For many manufacturing facilities, the change from summer to fall and winter brings with it increased energy costs as plant operators look to maintain steady operating conditions and keep costs under control. Here are five ways you can control your facility’s energy consumption during the coldest parts of the calendar year.
1. Reduce air compressor use
Almost every facility utilizes compressed air to some degree, and its usage can balloon if you’re not careful. Consider your production process flow and see if there are spots where compressed air isn’t needed. Add synchronization to your compressors to better control usage and address any leaks.
2. Check building insulation
Air leaks are often the biggest culprit of wasted energy when it comes to heating a building. Take the time to check for air leaks and invest in proper insulation so you have to spend less money heating your workspaces. This can also apply to proper glazing of windows and insulation on ceilings.
3. Reuse waste energy
Several types of machinery give off heat as a byproduct of regular operation. In many cases, this heat can be reused in other areas of the facility, such as heating employee workspaces. You can also utilize recirculation systems on your building’s intake fans to reduce energy consumption.
4. Utilize variable speed motors
If your equipment doesn’t need to operate at a consistent speed for proper operation, be sure to utilize variable speed motors. A variable speed motor will sharply reduce energy consumption for non-peak hours, adding up to considerable savings over a quarterly budget.
5. Add timers or sensors to lights
Adding timers to outdoor lights to shut off during the daytime or adding occupancy sensors to indoor spaces that aren’t frequently used are easy ways to shave off inefficient energy use in a manufacturing facility. The shift in seasons is also a great time to make sure you’re using compact fluorescent lighting instead of incandescent. It’s upwards of 4x as efficient as incandescent lighting.
With a little planning and auditing, your facility can make it through the cold winter without seeing a large spike in unnecessary energy consumption. What are some ways your facility saves on energy costs during the winter? Let us know in the comments section below.