Real-Time Electricity Monitoring

Real-Time Electricity Monitoring

Real-time electricity monitoring is an important tool in understanding when and where electricity is being used, and to find energy saving opportunities.

Traditionally, the only information building owners have had access to is what’s on their electric bill – a total power consumption value (kWh) for the past 30-60 days. It’s electricity that was consumed some time ago… nothing to do at that point but pay the bill. This applies to all building types, whether it be a residential, commercial, industrial, or government building.

 

Electric Bill

Electric Bill

If you’re not happy with the bill amount and want to do something about it then you can certainly look at energy saving tips, but beyond that the only way to understand why your electric bill is high is to see the full electricity usage details with a real-time monitor such as Eyedro. Electric utilities that have deployed smart meters sometimes share smart meter information via their website but it is still in 15 minute blocks and lags by 24 hours – better, but still not as good as real-time feedback. With real-time feedback you’re able to learn how often equipment is on, and how much it costs to operate, especially the larger more expensive power hogs. Here’s an example of a 20kW heater that the owner knew about but did not know how often it was actually turning on.

20kW Electric Heaters

20kW Electric Heaters

At far less power and cost but equally interesting is the aquarium heater example shown here cycling 24 hours a day. The owner certainly enjoys their 80 gallon aquarium, but was surprised to learn the heater alone cost approximately $7 in electricity each month. Power consumption from the water pumps and lights (not shown here) increased the monthly cost further.

 

Aquarium Heater 280W

Aquarium Heater 280W

With real-time electricity monitoring you are provided with actionable intelligence because you can see exactly how much electricity is being consumed at any given point in time, and then keep an eye on consumption and costs before the bill arrives. No more surprises when your bill shows up!

70% Energy Savings Achieved

70% Energy Savings Achieved

70% energy savings is quite an accomplishment, and one that exemplifies the benefit of doing energy saving projects in your organization. The larger the facility and electricity bill, the greater the opportunity to find savings and the greater the payback. This particular company is already profitable and drives awareness and energy saving initiatives as a social responsibility. This particular project was certainly a success.

The company operates a factory with approximately 100 employees between the office, warehouse, and production line. The production line requires the use of four large 3-phase pumps to move liquid throughout the building and production process. As part of the energy saving project, the team installed the Eyedro Business electricity monitor to measure the baseline electricity consumption and cost. Capturing proof of the before and after results was a requirement of the project for obvious reasons.

Before the project, the pumps ran continuously at a constant speed consuming a combined 800kWh per day, or $80/day if we assume $0.10/kWh. That’s approximately $2,400/month and $28,800/year. The project task was to install variable speed controllers to better match pump speed with demand. As can be seen below, the installation of the new controllers occurred on June 12th and was optimized by June 14th.

 

70% Energy Savings as Measured by Eyedro Electricity Monitor

70% Energy Savings as Measured by Eyedro Electricity Monitor

The project reduced the daily electricity consumption by the four pumps from 800kWh to 200kWh, achieving a 70% energy savings and a cost savings of approximately $20,000 per year. Hidden benefits include less heat generated (which would have required air conditioning costs to offset the heat), and less wear on the motors. The team celebrated their success but didn’t stop there. Next stop is to upgrade the warehouse lighting, a project that is certain to achieve additional energy savings.

 

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