Many qualify electricity from solar panels or wind mills, in a poetical mode, as free energy. There is no such a thing as free energy. It is renewable, but not free. It requires a large energy investment to produce solar panels or wind mills. It is imperative to use the proper tools to analyze any of the so called renewable sources of energy and dispel the notion that they represent free energy. The objective of those renewable sources is to have a positive future flow of output energy, and that flow of renewable energy should be able to pay the initial investment in non renewable energy in a short period of time, say a maximum of 3 years. This standard indicates that we have a real innovation. Any Government financial support does not change the reality of our objective, fast payback of the energy investment. This is the only objective we should have for a measure of reasonable sustainability and cut our dependency on foreign oil. As you can deduct, this definition of sustainability is independent of the price of oil, as it should be. Let’s check the situation of the three most common projects for renewable sources with the standard mentioned above. 1.Ethanol: The future flow of renewable energy is negative. There is nothing left to pay for the humongous required energy investments-1 Gallon of ethanol, uses 1.85 Gallons of oil- If we do nothing, we will be better off in terms of energy consumption and emissions now and in the future. The government support, with all their financial help, cannot change the negative energy balance and the enormous increase in present emissions. Our goal is not fulfilled. 2.Wind Mills: The future flow of renewable energy is positive. However the very large investments in energy to engineer and build the units, including power lines, have an energy payback beyond 30 years. This investment does not avoid the investment in carbon, gas, or nuclear power plants to cover the ~70% of the time they are not producing electricity. We are increasing dramatically the power consumption and emissions as we build the units now, for a meager yearly renewable volume of power. . Our goal is not fulfilled 2.Solar panels: The future flow of renewable energy is positive. The pay back for the initial energy consumption is beyond 50 years. Solar panels produce energy in average ~20% of the time. Any standard technology, let’s say small generators consuming natural gas, cost 1/30 of the energy cost of a solar panel for an equal total output. We seem to be digging our own grave with gusto. None of those projects comply with the most elementary energy objective we have as a country; on the contrary, they produce a considerable spike of energy usage now, that could be avoided, and I doubt that they will ever have a proper pay back in created energy. There is no wealth creation in these activities, no energy savings, only an immediate transfer of money from the Taxpayers to somebody else, destroying other Industries in the meantime. Due to all kind of government money injected into these projects, and the high price of oil, money could be made. But if the price of oil goes below a certain threshold, boom, the project is no longer viable. See T. Boone Pickens suspending his wind mill project because oil went below US$60. Or the several bankruptcies in ethanol due to the higher price of corn in spite of all the subsidies! Millions of barrels of oil that we cannot afford to loose, thrown to the wind. None of those programs complies with cutting CO2 emissions, a suspected objective anyway. They make our dependence of foreign oil much worst, not better, using considerable high level engineering resources for naught. There are enormous opportunities in energy savings and production in many Industries, with a positive balance of energy consumption and paybacks anywhere from 4 months to one year.
Oggi venerdì 1° dicembre 2017 al Collegio dei Geometri si è svolto l’incontro sul tema “Esperto in gestione dell’energia: la figura ed il ruolo professionale” tenuto da Fulvio Restori e Luca Vecchiato. Ottima la risposta del pubblico.
Seminario sulle opportunità del nuovo Conto Termico 2.0 a Palmanova il 17 maggio. Organizzato da CNA Regionale FVG con la collaborazione di EnergiCna, lo staff di ECIPA Nordest che si occupa di servizi in materia di energia. Buona partecipazione e grande interesse per i nostri servizi!
Per info www.energicna.it
Con il 5 dicembre 2015 si è esaurito l’obbligo di diagnosi energetiche introdotto dal D.Lgs. 102/14 per le Grandi Imprese e per le energivore. L’obbligo è ciclico con cadenza quadriennale, la maggior parte dei soggetti dovrà ripetere la diagnosi nel 2019. L’adempimento sta avendo uno strascico di sanzioni per i soggetti obbligati che non hanno caricato la diagnosi nei termini stabiliti.
Ma il D. Lgs. 102/14, all’art. 8 comma 7 ha anche stabilito che “I risparmi di energia per i quali non siano stati riconosciuti i titoli di efficienza energetica rispetto all’anno precedente e in condizioni normalizzate, riscontrabili dai bilanci energetici predisposti da imprese che attuano un sistema di gestione dell’energia conforme alla norma ISO 50001, e dagli audit previsti dal presente decreto sono comunicati dalle imprese all’ENEA e concorrono al raggiungimento degli obbiettivi di cui al presente articolo.»
Quindi se ne ricava che:
- I soggetti interessati sono quelli che sono obbligati alle diagnosi e tutte le imprese che hanno implementato un sistema di gestione dell’energia secondo la ISO 50001;
- I risparmi totali conseguiti per ogni anno solare, dovranno essere comunicati ad ENEA con cadenza annuale, entro il 31 marzo dell’anno successivo al conseguimento dei risparmi stessi.
