Motor system energy consumption often puts the emphasis on usage by pumps, fans, and compressors, but there are many additional energy saving opportunities that require more of a system view. (Source: US Department of Energy)
apresher - I noticed that starting to pick up about 5 years ago. Prior to that, customers who wanted energy monitoring meters were few and far between. All of a sudden, it seemed like everybody wanted them.
Until recently, energy was viewed as a fixed expense to there was not as much focus on how to reduce utility bills. Now with some of the Ethernet-based energy protocols, one long-term goal is to measure the energy used to create a product so it can be added to the bill of materials. Would be a giant step forward.
Interesting point about efficiency versus wastefulness, TJ. It's amazing to think that many factories are indeed so wasteful, especially when it directly affects their own bottom lines. Unfortunately, I believe you're right when you say that the factories need to do their part and turn off systems when not in use.
a.saji, I agree with you that putting machinery into low power mode during idle times seems like a no-brainer. Newer network energy control protocols (PROFIenergy, SERCOS Energy and CIP Energy) are just coming onstream and offer a path to achieving these benefits.
Ann, There has been an emphasis on replacing drives on fans and pumps with higher efficiency solutions. And that will continue. In U.S. factories, motor-driven systems account for over 60 percent of the total energy consumed, and roughly 25 percent of total U.S. overall energy use. Because these numbers are so big, the opportunities/challenges are large and diverse.
"Some of the new developments that would automatically put machinery into Sleep mode when not in use"
Apresher: I guess this is done to save whatever the energy left when the machine is in idle mode. To be honest I feel it's a good method. We should save in whatever the method possible for us so the future generation can benefit out of it.
It's interesting to see system-wide energy saving strategies entering into the design of industrial systems, after a (relatively) long history in electronics design. I'd guess many of the system-wide issues and strategies would be similar, such as a sleep mode. TJ mentions factory systems, such as HVAC systems: haven't these already been energy-reduced, as part of/in concert with the effort to reduce energy in the data center over the last decade or so?
TJ, Some of the new developments that would automatically put machinery into Sleep mode when not in use (production pauses) should begin to provide some of the practical solutions you're talking about. But not all of the solutions need to be high tech as you point out.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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