The costs related to running and maintaining an industrial plant tend to rise every year and even sometimes every quarter. Energy costs are one of the top areas to see the most increases. Simple inflation and business growth are factors. Of course, regulatory and other changes in industrial practices and changes in energy creation can skyrocket energy costs as well. Follow these tips for lowering your industrial plant's energy consumption this year:
Improve the Lighting
It's time to rethink how light is distributed and handled in the plant. Employees often leave lights on in unused areas. Some plants have older lighting systems that waste power. Wherever possible, bring in natural light, such as via indirect light window shades and overhead skylights. Inspect the lighting systems and replace outdated, low-efficiency parts. For example, install natural light LED bulbs. Also, invest in motion-detection systems that automatically turn off indoor and outdoor lights in empty areas and after hours.
Inspect Systems Regularly
Since unclean, old and broken systems run inefficiently, it's important to maintain them regularly. Motors and fans in some systems, such as HVAC systems, usually work harder because of overheating caused by debris buildup on parts and air flow issues. Some equipment, such as air compressors and pressure washers, are normal energy wasters and then cause a higher amount of energy loss when malfunctioning. For example, your employees waste energy if they have to work longer with these systems because air or water leaks destabilize needed pressure.
Use Energy-Efficient Devices
It might seem obvious that energy-efficient devices can help, but many plant administrators forget about or fail to see the long-term benefits of using these cost-saving options. For example, SCRs for water tube boilers not only reduce environmentally harmful NOx emissions, but also operate better and provide greater energy efficiency. Automated outlet devices and whole-system panels can turn off outlets and power to equipment that normally causes an energy drain in idling or standby mode. A programmable thermostat can detect via attached sensors changes in outdoor and indoor temperatures and adjust settings per your specifications.
Establish Direct Oversight
Continuous energy management is critical to maintaining control over energy usage. Review your current workforce or bring in outside help to administer an energy-efficiency program. Make certain that this program has more than one person working on it so that you have people with different viewpoints assessing the plant and researching and offering ideas. The team should also regularly provide cost-comparison reports that help you to understand short-term, upfront and long-term costs versus overall savings.
It's not difficult to use less energy at your industrial plant. The process merely requires creativity, time and patience. It's also important to motivate employees by showing them that energy-efficiency changes are beneficial to everyone. When plant workers are invested in energy loss reduction, these types of changes occur more smoothly. Additionally, invested employees typically offer ideas of their own without prompting through company-wide employee feedback tools.