EMS knows who’s been naughty, who’s been nice

Energy management systems (EMS) can help make energy wasting performance visible and correctable, before it shows up in your electric bill.

Plant operators can easily tell if a pump or fan is not working as it’s supposed to. But it’s not always clear if that asset is performing its job while using energy as efficiently as it should. Identifying opportunities to improve energy efficiency was among the top challenges in a survey of 233 energy-hungry process industry ABB customers.

Energy management systems make such underperformance visible by establishing meaningful targets and then seeing how actual performance compares to the targets. For example, if a motor-driven pump station that should be pumping 150 gallons per hour is only pumping 50 gallons per hour, it needs to work three times longer than a pump station running at ideal efficiency to do the same work.

Although the motor may appear to be functioning correctly to the operator, they may not be able to see all the energy being wasted. If you add up all the different fans, motors and pumps running in various processes throughout a typical process plant, this can add up to significant wasted energy over the course of a production day.

ABB’s cpmPlus Energy Manager system is a software package that monitors and targets energy performance, so operators can take corrective action in real time, before problems show themselves in an energy bill. Through an easy to read graphical dashboard with alarms, operators and managers can see underperforming equipment with specific views of their actual process.

By using consistent reporting and display templates, patterns in energy consumption can be identified within and between process areas and even between several different sites. The system provides a dashboard of key performance indicators such as energy cost, energy efficiency, and CO2 emissions.

Monitoring and targeting in only the first module of cpmPlus Energy Manager. A second module helps process industries make smarter energy purchases at the best possible price by accurately forecasting demand to production plans.

The third module optimizes the flows of energy through a plant by creating a model of all the economic suppliers and consumers of multiple utilities (electricity, water, steam, gas). This is especially beneficial to process industries that generate their own power, and need to make daily decisions on what they should generate vs. buy off the grid while accounting for unanticipated changes as well as spot market energy prices.

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About the author

Philip Lewin

I'm one of the many people sharing ABB's passion and great stories for robotics and industrial ingenu-ity. It’s exciting for me to be at the leading edge of a new age for one of the most fundamental things that people do - we make things. At the same time, the awareness has never been greater that economic progress, higher living standards and new ways of making things cannot come at the expense of our environment. I’m proud to contribute to this exciting and important discussion.
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