IEEE Workshop: Industrial energy efficiency, productivity

Baltimore, MD—Difficult times lie ahead for resolving U.S. energy needs; for industry, that includes resources, efficient usage and power / energy management. Presentations by energy-arena manufacturers, government experts, and consultants comprised the IEEE Industrial Energy Efficiency Workshop in Baltimore, MD (Oct. 22-23, 2007). Sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ Industry Applications Society, this inaugural workshop addressed industrial energy issues.


Baltimore, MD —Difficult times lie ahead for resolving U.S. energy needs; for industry, that includes resources, efficient usage and power / energy management. A wide range of in-depth presentations by energy-arena manufacturers, government experts, and consultants comprised the IEEE Industrial Energy Efficiency Workshop in Baltimore, MD (Oct. 22-23, 2007). Sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ Industry Applications Society, this inaugural workshop addressed growing energy issues specific to industry.

“Specific focus on industrial energy issues made IEEW 2007 the first workshop of its kind,” according to John Malinowski, workshop chair. A table-top exhibit by seven product vendors was also part of the event. (Photos by F. Bartos, Control Engineering .)

Energy management developments include new local/national programs becoming available, changing federal efficiency legislation (for induction motors), more companies adding formal energy programs, and dedicated energy managers reporting directly to the CEO, explained John Malinowski, workshop chair and ac/dc motor products manager at

Baldor Electric Co

Keynote speaker, Elizabeth Dutrow—director of industrial sector partnerships for

Energy Star, U.S. EPA

—stressed the need for companies to look ahead and plan for the “energy future.” Each of
Energy productivity, not just efficiency
Moreover, we need to look beyond efficiency to energy productivity. “Value energy in terms of corporate productivity. Place energy on an equal footing with other operating expenses. No quick ROI! Also, view energy investment over the longer term, reducing the high hurdle rate to enter,” Dutrow said.
Several Energy Star partners presented corporate energy management best practices. Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo.) did so for food processing. Al Halvorsen, group manager of energy & utilities, cited dramatic energy reduction in areas of water (38%), natural gas (27%), and power usage (21%) since 1999, while improving production. “Teams of engineers devote 100% of their time to energy conservation and productivity-related tasks. A support network infrastructure also is in place to implement projects,” said Halvorsen.
Where are the dollars? Here
Another Energy Star partner and energy-intensive process company,

California Portland Cement

, attributes 50% of variable costs and 30% of total manufacturing costs to energy. It reported more than $4 million energy cost savings in three years via energy management involving its compressed air systems, process improvements, electrical/lighting, and mechanical systems and drives.
Value of variable-speed control of pumps and motor-driven equipment was stressed by various speakers. In “Pump Systems Matter,” William Adams, director of new business development at

Flowserve Corp

., put into perspective energy losses experienced in process plants due to valve throttling control and associated pump oversizing. Running pumps off their ideal operating point accounts for 20% energy loss, on average, and reliability is cut by 8% when a pump runs at about 10% below optimum operating point, he stated. “Energy is currently used to destroy equipment [by pump throttling],” Adams suggested.
‘Uncomfortable’ energy supplies
Neal Elliot, industrial program director of

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEE),

spelled out an uncomfortable state of energy supply trends in “Energy Markets Outlook & the Role of Energy Efficiency in Industry.”
Ability to deliver power rather than supply is the current problem, Elliot explained. Refining is the bottleneck for petroleum products, mining and rail capacity hinder coal delivery, and ability to transmit plus power plant shortages limit electric power. Natural gas also is operating at deliverability limits. Ethanol needs rail/barge transport because it’s not compatible with pipelines. This adds to infrastructure loading, according to Elliot. “Weather is a wild card,” he said. “Volatility and uncertainty are big challenges.”

Energy efficiency as a resource
The future of energy supply is increasingly driven by many uncertainties and global trends—among them, global warming issues and a limited role of renewable energy, explained Jeff Harris, VP of programs at the

Alliance to Save Energy

. “Energy efficiency (EE) may be a way out,” he said. Efficiency can help balance energy markets and enable clean technology. “It’s the best down payment on climate stabilization.”

EE has a large potential for industry. Over the past 50 years, two-thirds of all energy savings was due to EE, according to Harris. “Energy efficiency and conservation is a greater resource than any one other fuel supply—and cost of EE is also much lower than other sources,” he said. Individual state strategies are leading the way for EE with appliance standards, tax incentives, building codes, and EE bond authority.

Efficiency may be the lowest cost energy solution in many manufacturing areas. It varies by plant and energy usage, but plant-level savings of 1.5-2.5% per year are reported by leading companies, explained Harris. Moreover, new potential energy saving projects continue to emerge even after initial improvements are implemented.

What management needs to know
Christopher Russell, principal at

South River Facility Solutions

, spoke about underinvestment in the U.S. energy-supply infrastructure—with many plants running past their economic (and design) life. His presentation, “What Your Management Needs to Know about Energy Efficiency,” cited various sources of energy waste and that only 33% of energy input to a plant is typically applied to an actual process. Russell envisions the need for much education to enable continuous energy improvement at a facility. Industry wants business solutions that are “good, fast, and cheap,” but can have any two of these attributes (at the same time), he explained. “Energy cost control is a process, not a project. Solutions must involve technology, procedures, and behavior,” added Russell.

Other workshop topics included the role of NEMA Premium motors and drive systems for energy savings; an update on international harmonization of motor standards (for efficiency classes); and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) software tools available for energy analysis/savings and discussion of DOE best energy practices.

Needs: Education, wider view, greater integration
Among recurring themes at IEEE’s workshop were these needs:
* Educate CEOs, senior executives, and money managers about energy efficiency;
* View energy as embedded throughout a product’s manufacturing cycle;
* Emphasize system efficiency rather component efficiency;
* Solicit executive-level commitment to EE;
* Incorporate energy projects into business procedures and process control; and
* Provide more incentives for energy efficiency investments, including R&D.
It’s clear that more must be done to promote best energy practices and develop energy-efficient methods/products. Along that road a future workshop is to be announced later.

IEEE Web site has more information on energy efficiency and related topics.

Also read from Control Engineering :

Green Manufacturing Comes of Age

More energy-efficiency awareness needed

Frank J. Bartos , P.E., Control Engineering consulting editor
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