The development and implementation of an energy management information system for industries
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There is a global drive to reduce energy consumption and improve energy eﬃciency. These drivers include the taxation of carbon emissions and the increase in energy costs. Companies therefore need to improve their operational eﬃciency to reduce operational costs. Systems and initiatives are therefore implemented to reduce energy consumption. References in this study shows that the performance of initiatives deteriorates if they are not monitored and maintained continuously. An energy management system could help to sustain initiative performance if it follows the plan-do-check-act cycle of continuous improvement described by the ISO 50001 standard. Part of this cycle includes gathering, analysing and reporting measurement data in order to manage energy performance. However, this process is time and resource intensive. Commer-cial energy management information systems exist that aid this process. However, none of these systems include models that can analyse bill data automatically to identify risks and opportunities. Furthermore, only a few of them support eﬃciency initiative performance monitoring. This study therefore develops and implements an energy management information system that aids to improve the energy eﬃciency of large industries in South Africa. The study is presented in the form of three articles, which combine to address the topic. The ﬁrst article focuses on the need for an energy management system. Literature regarding the drivers and barriers of energy management is investigated. The research shows that the most important beneﬁt of the system is the ability to process and analyse large volumes of data, which frees resource time to gain knowledge of the energy system and ﬁnd ways in which it can be optimised further. References mentioned in the second article show that data available in electricity bills could provide valuable information. Suppliers provide bills freely, which makes it a reliable data source even if the consumer’s own measurements are lacking. However, the operational scale of large energy consumers means they have many electricity bills. This leads to the need for a system that processes, organises and analyses electricity bills automatically. The system could help to avoid risks such as cost inﬂation and reactive power penalties as well as aid in identifying cost-saving opportunities such as time-of-use optimisation and notiﬁed maximum demand reduction. Finally, when the holistic system is understood and the identiﬁed eﬃciency initiatives imple-mented, the need arise to monitor the performance of the system and initiatives. The third article focuses on the development and implementation of a generic performance monitoring system. The system automatically collects, processes and stores the data related to the ini-tiative. It calculates the performance of the initiatives based on the conﬁguration set up via a web application. The same web application presents the performance analysis in various forms and allows the creation of reports, which are signed oﬀ by stakeholders. This system is in line with the principles of the International Performance Measurement and Veriﬁcation Protocol. The study achieves its goal to develop and implement an energy management information system for industries. Results show that the two mining groups that have implemented the system process 9.3 million eﬃciency initiative data points every year. A particular mining group implemented the eﬃciency initiative performance monitoring system for 81 initiatives over 24 diﬀerent sites. In the ﬁrst 29 months since the implementation of the ﬁrst initiative, the mining group lowered their average electricity demand by 14.8 MW, which resulted in cumulative cost savings of more than R170 million.
- Engineering