. PowerSight has the ability to measure duty cycle on the analyzer itself. First identify the loads during peak with your power analyzer, then mitigate, then verify the results.
Audit Your Bill’s Accuracy
1. Monitor the load that the utility’s meter is monitoring.
2. See if the KWH results are within spec.
3. Verify that the measured KWH is what is presented on the bill for the same time-frame.
Utility meters are designed to be accurate, but there is no assurance that they remain accurate either due to defect, changed programming, or if the wrong meter’s readings are included on your bill. These things happen. PowerSight has been used to successfully question the accuracy of utility meters (see an example here).
Who Benefits from These Tests?
- Anyone who manages an industrial facility and/or large, expensive equipment,
- anyone who provides testing services and energy audits for industrial facilities, and
- salespeople that need to prove energy savings for a new, efficient product
All these people benefit from using a power analyzer to spot problem areas and/or prove savings. PowerSight analyzers are small enough to carry around, intuitive enough for new users to operate, and capable enough to get reliable records to tell an objective story about power and energy. More often than not, a power analyzer will pay for itself quickly and several times over throughout its long useful life.
Even though cost savings are highly sought-after, there are other benefits to performing energy audits with an analyzer. As state and local governments focus more on energy efficiency, facilities are adjusting to new regulations and incentives for lower energy consumption. These legislative changes may persuade or even force electrical professionals to monitor their power and make appropriate changes to consume less energy. Naturally, along with saving energy and money, comes lessening the environmental impact of a system demanding significant amounts of power, the ultimate goal behind new governmental policies.
Not only that, overall facility productivity and reliability goes up when energy waste decreases and equipment is “healthy” and not needing to be replaced. This frees up financial resources and creates flexibility for additional equipment on a newly optimized power system.