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Energy Saving Tips for Industrial Customers

Energy Saving Tips – Industrial Customers

Many innovative industries have found a thriving home in Placer and El Dorado County. Pioneer’s industrial energy customers all have unique needs and challenges as well as common opportunities to save electricity, reduce energy consumption and maximize operational efficiencies. Pioneer Community Energy supports our industrial customers with solutions to reduce energy consumption and increase profitability. We offer energy saving and efficiency tips tailored to their unique operational needs, gathering insights from our own industry specialists and industry resources like Energy Management Solutions, Inc.

Energy Efficient Lighting

  • Replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting with LED lamps and bulbs for indoor and outdoor lighting. LED technology is significantly more energy-efficient, emits less heat and has a longer life.
  • LED bulbs use about a quarter of the energy to produce the same light as halogens and can last five to ten times longer.
  • For outdoor lights, use a photocell so they turn off automatically during daylight hours.
  • For indoor lights, adjust lighting levels to your needs with multi-level lamps and dimmer switches.
  • Install occupancy sensors, so lights go off automatically in unoccupied rooms.

Managing Motor Efficiency

  • When purchasing a new motor choose the most energy-efficient one you can afford. Premium efficiency motors may cost more, but can have a relatively short payback to offset these costs.
  • Motors are considered oversized when their power end uses require less horsepower than the motor is capable of producing. Select a lower power motor and operate it at a higher load factor with near-optimal efficiency. Motors operated at low load factors have lower power factors, thus having less efficiency.
  • Optimize transmission efficiency by using synchronous belts instead of V-belts. V-belts can slip and deteriorate reducing the efficiency at higher loads.
  • Consider using a variable speed drive motor system instead of traditional motors when loads vary significantly over the course of daily use.
  • Make sure the voltage of the motor is as close to the design limits found on the nameplate as possible. The voltage at the motor that is not within the design limits leads to a decrease in power factor. Low power factors may be monetarily penalized by your power company.

Maximizing Compressed Air

  • You can reduce compressed air costs by analyzing compressor operation and reducing leaks.
  • Use a system-wide approach while operating and maintaining a compressed air system.
  • Compressors can be staged with controls to optimize performance.
  • Implement a company-wide compressed air management policy to eliminate unnecessary uses, fix leaks and synchronize use with supply and demand.
  • Smaller compressors can be used to operate during unoccupied periods.

Managing HVAC Loads

  • According to experts, heating and cooling use around 20 to 40 percent of a building’s total energy consumption.
  • Both blow heaters and portable radiators use significant amounts of electricity, so discourage or discontinue their use.
  • Verify that your air conditioning is set at the right temperature and install programmable thermostats.
  • An energy management system can provide great savings to your HVAC equipment.
  • Set zones to turn off exhaust fans when not needed and control the temperature of spaces at night.
  • When purchasing new equipment, select units that are ENERGY STAR qualified.
  • Consider energy recovery ventilation systems to reclaim waste energy from the exhaust and use it to condition the incoming air.
  • Combine a dehumidification component to your HVAC system to increase customer or employee comfort and reduce the need for larger equipment.

Refrigeration Optimization

  • Regular maintenance of refrigeration components such as coils, fans, seals, etc., will help keep the system running at its designed efficiency level.
  • Inspect, and replace as needed, all seals and gaskets.
  • Check temperature settings to ensure they are not lower than necessary.
  • Keep refrigeration systems out of areas with frequent fluctuations in temperature such as in direct sunlight or near exterior doors.
  • Install a variable speed drive to control the level of refrigeration necessary to keep items cool.
  • Defrost cycles can be reduced by adding a sensor at the evaporator and by running defrost at night.
  • Use air curtain technology to seal in cool air and keep dust or other contaminants out.

Turn off and run equipment only when required

  • Ensure you shut off machinery and equipment when not in use.
  • Walking through your plant after-hours and ensuring equipment is powered down when not in use can result in significant savings over time.
  • Reduce the operating pressure of air compressors, check for leakages, and turn it off when not in use. 
  • Compressed air alone accounts for 10 percent or more of industrial power usage.

Clean and Maintain Equipment

  • Regular cleaning and planned maintenance of your electrical and mechanical equipment will go a long way towards optimizing its performance and lifespan, which translates to energy efficiency savings.

Insulation

  • Insulation acts as a barrier against temperature shifts, making it much easier to keep the workplace warmer in winter and cooler in summer. 
  • Installing insulation in the roof, and walls of your workspace can reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain room temperature during heat loss and heat gain. 
  • Insulation Is one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to make your facility more energy efficient.

Use Natural Airflow

  • Opening windows, roll-up doors, or exterior doors is a simple, no-cost energy-saving strategy that helps reduce air-conditioning and heating costs with natural ventilation for climate control.

Make Energy Saving Collaborative

  • Any energy savings initiative should be collaborative and involve all employees. 
  • If you want your employees to change their behavior, they need to do it when you’re not in the room. 
  • Clearly communicate the real business costs. 
  • Let them know how saving energy affects the bottom line and regularly raise energy at toolbox meetings or monthly company meetups to keep it top of mind. 
  • People will want to do their part if you let them.

These tips have been compiled from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR program. If you have any questions about other ways to reduce your energy bills, please contact your Pioneer Community Energy team by email at info@pioneercommunityenergy.org or by phone at (916) 758-8969.

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