Energy efficiency isn’t just for car dealerships, grocery stores and restaurants. Industrial buildings can benefit from energy efficiency, too. Industrial buildings account for more energy usage than typical small businesses, therefore they’ll benefit even more from energy efficiency. Here are 4 strategies you can implement both short- and long-term changes to ensure your business saves energy and money.
It may sound simple, but little changes can make a big difference to your energy use. Turning equipment off or turning it down is a great short-term change to decrease total energy wasted. Are things left running when they’re not in use? Turn them off. This includes office equipment like computers, printers, lights, heaters, and motors.
If you can’t turn it off, see if you can turn adjust the settings and turn equipment down – such as; air conditioning, lighting, vending machines. Performing regular maintenance and cleaning can also cut down on your energy costs. Plus, this will also lengthen the life of your equipment. Fixtures to be properly cleaned and maintained include fans, air compressors, boilers, motors, and condenser coils.
Figuring out which areas are sapping most of your energy is a good place to start for making long-term changes. Keeping an eye on your process heating can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills. This includes proper maintenance and cleaning, but also installing furnace pressure controllers to minimize cool air getting into the system, and installing lower flammable limit (LFL) monitoring equipment to regulate the ventilation rates. This helps keep safe ventilation ratios while conserving energy.
Motors account for nearly 70% of energy usage in industrial buildings, so focusing here to implement energy efficient methods is key to success. Instead of using a motor based on the maximum expected load, choose an appropriately sized motor based on the load duration curve (LDC). Adding capacitors to improve input power and decreasing voltage imbalances are more efforts you can make.
Also, when getting rid of old equipment, replace it with high-efficiency motors to decrease energy use and cost. Another strategy is to install adjustable speed drives to adapt to load changes, which will reduce energy waste. These changes will help cut your energy use, and ultimately your energy costs, long term!
Ensuring your compressed air system is properly maintained is an important step in making sure your energy costs are as low as possible. Poorly maintained systems just end up costing you more, plus result in wasting energy. Keep compressed air at the required pressure to cut down on energy usage – it doesn’t need to be higher than the required pressure. Also, using fans or blowers that are low pressure can help you be more energy efficient; particularly when used in places where you don’t actually need compressed air.
While lighting, heating, and cooling are smaller contributors to your energy usage, upgrading these fixtures are an excellent opportunity to increase energy efficiency with no down time for your industrial building. By choosing cost-effective efforts, such as upgrading energy efficient plant lighting, switching to LED signage, installing LED parking lot lighting, and incorporating lighting controls, you’ll be able to reduce energy consumption for your facility.
Another cost-effective strategy that doesn’t interfere with day-to-day operations is to upgrade your HVAC systems. By minimizing air infiltration, installing large ceiling fans to improve air circulation, incorporating radiant heaters, and adding reflective roof coatings, you will see a decrease in both energy usage and cost.
By enacting just two or three of these changes, you can cut energy usage and costs; however, making all of them can significantly help your industrial building save money. Make sure your equipment is properly maintained, cleaned, is turned off or turned down when not in use, and install upgrades to your systems, you’ll find you’re able to reduce waste and energy costs for your industrial building.