Navigating your next steps in energy efficiency
'What’s next?’ is a question that many ask about energy efficiency and carbon reduction. Perhaps you made a large investment, developed new processes and reduced energy losses. But where does the next gain come from? We consider some of the questions raised about navigating the next steps and explore ways to further improve energy efficiency within your processes. Equally important, we will look at how continuous improvements lead to significant gains.
Q: I have new equipment and track some energy usage, what more can I do?
Tackling energy usage isn’t a one-off event and we can help on navigating the next steps. It is relatively easy to undertake one-off capital projects that improve performance and increase efficiency. However, continued monitoring and maintenance of the plant and equipment that is not new is often overlooked. Moreover, if there is insufficient visibility of problems in those areas then problems gradually set in, eroding the gains made from major investments. For example, it is easy to see the gains from a new, highly visible, energy recovery system; yet in contrast the losses from unreliable condensate return tank systems hidden away in basements can be just as significant but harder to see.
The DCO approach provides tools for you to continuously improve through ‘marginal gains’ techniques. This entails the constant accumulation of discrete improvements and enhancements. Simultaneously, where performance is in gradual decline, comprehensive monitoring reduces the ‘marginal losses’ from equipment.
We offer equipment sensors that monitor across a wider and more inclusive range of plant and equipment, and software to understand and interpret the data. Consequently, with accurate data available over multiple time scales, your engineers can see what changes have worked and which have not. Furthermore, a comprehensive and robust dataset provides a performance baseline where you’re free to test, pilot and trial new changes and alterations. As a result, engineers will know what works and what doesn’t in real time.
Q: How do your sensors work?
Our equipment sensors work wirelessly and, in most installations, can harvest their own power. Small and compacts, our sensors can be easily retrofitted to equipment. Furthermore, they are ideal for hard to access locations with no existing power or network infrastructure. Overall, the sensors capture data and build them into a model of performance and status. With a more detailed picture, engineers can pinpoint exactly when and where losses and faults occur. Equally important, comprehensive coverage unearths small problems that lead to losses and reduce efficiency.
Q: How can data lead to continuous process improvements?
If you already have a high-level picture of your plant’s energy usage, we can add more detail and fill in the blanks. Our sensors capture data to build them into a model of performance and status. With a more detailed picture, you can pinpoint exactly when and where losses and faults occur. With comprehensive coverage you don’t miss the small problems that lead to losses and reduce efficiency.
Accurate and continuous data is the key! All data and customised readings are uploaded in real time to our cloud-based dashboard. The information is organised in an easy-to-read format and can be viewed by assigned members of your organisation. Greater information sharing leads to greater involvement, better collaboration and easier interpretation. When decisions need to be made or instruction given, everyone is on the same page.
The data can also be targeted by plant location, machine and down to individual sensors - this allows you compare historical data and detect anomalies within your process. Furthermore, your dashboard will notify you of leaks and malfunctions. Continuously diagnosing problems and preventing new ones means that your energy efficiency efforts will not only be maintained but continue to improve.
DCO Systems can help you keep moving forward and navigating those next steps to make continuous gains in your energy efficiency efforts. Don’t let all the work you have done already unravel unknowingly!