According to ADEME (the French environment and energy management agency), at an industrial facility, “tracking changes in Energy Performance Indicators can help reduce energy consumption by anything from a few per cent to over 20%”. This is why it is essential to understand the indicators involved and know how to select the most useful ones.
2- Picking the right EPIs
3- Tips for making better use of your facility’s EPIs
Any plan to introduce energy management at an industrial facility begins by setting up an Energy Information System (EIS), which in turn relies on monitoring Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs). The facility’s aggregated EPIs measure the relationship between an amount of energy used and the production it powers. These EPIs can be raw data or adjusted to take account of factors over which it has no control, such as the outside temperature, the plant’s production schedule, the product mix or the quality of the inputs.
2- Picking the right Enery Performance Indicators
EPIs are specific to each company, process and improvement project. They are ranked according to the plant’s main goals, its environment and the operational team’s capacity for acting on them.
As a first step, an industrial facility can start by measuring and analysing the variability of around 10 recurring key EPIs associated with the plant’s Significant Energy Uses (SEUs): electricity, gas, refrigeration, steam and compressed air.
- For the plant as a whole, kWh of electricity or gas per production unit.
- For the boiler room, the cooling COP (coefficient of performance for the cold production and distribution chain: refrigeration units, cooling towers, distribution pumps, etc.), boiler efficiency in kWh per tonne of steam produced, or the efficiency of the compressors in Wh per Nm³.
- Regarding the processes, cold consumption expressed in thermal kWh per unit of production, steam consumption expressed in tonnes per unit of production, compressed air consumption expressed in Nm³ per unit of production, kWh of electricity or gas per unit of production, etc.
The only stipulation is that, in order to visualise the variability and hence the potential gain, they need to use the smallest time segment possible for each performance indicator. This means that the variability deviation detected between a monthly measurement and a measurement every minute or every hour can vary in the ratio of one to three, if not more.
3. Tips for making better use of your facility’s EPIs
EPIs are the bedrock of an effective EIS. Our free guide “Industry 4.0: how to optimise your energy consumption” will help you understand how to make the best use of them.