- I risparmi da rendicontare sono tutti quelli riconducibili non soltanto ad interventi di efficientamento realizzati sul ciclo produttivo (tecnologici), ma anche al semplice risparmio energetico derivante da qualunque modifica, anche comportamentale, della gestione del ciclo produttivo stesso;
Occorre ricordare inoltre che i consumi devono essere “normalizzati” tramite fattori che devono essere scelti in modo da essere rappresentativi dell’attività del sito, come ad esempio:
- Kg di produzione per aziende produttive;
- Km percorsi per flotte aziendali;
- GG (estivi e/o invernali) per aree aperte al pubblico e climatizzate
Ultima nata della famiglia 50000 la norma ISO 50002 descrive le modalità di esecuzione degli energy audits, fondamentali per ogni intervento efficenziale.
ISO 50002:2014 specifies the process requirements for carrying out an energy audit in relation to energy performance. It is applicable to all types of establishments and organizations, and all forms of energy and energy use.
ISO 50002:2014 specifies the principles of carrying out energy audits, requirements for the common processes during energy audits, and deliverables for energy audits.
ISO 50002:2014 does not address the requirements for selection and evaluation of the competence of bodies providing energy audit services, and it does not cover the auditing of an organization’s energy management system, as these are described in ISO 50003.
ISO 50002:2014 also provides informative guidance on its use.
When you walk into a big industrial plant, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the question “where on earth is all the energy going?” When I was a young engineer, I certainly was overwhelmed and I spent a lot of time doing detailed work on unimportant things. With most things in life, the 80/20 rule is true and it is true for energy usage as well.
If you are adopting a systematic approach to energy management, you need to know:
- how much energy you buy in (your energy sources) and
- what is your end-use of that energy, and in particular, your significant energy uses (SEUs)
When you know the end uses of your energy in industrial processes or in buildings, you are in a position to make very dramatic energy reductions – instead of tinkering around in the utilities building.
In an ideal world:
- you would like to plot your Sankey (energy flow) diagram
- then identify your biggest energy saving opportunities by focusing on the significant energy uses
- In a breakfast cereal plant, we found that 70% of all of the energy was used in the drying of finished cereal. This made us focus on energy saving opportunities around the recovery of heat and latent heat from the dryer exhaust.
- In a high-end pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, we found that 80% of all of the end-use energy was used for climate control of clean rooms. This caused us to focus on HVAC, scheduling of clean room operation and re-examining regulatory requirements.
- In a university, we found that energy use was very widely fragmented and that most energy use was under the control of staff in local departments. This caused us to focus the energy management program around training and communication activities for employees and students.
- In a supermarket chain, we found that only 2% of energy was used for lighting of outdoor car parks. Before this analysis, some supermarkets had been investing time and effort on energy reduction in car park lighting because customers had complained about apparent energy wastage. After the analysis, the supermarkets re-focused on the bigger energy uses such as refrigeration, chilled displays and interior lighting.
When it comes to figuring out your end-use energy, the two common approaches are:
- Calculation – by energy specialists using the equipment power ratings, operating schedules, advanced calculation techniques, sometimes including simulation
- Metering – designing, tendering and substantially investing in automated metering systems
Both these approaches require a substantial investment of time and/or money – and this can delay your start on taking energy-saving actions.
The question is this: would you get better value for money by focusing on the most important energy uses from the start, rather than making an equal distribution of time and money across the entire plant?
If you are hiring energy analysis specialists, you could focus them on the biggest energy consumers.
Regarding metering, too many people “over- meter” too early and with the result that they have poorly designed and unbalanced metering systems – and they spend too much money on the wrong thing. For example, I very often see industrial plants that have hundreds of electrical meters and only one or two thermal meters – even though electrical /thermal energy use is split 50-50!
What is the value of guesstimation and visualization?
For different sectors within industry and buildings, there are research results available which will give a rough first estimate of the energy breakdown for your sector. So, why not search for results on the web and then apply the percentage breakdown to your site.
If you are in a very specialized industry, perhaps it is you who is the expert. Perhaps you have a rough idea yourself, from your experience.
Here is a Sankey diagram which shows all energy uses and clearly highlights significant energy uses (it also shows which of these are metered).
Now, can you visualize it? When you see your breakdown clearly, you can see what energy is “unaccounted” – i.e. you do not know where it is used! For example, I know of a manufacturing operation with long experience of making project-based energy-saving improvements. Only when they did a Sankey-style energy balance did they discover that 30% of their energy was being used in their water treatment plant at the back of their site (and “unaccounted”) – this demonstrates the importance of a top-down analysis of their energy use!
When you visualize, you can also decide which energy streams need extra metering and which ones just need an improved estimate – and depending on the size of the energy flow.
When you visualize, you can motivate your management by showing graphically key areas of energy cost reduction.
Bottom line: Yes – guesstimation will save you time and money. So, make your first guesstimate now, find a way to visualize it, and get focused on key areas for: saving energy now; improving your estimates; and investment in metering!
Paul F. Monaghan, Ph.D., is CEO of Enerit. Paul is a 30-year veteran of energy management throughout North America and Western Europe. As Enerit CEO, he is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Enerit energy software products. Enerit is a global leader in delivery of innovative systematic energy management system (EnMS) software to support Energy Star, ISO 50001, SEP and all EnMS based on the ISO 50001 approach. Enerit EnMS software is complementary to and integrates with monitoring and energy reporting software. Enerit software includes dynamic Sankey diagrams to make it easier to get started with a systematic EnMS approach.