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Energy Quality Episode 5/6

by Sensix Team

This is the very fifth episode of the blog series we hope it will shed some light on energy efficiency, more specifically, on the efficiency of electrical equipment. So, if you are a maintenance/building/production manager, this one’s for you. If (and only if) you want to lower energy usage and costs, of course.

In the first episode we talked about what Power Quality is, we defined particular Power Quality Indices, and more. Find them out right here. In the second one, we talked about B-B-B-B-Bad Power Quality and its negative effects. In the third one we talked about the Power Quality measurement, how it can be done and by whom and in the fourth episode we discussed the importance of Power Quality for an industrial end-user. Right now, we’re gonna talk about The Quality of the Power we have on Climate Change. Let’s!

Change is good, except climate change

Climate Change and our fight against it is a very important topic especially nowadays. According to the European Energy Agency’s assessment, ”Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016”, there are already regions in Europe where we can see the impacts of a changing climate (rising sea levels, more extreme weather, flooding, droughts and storms).¹ In order to ensure the wellbeing of humanity’s both present and future, we must all get involved in this struggle.

Bring the action!

When it comes to electricity, there are countless actions that can be implemented in order to minimize the Environmental Impact of electricity use:

  • ranging from installing Variable Speed Drives for electric motors;
  • installing distributed energy sources (small scale photovoltaic or wind power plants);
  • using Direct Current motors (motors that converts direct current electrical energy in mechanical energy) for variable-load tools;
  • replacing old, inefficient motors with new, more efficient ones;
  • replacing underloaded and inefficient Power Transformers with new, efficient and properly sized ones;
  • installing Automatic Power Factor Correction (APFC) systems.

All these Energy Performance Improvement Actions (EPIAs), as defined by the ISO 50001 group of standards, ultimately lead to a direct reduction in the overall electricity use and in its associated environmental impact.

The real (3D) struggle

It can be difficult to identify the appropriate EPIA to implement and even more difficult to quantify the benefits. The struggle of the technical staff of an energy boundary usually manifests itself in three dimensions:

  1. the effort to properly identify the appropriate EPIAs;
  2. the effort to prioritize the implementation of the identified EPIAs;
  3. the effort to convince the Top Management of the importance of financing the implementation of the identified EPIAs.

It requires effort but it is worth it (for ecosystems, for humans, for economy).

Nothing is as it seems

This 3D problem usually translates into a low EPIA-implementation rate and a low carbon neutrality transition rate. A carbon neutral company is a company that removes the same amount of carbon it emits into the atmosphere (by supporting renewable energy projects, for example).

Most of the stakeholders of a company understand the benefits generated by installing a small-scale rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system and would be inclined to prioritize this EPIA.

This, however, is a mistake as the PV system will, most likely, be sized for the actual electricity demand of the company. After implementing other EPIAs, the electricity demand will decrease and the PV system will become oversized, diminishing its financial performance.

Every individual (EPIA) matters

If the technical staff were to properly evaluate and quantify the benefits of each individual EPIA, they would be able to draft up a strong EPIA implementation strategy.

This could only be done by using a relevant and advanced energy monitoring system which would identify Energy Performance hot-spots and quantify the estimated benefits obtained by implementing certain EPIAs.

Bad Power Quality - were you bad again?

One of the only feasible ways of reducing the environmental impact is to

  • drastically increase the quality of our energy monitoring capabilities and
  • to measure the impact of bad Power Quality on the overall Energy Performance of a given energy boundary. And we can help you!

But about that in our last episode. Stay tuned and follow us for more energy stuff.


¹ https://www.eea.europa.eu/signals/signals-2017/articles/energy-and-climate-change

Previous articles

Energy Quality Episode 4/6

21 days ago

Operating an energy boundary in the presence of bad Power Quality Indices (such as the Total Power Factor, Current / Voltage Unbalances, Harmonic Distortion etc.) generates avoidable energy losses.

Read more

Energy Quality Episode 3/6

29 days ago

Oh, well, Power Quality cannot be measured. As per se. What can be measured and we measure are various intermediary values. They describe the current and voltage waveform.

Read more

Energy Quality Episode 2/6

about 1 month ago

Bad/poor/low, you name it, Power Quality can have a negative impact on the electrical system, and not just, and, most likely, it will have it.

Read more