Office 0027 16 362-4659
Fax 0027 16 362-1127
Dave Bekink, 083 610 0343
dave@natpower.co.za

Sean Burton Durham, 082 895 2274
sean@natpower.co.za

 

Project Process

The modern trend is to ensure that the control and data acquisition system at any industrial site monitors all variables. These variables are derived from an energy management system. We will now overview some key aspects of the project in order to emphasise the capabilities of the system. In particular we will review the power metering, PLC and SCADA aspects before concluding with some general observations concerning the benefits to you. Let us start with a consideration of why it has become so important to monitor electrical power as well as the traditional process variables!

Why Monitor?

The most important part of an electrical energy management system (EMS) is the correct design of the system. Many companies offer equipment for electrical maximum demand control but guarantee no further savings. This is why it is crucial for the plant engineer to make the correct choice of equipment and to determine which loads are controllable. Arriving at an estimate of the savings that can be made beforehand will be invaluable to the plant engineer's financial planning. In order to design an effective (energy management system) EMS National Power suggests that the following design criteria be met:

  • Know what is required by the system.
  • Know what the expendable budget is.
  • Know what the technical capabilities of the responsible maintenance personnel will be.
  • Know which loads are controllable and for what period of time.
  • Know the savings potential once the system has been implemented.

In today's age of information technology, the latest methods available should be used to achieve this knowledge; with all the information at one's fingertips the design of the system can be optimized. Generally, this will require expert assistance, but in order to gather the necessary information the following steps are crucial:

  • A full on site survey, including an understanding of the production process.
  • Collection of historical data, such as monthly electricity consumption summaries obtained by analyzing electrical bills.
  • Monitoring the supply of the plant for a cycle of seven days, this will allow identification of cost saving techniques.

Nevertheless, the system will be required to provide an analysis of your active power, reactive power and the maximum demand consumption. The utilization of the system will provide an ongoing insight into problem areas, which can then be addressed to realize savings on the electricity bill and improve maintenance service and productivity. This can be accomplished through careful planning and having an intimate knowledge of the system.

Project Implementation

Close co-operation between you and the project team is an essential factor to ensure the successful implementation of the project. This close co-operation has the added advantage of providing your IT staff with in-depth knowledge of the system. Extensive testing and simulation that involves you is done before the completed product is delivered to the site to ensure that commissioning time is kept to the absolute minimum. System operation and maintenance training is given to users and technicians respectively to ensure that proper utilization of the energy management system is achieved.

Savings & Benefits

A number of productivity gains and cost savings have been achieved by the implementation of the energy management system. The system supplies accurate up to the minute billing information which enables you to verify Eskom's billing. In addition a monthly power bill is generated from the system for each department and serves as an incentive to reduce electricity consumption and to rectify bad energy consumption practices. Many other 'click' reports supply statistical information on power usage which empowers you to take further action to reduce costs. Easy remote identification of substation problems reduces call out time for maintenance staff and prevents unnecessary commuting between remote substations to rectify problems. Automatic generation of billing reports is now done, eliminating the need to manually read meters, which is susceptible to human error. The system has already paid for itself since commissioning and continues to provide the basis for significant savings from month to month.

Conclusion

The system is designed to cater for future expansion, in addition, maximum demand prediction is provided to enable you to incorporate load shedding in the future. The end product is a unique system tailor made to your requirements that provides accurate, to the second, real time use of billing information. Having a secure communications platform, with effective electrical monitoring software gives a completely expandable and manageable environment. The monitoring system allows insight into whether the cost saving control system is performing optimally.

TAKE NOTE:

Monitoring energy usage - and optimising that usage - is as important as monitoring and controlling traditional process variables. The power monitoring system will pay for itself since commissioning because of the savings now possible.

 

Site Investigation

A full on site survey, including an understanding of the production process.

Site Investigation

Site Monitoring

Site Monitoring

Monitoring the supply of the plant for a cycle of seven days, this will allow identification of cost saving techniques.

Site Installation

Site Installation

Installation inspection of Energy Management System