Why Are Energy Monitoring Systems Important?

There are many energy monitoring systems available on the market. What do these systems do? Basically they monitor energy usage in a facility. This is a very critical system that most companies do not have in place. The only resource they have is their power bill that comes once a month. They see their monthly costs rising, but they do not know where they can conserve energy. Imagine operating a company without an accounting system. You do not know your income or your expenditures. This is the same for a company with no energy monitoring system; they have no clue that there are energy efficiencies in the company. Now some companies prefer to get an energy audit, rather than investing in a system. But what use is that in a year, in 5 years. Equipment changes, people change and all that knowledge is lost. If you install a system that tracks energy usage, then it is there for a very long time, and it works 24/7.

How Does It Work?

The system will measure energy usage on phases in the main distribution panel. This is done be installing CT’s (Current Transformers) on electrical loads in the main distribution panel. The information then is fed to an internet based interface that allows users to download reports, change set-points and compare energy usage by size, location etc. In addition, energy monitoring systems can be used to verify energy usage reductions from “energy saving” equipment like new compressors, lighting, control systems etc.

The energy manager can do facility benchmarking, view energy usage by equipment type and verify savings from commissioned facilities. The energy monitoring system made by EG Energy Controls is capable of monitoring up to 2500 stores within the company’s network. The system can monitor any desired electrical, gas or oil loads.

Examples of loads that can be measured are:
Main entrance
Low and Medium temperature compressors (can monitor pending equipment failure)
Motors (can monitor pending equipment failure)
Parking Lot Lights
Water usage
Oil/Propane Usage

The system will monitor equipment kWh usage and send e-mails to alert the Energy Manager of abnormal energy usage. The system will also contact the weather station daily to gather weather information to allow it to accurately predict energy usage for the next day and avoid inaccurate alerts. This is a very important feature, since the problem with some energy monitoring systems is that they send redundant emails that end up annoying people.

The other good aspect of an energy monitoring system is the ability to foresee pending equipment failures. This is called motor performance tracking:

Motor performance. Tracking motor current levels and unbalances is a key component of a good online monitoring system. Sometimes it's found that current level is defined as the average current level for all phases. For predictive maintenance reasons, however, the highest line current level developed is of much greater importance. The heat in each motor winding is interdependent on the amount of current that flows through it. Hence, the weakest point of the motor's insulation with respect to current level is the phase with the largest current

Energy Monitoring and Energy Awareness

It is amazing how energy usage drops in a facility when employees know that there is a system that is monitoring what they are doing. Since the system can also be used to monitor sections of a facility, or even individual departments, people become naturally more energy conscious. For example, turning of lights when they leave the room or not leaving the computer on at night. These may seem to be minor changes; however the mindset is already being changed to become more energy conscious. These people then come to their own home and start noticing energy efficiencies, and they start doing changes in their own home.

Here the author Julia Herniak prefer the company EG Energy Controls, have installed many energy Monitoring and Energy Management for their clients and these customers have seen huge energy reductions.

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