What is industrial energy audit?
The demand of industrial energy audit increased since last decade as a result of increasing the energy cost and awareness of global warming effect. The potential savings in utility expenses are coming from the major energy usage. If the equipments are operated and maintained properly, they will run efficiently. The equipments that we are talking about are, for instants; HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning), Conveyor system, Electric motor systems, Compressed air systems, Steam generation systems, Furnace system, Lighting, Power distribution and installation systems.
Simple or complete energy audits for industries subject to simple or complex facilities and also depend on the needs of the industry owner. The energy consumed in typical industries varies in size, type, and the way to use it. The audit format can vary depending upon the size of the facility, scope of audit, and size of the audit crew.
Most audits begin with the first meeting. This meeting is attended by the energy auditors and the management levels in the industrial clients, at least utility and production department from supervisor level must present. The agenda is to communicate the purpose of the audit, agenda, and other supports. Support can be a request one or two dedicated persons to accompany the auditors. These persons should be able to answer questions about the equipment and systems. Other support is the complimentary information, such as as technical process, data and billing information.
During this meeting, also communicate things that affect their economic decision making such as hurdle rates, simple payback criteria, whether future expansion or on-site generation is possible, etc. Client also need to indicate if they are already considering certain energy-related changes for non-energy-related reasons like maintenance reduction or process control improvement. Then, the audits can be started with a simple and general walk-through visual inspection. The purpose is to get overview and to find more specific are for comprehensive audit.
For gaining the understanding with current situation, the auditors require the energy flow study using the energy flow chart and production flow process which is explained by the production manager or facility manager from the client. The client must show the actual figures of its energy components and bills and hopefully available completed with monthly energy meter reading. In the end of audit, the auditors and the client persons meet again after the audit to clarify certain observations and discuss preliminary findings and then the auditors prepare and submit a written report with recommendations.