A sustainable solution
When people talk about energy reduction and management through waste minimisation
techniques, the governing factors relative to the success, or otherwise, of a
project of this nature is the ability of the company, or more specifically the
local management, to sustain the efforts on a long-term basis. Recognising the
danger of losing this focus, Aqua Enviro have developed a front end software programme
to be used in conjunction with many data capture and processing systems to depict
real time energy costs and consumption rates, as operations manager,
Mark Lowe, discusses.
The key to long term success is the availability of real energy costs to the
people who have the influence to dictate local policy and affect change within
the business. The difficulty is that data capture and depiction for energy is
often historic and can be meaningless unless it can be accompanied by product
throughput data. Aqua Enviro’s programme is a user friendly system that gives
meaningful information as a useful tool and not a complicated nightmare that
requires input from several departments and can be a full time job amongst many
The front screen will depict totals of individual utilities which are made
up from multi-meter inputs in back screens. All the site meters will have a
pulse output which can be hard wired or transmitted to a data capture device
which will then process the information into a format that can be used in the
software programme. The main meters on the front screen are made up from inputs
from all the meters in the chain that are measuring the particular utility.
Gas, for example, will be depicted on the front screen as a total for all the
gas that is used on the site but it may be made up of sub meters measuring the
- the boiler
- the plant
- domestic heating
- domestic water heating
- individual plant apparatus or other equipment.
By selecting each sub-meter individually the current and cumulative usage will
be displayed and will also lead to back screens which can be programmed with
utility cost and measurement units, which can have several values for day or
night tariffs and hold separate value for volumetric variations. It is also
important to note that fuels can be bought, used and paid for in different units,
gas can be bought in M3, burned as Therms, and paid for in kWH.
By selecting ‘the boiler’ from the above list, the screen would not only display
the boiler gas meter, it would have the option to display the boiler plant as
an energy account centre or EAC.
Energy account centre
The EAC would depict the boiler plant in its layout form and depict all the
sub-meters that make up the total energy cost for the boiler plant, i.e.
- Other fuel if required
Once again the EAC can be measured against product throughput and EAC efficiencies
can be calculated using fuel in and volume/pressures of steam out formulae.
Monitoring and targeting are key watchwords in waste minimisation information
and can now be produced to aid in cost reduction initiatives.
A unique feature of the software is that it can be linked to a series of environmental
management software that is available for each individual EAC. It can produce
risk assessments for each EAC and will advise in statutory regulations that
govern various operations within industry, i.e. HSG 70 for control of Legionella.
The software not only provides a waste minimisation tool for assessing the effects
of monitoring and targeting, but also it can provide the site Health & Safety
officer with a link to comprehensive information as to the legal and environmental
responsibilities with which he or she needs to comply. The programme is also
password protected to prevent confidential information being accessed and to
prevent the set up screens containing the price/volume information being tampered
In summary, the myth that it costs huge amounts of capital spend to reduce
the energy bill can be shattered. Waste minimisation is best served by the phrase,
‘people, systems and technology’ with the technology sector only being explored
when waste created from the first two have been eradicated. If waste minimisation
is to be successful on an industrial site then it must be driven at all times,
real time information is vital, and the skill of an individual to focus the
site team can prove invaluable in keeping the momentum of the project.
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