New industrial energy management system

Paul Boughton

Reducing energy consumption is just one part of an industrial company's energy management strategy. It must also source or generate its energy competitively, while taking account of CSI and green initiatives that may affect the energy mix. This situation opens up the requirement for a solution that can make complex purchasing and management decisions far easier.

For instance, what appears to be a low price offer may have serious penalty clauses that could compromise the apparent savings. Attractive renewable sources tend to be inconsistent in supply, so need to be used in conjunction with a traditional grid source. Off-grid solutions, such as when waste water processors install biogas generation systems or other companies use biomass and waste as a fuel for local CHP projects, tend to require high capital investment.

The ideal industrial energy management system then would be able to compare suppliers' offers in real time and switch between them in an instant while avoiding incurring penalty clauses. It would also manage on-site equipment such as pumps, fans, processing plant and conveyors for maximum energy efficiency.

A new solution meeting these needs has been developed jointly by Mitsubishi Electric and Avangreen. It enables industrial businesses to develop and implement sustainability strategies, energy efficiency and clean operations.

The new Hybrid Power Source (HPS) technology addresses the twin requirements of optimising energy usage and seamlessly combining different power sources. HPS allows optimal, simultaneous and automatic use of different power sources, maximising the use of the cheapest available power source to provide significant energy savings. It also enables renewable power sources – including off-grid supplies – to be used in conjunction with the grid connection.

HPS combines Avangreen's expertise in energy management with Mitsubishi Electric's proven electrical and automation technologies – including control software, inverters, low voltage switchgear, medium voltage switchgear, PLC systems, auxiliary systems and substation technology.

Example application delivers 30% energy reduction

HPS has been successfully used at a water pumping station that was previously drawing more than 1MWh from the grid, at an annual cost of approximately €160,000. Installing HPS has led to over 30% energy savings and an impressive ROI of less than four years for the entire project. HPS combined grid connection with on-site solar generation and optimised performance by maximising use of the PV plant and only drawing energy from the grid when needed. It also constantly adjusted the pump speed so that only the required amount of water was being pumped at any time.

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