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plicity, we can exclude the unnecessary capital costs to acquire and install larger than necessary equipment and focus only on the additional energy operating costs. Measurements by our team and others indicate that in many cases, oversized equipment results in an unnecessary energy expenditure of 10% to 40% of the total annual operat- ing energy costs. In many instances, it is difficult


to determine in advance exactly how much capacity is enough to achieve the desired output. Measurements and reviews of capacity require- ments may not be possible until the manufacturing operations associated with a new process or a new machine have stabilized after the first 6-to-12 months of operations. Without know- ing the right size for equipment in a particular manufacturing process, it is very difficult to not waste electricity on oversized equipment or time and money on undersized equipment. In working with various manu-


facturers across several sectors, it was found an estimated 80% to 90% of manufacturers consume more electric- ity than they need. One solution involves a system of


multiple sensors to simultaneously measure both electricity input and


Fig. 1. This dashboard view shows measured induction furnace electric power usage averaged over several weeks to show a typical week.


the resulting output. Ideally, these measurement results will be avail- able in real-time on the Internet for visualization and interpretation by key technical staff and other authorized stake holders. Although in many cases there is not a simple knob to turn that adjusts the input electrical power, often other factors will cause variations in the amount of electricity consumed. A multi-sensor monitoring solution will be able to measure changes in


power input while monitoring the impact of these changes on key output parameters. Tis information can be used to determine exactly how much input power can be reduced while meeting the true requirements of the manufacturing process.


Custom Energy Efficiency Prescriptive energy efficiency proj-


Fig 2. This graph shows the power consumption for two different air compressors during an aver- age 24-hour period. Both of these compressors adequately satisfied the demand for compressed air in the plant but use significantly different amounts of electrical power-different by a factor of 1.7.


ects, where items like lighting fixtures are swapped out for a “prescribed” category of new replacements, play an important role in improving energy efficiency for certain types of energy uses, but they are limited to a subset of metalcasting facility energy use and typically do not include the majority of energy use. For further energy efficiency improvement proj- ects, various types of real-time sensor measurements followed by multi- dimensional data analysis is required to achieve the desired reductions in energy consumptions. Combining different types of sen- sor data to gain more knowledge than available from individual sensors is a valuable approach to transforming raw data into actionable information, but the technology to do it is com- plex. Sensing subsystems for monitor- ing different aspects of this problem are readily available but combining the information in a time synchro- nous manner becomes difficult as


April 2015 MODERN CASTING | 37


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