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Reducing Excess Power Consumption With New Technologies

May 31, 2023

With energy costs rising worldwide, reducing power consumption is one of the easiest ways to lower your operating costs and boost your profit margins. The days of cheap power are likely behind us, meaning that companies must focus on implementing new energy generation methods while also slashing electricity consumption. For many businesses, energy use has been an afterthought. Fortunately, new technologies are making it easier to lower your electric bill without sacrificing productivity.

Reducing Power Consumption

Reducing Excess Power Consumption With New Technologies

There are several new technologies that can cut power use while also making your business more efficient. Even older equipment can be retrofitted with devices that enable these new technologies. The goal is to fully digitize your operations so that your equipment can be controlled by smart computers instead of simple knobs and switches. Not only does this reduce your power draw as your equipment uses only the energy it needs, but it will also optimize your staff’s working hours.

First, we’ll consider how you can make your operations run more efficiently by controlling your equipment intelligently. Preventative maintenance is another technology that every industrial business should adopt as fast as possible. There are smarter heating and cooling solutions that you should consider as well. Finally, you can leverage digital business management tools to collect more data about your operations and optimize all of your business activity.

Smart Controls Can Disable Devices to Save Power

When looking to reduce power consumption, you should focus first on your biggest power draws. If your machines run even when there’s no work to do, they add large amounts to your electric bills. However, many companies find that ramp up and cool down times make it impractical to shut off equipment periodically throughout the day. Plus, as many machines require human intervention, there may not be staff available to turn off or start up equipment.

A digital transformation solves these problems. You can connect smart devices to power lines or even to the controls of your equipment and program routines so that they start and stop automatically according to other inputs in the system. For example, a machining line could have a sensor where raw materials are fed. When this sensor doesn’t detect any material, it could signal the other machines down the line to shut down, saving valuable power.

Modern Motors Allow for Variable Power Draw

Many older devices have two modes: on and off. Either they run at full power, or they don’t run at all. Air conditioners often work this way, even though they would be more efficient if they operated constantly at lower speeds. While new devices have incorporated more variable timing components to allow them to operate more efficiently, older equipment typically lacks this feature. However, you can add it yourself and make your equipment smarter.

By retrofitting older equipment with sensors and electrical controls, you can dictate how your devices run. An air conditioner could be operated at low speeds once the building is already cooled down, keeping it at the desired temperature without consuming as much power. For some machines, you could replace motors entirely with smarter ones that allow for more control, further reducing power use. By going digital, all of this can be automated with code.

Predictive Maintenance Reduces Energy Loss From Degraded Equipment

As your equipment ages, it becomes less efficient due to degradation. Reduced efficiency often manifests itself through vibration, which causes the machine to consume more energy to perform the same tasks. Vibration also tends to increase heat, which further reduces efficiency. Keeping your equipment in top condition will reduce your energy bills. However, traditional maintenance schedules struggle to accomplish this task effectively. On the other hand, predictive maintenance results in much greater efficiency.

Predictive maintenance works by analyzing machine data. You program the ideal operating parameters, rig up sensors to your equipment, and let a computer analyze the data. When the computer notices that a machine is drifting out of its ideal parameters, it will alert your engineers so that they can schedule maintenance for that piece of equipment. This method means you only service machines that actually need attention, making all of your equipment run optimally.

Improving Heat Management Leads to Efficiency Gains

Excess heat increases the power consumption of your equipment, which in turn increases heat output. This vicious cycle can be mitigated by smart cooling solutions and proper maintenance. Companies are using several new technologies to manage heat. One method that has gained popularity is centralized industrial cooling. Rather than cool each device separately, a single large system takes advantage of economies of scale. IT and telecom companies have embraced this strategy in their data centers to great results.

Heat can also be useful, so letting it go to waste only to produce heat intentionally elsewhere results in redundant energy consumption. Water heating, for instance, can be accomplished by running water pipes behind solar panels. This cools the solar panels, making them more efficient, while also warming up water for regular use. Heat exchangers can similarly transfer excess heat from machines to areas where it’s needed, lowering your energy bills and extending the life of your equipment.

Digital Business Management Reduces Waste Across the Board

Your day-to-day business consumes energy, too. Computers and offices consume lots of power between lighting, HVAC, and running devices. With business intelligence tools, you can collect data on your energy usage and automate power management. Even simple adjustments like automating your lighting to dim when the sun shines through your windows can cut your power draw considerably. Automating lighting to shut off when no one is in the office ensures that you don’t waste energy overnight.

These are just a few of the latest technologies that companies are employing to reduce energy use and make their operations more efficient. Cutting back on energy can actually improve performance. Speak to digital transformation experts who can help you implement the latest tools to manage your business more efficiently.

Using Renewable Energy Resources such as Solar PV Systems

Last, but not least, renewable energy systems, including Solar PV systems, are essential to lowering the costs of energy.

Solar PV systems harness the power of the sun to generate electricity, making them a sustainable and environmentally friendly option. By installing solar PV systems, individuals and businesses can significantly reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources, thereby decreasing their energy costs in the long run. Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite and subject to price fluctuations, solar energy is freely available and can be harnessed for electricity generation at a relatively low cost. This makes solar PV systems a cost-effective choice for reducing energy expenses in the long term.

Additionally, solar PV systems provide an opportunity for individuals and businesses to become more self-sufficient in meeting their energy needs. By generating their own electricity through solar panels, they can reduce their reliance on the grid and avoid the associated costs. This is particularly beneficial in areas with high electricity prices or unreliable power supply, as solar PV systems provide a reliable and affordable alternative. Furthermore, solar PV systems can also generate additional income through net metering or feed-in tariffs. Net metering allows individuals to sell excess electricity generated by their solar panels back to the grid, resulting in credits or reduced electricity bills. Feed-in tariffs, on the other hand, provide a fixed payment for every unit of electricity generated by the solar PV system. These incentives not only offset the initial investment in installing solar panels but also contribute to further cost savings over time.

SAAB RDS is the perfect choice for your technological requirements. Get in touch with us to discover how we can overhaul your organization and keep you ahead of your competitors.