Energy management and energy management systems are gaining importance in the globalizing age, especially given climate protection. The associated climate change requires working as efficiently as possible in the area of energy. Systematic energy management helps to increase the efficient use of power in a company. At the same time, an efficient energy management system leads to a reduction in greenhouse gases and, as a result, the interest of companies in energy management systems is increasing.
What does energy management mean?
All measures are combined to bring energy use to a minimum level for a given output in energy management. It considers structures, processes, systems, and human components such as behavior and changes. Energy management helps to identify potential energy savings and to derive measures. In addition, energy management helps to make the right decisions for new investments to operate in an energy-efficient manner. To improve energy efficiency in the long term, the company must aim for an energy policy that extends across the entire organization. It has to set energy targets, create action plans, and use key performance indicators to measure whether it meets the relevant targets. Thus, energy management influences the entire organization, the technical processes in the company, and the employees’ behavior. It regulates who or what is responsible for energy-relevant operations, how communication occurs, and that person has the necessary expertise.
Why should energy management be practiced?
There are several reasons why companies decide to operate an effective energy management system:
1) Reduce costs
If (efficient) energy management is to be operated, the company must deal with it in detail. In recent years, energy prices have risen continuously. This price increase in energy costs will continue in the coming years. The rising energy costs reduce the profit share of a company. With effective energy management, weak points in energy use can be identified and eliminated with the help of appropriate measures. It increases energy efficiency, which helps to lower the energy costs permanently. As a result, it reduces the production costs as well, which might lead to competitive advantages.
2) Protect the environment
By systematically identifying “energy guzzlers” and eliminating them, the company contributes to environmental protection. Through appropriate optimization measures, energy is thus used more efficiently in the company. That directly or indirectly reduces CO2 emissions.
3) Pursue a sustainable way of doing business
The raw materials that we can use on earth are only available in limited quantities. Although there are still many unused energy resources lying dormant, many of them are either not available or only at great expense due to the (still) lack of technical possibilities.
3) Improve the corporate image
Suppose the company has its energy management system certified. Through certification, a company demonstrates that it uses energy sustainably and is doing that continuously. Simultaneously, with the help of the evidence, the company provides in its external presentation that it is working energetically. Thus, leading to greater credibility in the eyes of the outside world. In addition, potential customers recognize that a company contributes to environmental protection.
4) Government subsidies and legal relief
More and more, a certified energy management system is becoming a prerequisite for being able to claim subsidies and other statutory relief. In addition, public tenders increasingly include requirements of an ecological nature, which also relate to the energy sector.
Concerning the personal company, continuous energy management contributes to the fact that:
- Archive transparency for energy consumption
- Allocate the energy cost directly to the source.
- Records any energy-relevant changes are tracked, including changes in production, new materials, and new requirements.
- Ensure the supply of energy in line with demand
- Employee awareness of energy issues
- Determine and minimize CO2 emissions are determined and minimized.
Energy management system – what does it do?
Measurements and energy consumption must be taken and monitored to work energy-efficiently. With a robust energy management system, a sustainable reduction in energy costs is possible. But there are often significant differences between the software providers for such software. Therefore, it is essential to know the functions, criteria, and advantages of energy management systems to permanently operate efficient energy management.
Energy management system-Significantly optimize energy use.
The goal of an energy management system is for it to provide a quick and easy overview of energy consumption at every point in the company. With just a few clicks, the software must provide clear insights. Only with clear and straightforward energy monitoring is the secure basis created for identifying potential savings. The monitoring system maps existing measurement data directly into clear analysis information based on standardized and individual report formats. The information obtained in this way makes it possible to uncover unnecessary and excessive energy consumption. As a result, the company can make monetary savings of up to 50 percent.
What must software and hardware be able to do?
For rapid deployment of an energy management system, ensure the compatibility of the software to the measuring points. It must be possible for the software to perform analyses independent of the nature of the data sources. Therefore, it is essential that the measurement technology, which is already available, can be integrated into the system independently of the respective manufacturer. The software must be able to use the manufacturers’ hardware, such as electricity meters and sensors. Furthermore, ensure that the energy management software delivers critical evaluation. The energy management software must also integrate data points into any structure within the hierarchy and combine the various vital figures. The most straightforward and most convenient way is a graphical presentation of the results and critical statistics obtained. Therefore, sound energy management systems provide a user- and operator-friendly dashboard.
Uncovering hidden sources of error with the help of an energy management system
Using the collected data from an energy management system can show errors in energy consumption and use. In addition, the software can help with the presentation of errors and support electricity transmission to third parties and its compliance with the law. For example, since 2021, operators of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant or a PB plant must submit a measurement concept that has calibrated and time-synchronized meters. If this is not the case, you risk losing the EEG apportionment privilege. With an efficient energy management system, such dangers can be prevented and documented by auditors and authorities.
