Industrial Energy Efficiency – How To Save Money By Cutting Energy Use

Industrial energy efficiency is often treated as an afterthought. Production quotas, lowering manufacturing costs, and profit margins usually take precedence. However, energy usage can add to your operating costs if you’re not actively trying to maximize your energy efficiency. Making improvements to various aspects of your business can reduce energy usage and its associated costs. 

This post will offer tips on how plant managers can improve energy efficiency and reduce the cost of high energy usage. We will also consider some machinery (i.e., energy efficient heaters) that can improve energy efficiency. 

Silver industrial heating units situated in a factory boiling room.Energy Efficient Heaters 

Your choice of machinery and equipment plays a significant role in your plant’s energy usage – they’re the lifeblood of your production. With that said, they can waste plenty of energy. When it comes to industrial energy efficiency, your choice of heaters can save or cost you. 

To reduce your energy costs, it’s essential to invest in energy efficient heaters. They reduce energy costs by capturing most of the heat they produce but also operating costs since they tend to have fewer components than non-energy efficient heaters. Ultimately, they reduce the carbon footprint of your business. 

Inline Heaters

Inline water heaters transfer heat generated from electrical power into a target fluid. That helps reduce energy waste since it reuses the heat it produces. Additionally, inline water heaters contain an immersion heater sheathed in an anti-corrosion metallic casing. This casing serves as insulation and prevents heat loss, which further keeps energy waste minimal. 

Infrared Radiant Heaters

Infrared radiant heaters rely on tubular heating elements to direct infrared heat to areas requiring heat. They rely entirely on electric power to do so. Infrared heaters produce clean, dirt-free energy and keep energy loss minimal. They also contain virtually no moving parts, making them cost-effective in terms of maintenance. 

Direct Steam Injection Heaters

Direct stream heaters rely on a heating method known as Direct Steam Injection (DSI). This energy-efficient heating method relies on steam bubbles injected directly into a target fluid, resulting in 100% thermal efficiency. By extension, you can save between 70%-80% of your energy costs. 

Implementing Lighting Controls & Energy-Efficient Lighting

The lighting in your facility can account for as much as 35-75% of your energy consumption. The first way to counteract this high energy consumption is to install energy-efficient lights in your facility. Of course, other methods can reduce the amount of energy your lights consume. Most of these methods directly lower consumption and extend the life of your lighting, so they don’t need frequent replacement. 

Industrial Energy Efficiency for Lighting 

  • Dimmers – Vary indoor light levels to reduce wastage and energy consumption. 
  • Motion Sensors – Turn lights on when they detect motion but then turn them off shortly after. 
  • Occupancy Sensors – Switch lights on when they detect room occupants and activity and then switch them back off when occupants leave. 
  • Timers – Programmable devices that turn lights on or off during times of the day (or night) you choose.  

Using these light control devices in combination with energy efficient lights will significantly reduce their power consumption. 

Service Motors, Filters & Compressors for Heaters 

Many industrial heaters come with moving parts and components that affect energy usage. For example, they may contain motors and filters, while other devices come with compressors. 

When these parts start to malfunction or experience wear-and-tear, they can render a machine less efficient. Ultimately, this forces the device to work harder, which, in turn, increases energy expenditure. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to address this issue. 

Service Machine Components 

  • Fix leaks in compressors and keep piping clean 
  • Change clogged or damaged filters
  • Repair damaged motors or replace them altogether

Following a regular maintenance schedule can help you find wear and tear faster and easier. 

If you do need to replace a heater, consider replacing it with an energy efficient heating method from the outset. Energy efficient heaters typically contain fewer components, parts which could break down and make them waste more energy. That saves you maintenance costs but, more importantly, energy costs. Some of the heaters mentioned above, such as our Wattco infrared, direct stream and inline heaters, offer a low-maintenance and energy efficient option for industrial settings. 

Reduce Loads Place on HVAC Systems

HVAC systems may contribute to significant energy losses when subject to high demands. That’s why it’s vital to reduce the strain placed on your plant’s HVAC system throughout your facility. 

Obstruction of air vents is a significant reason for wasted energy. Blocked ducts force you to pump more, which naturally wastes energy. Also, poorly sealed doors and windows lead to poor insulation, allowing hot or cold air to escape. 

Basic maintenance work can alleviate these problems. Unclogging vents allow them to pump air without obstruction so that you don’t need to increase the airflow into a space. Also, sealing doors and windows insulates an area better, preventing hot and cold air from escaping. 

Taking additional steps further reduces the load on your HVAC systems. For example, programmable thermostats can ensure that air is circulated only into occupied areas and at precise temperatures. Also, there is cogeneration, which entails using one fuel source to produce multiple forms of energy. 

Audit Your Facility for Industrial Energy Efficiency

When it comes to industrial energy efficiency, almost all industrial facilities can make improvements. Of course, knowing where to begin is a challenge for plant managers. It’s crucial to conduct an audit to determine what areas or machines need addressing to improve efficiency. 

With that said, keep in mind that almost any electric or gas-powered device has the potential to waste energy. The same is true for anything that involves or controls airflow. Addressing these areas is the first step to reducing your energy expenses. 

Of course, your choice of heaters also plays a key role in industrial energy efficiency. Here at Wattco, we offer a range of energy efficient heaters that reduce energy consumption and waste. Investing in these heaters will keep your energy costs down both in the short and long-term. 

Need help looking for an industrial heating unit for a specific business application? Get in touch with us for a consultation and quote.