Which energy management system is the right one for companies?
In principle, an energy management system should be flexible, intuitive to use, and open to interfaces. It applies both in terms of usability and application and the installation and implementation of the software. That does no favors if the software is so complicated to use that it can only be operated by qualified personnel, as this quickly becomes a time-consuming and cost-intensive affair. Therefore, choose a system that is easy to operate and evaluate. In addition, ensure that the software must support all existing components of the company’s infrastructure, and the evaluation of the collected data must be possible quickly.
Can energy management software be subsidized?
There are some funding opportunities for energy management software. For example, BMWi’s funding program “Energy Efficiency and Process Heat from Renewable Energies in the Economy” is suitable for funding for small and medium-sized enterprises. For example, under Module 3, this program includes hardware and software that provide improved energy management.
Energy data in connection with smart factories
In times of rising energy costs, energy management plays a central role in smart factories or Industry 4.0. With the help of energy data and resource management, companies can counteract rising energy prices. Reduce costs to increase profitability and margins. Challenges for companies in the implementation are:
Finances: If energy management is not developed or is poorly developed in the company, this can lead to higher costs. Reasons for this include overload due to machine breakdowns or underload, which reduces productivity. Therefore, manufacturers of machines need to minimize energy consumption while ensuring that machines are utilized to the maximum.
Data collection: it becomes difficult for manufacturing operations to make decisions without knowing how much energy is being consumed by an individual machine part and what level of performance is needed to ensure flawless operation. Without the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, it takes a lot of time to collect random data, which cannot be contained and interpreted in real-time.
Government support: To offer incentives such as tax breaks, manufacturing companies in many countries must comply with energy efficiency standards. If the right tools are not chosen, it will be difficult to meet government requirements for subsidies.
For companies to overcome these challenges and make the right decisions, they need to know how much energy each machine consumes and what performance is required to ensure flawless operation. In addition, for successful digitization and development of smart factories, the energy data management system is essential, as it receives and evaluates real-time data from sensors and IoT devices.
Choosing the right energy management software for your production
A system can assist in the following:
Capture energy data from multiple sources across the enterprise infrastructure: With a high-quality energy management system, data on energy consumption is collected from all company areas. That includes production and facility management. The system automatically collects energy data from each piece of equipment, regardless of manufacturer, and shows how efficiently the equipment or machine operates in a particular area. A top-notch system effortlessly captures the data needed even in factories that are decentralized and have a complex infrastructure.
Energy consumption at a glance: All data relating to energy consumption is recorded with energy management systems. That gives you a clear overview of all energy consumption data in a central location and identifies significant energy consumption trends. In addition, it makes it clear within a short time what progress has been made concerning reducing energy consumption.
Monitor data from new and existing plants: With the help of the energy management system, the energy consumption of the latest and old equipment is monitored and can be compared. Through the data obtained, it can be seen which devices are true energy guzzlers. This equipment can then be replaced, which is crucial in terms of profitability.
Increase plant efficiency and reduce consumption: An energy management system makes it easier to evaluate the data and increases the equipment’s increased energy efficiency. Trend curves and graphical evaluations of the software give the company a better view of costs and productivity. If the company finds that a piece of equipment consumes more energy than needed, replacing the equipment can improve performance and reduce energy costs.
Identify variances and provide energy without disruption: The goal is to ensure that each component delivers precisely the power needed to maximize productivity. The energy management system can help detect and prevent energy supply failures by alerting you to deviations from the norm. Depending on the problem, an energy management system can even correct the error automatically. For example, if remediation is only possible manually, the energy management system can chronologically list all the information needed to track down the cause. In this way, the problem can be remedied effortlessly.
What are the benefits of an energy management system?
Internet of Things devices and sensors determine and manage energy consumption in the smart factory in real-time. That leads to successful energy management. An energy management system, in combination with IoT devices, offers the following benefits:
- Improve energy efficiency and increased productivity based on the data collected and analyzed by the energy management system. In addition, it helps to determine the optimal voltage required for efficient machine operation.
- Identify uncovering inefficiencies, leaks, and other sources of failure. It allows them to be eliminated and avoided. That can save costs on a large scale and avoid expensive peak loads.
- Through successful energy management, the company ensures more excellent safety for its employees. For example, the energy management system can identify and prevent overheating of the machines. As a result, carry out necessary repairs before a significant hazardous situation can arise due to insufficient power protection for employees.
- By constantly monitoring energy consumption using real-time measurements and historical data, problems can be identified and corrected early. That results in less or no more downtime.
Energy Monitoring with FORCAM
Discover how the FORCE MES FLEX can help you increase energy efficiency. By using technology, you can respond to the energy transition and rising energy prices. Talk to one of our experts about how you can actively improve efficiency and reduce costs.