We are working with industry and government to assess and demonstrate the viability of numerous technologies for improving the energy productivity across the manufacturing supply chain in Australia and to aid their demonstration and implementation.
Technologies and measures to improve energy productivity can be grouped into a number of broad categories.
What we refer to as the basics are the technology measures many would already be familiar with for delivery greater energy productivity and which will continue to be at the core of a majority of energy efficiency and productivity strategies:
variable speed drives
optimised pump sizing
Process heating and cooling accounts for a large proportion of energy use in manufacturing, particularly in the food and beverage sector. These systems are notoriously inefficient. Steam systems usually operate with an overall efficiency below 70%. Cooling systems often have issues with controls and set points. Upgrading equipment and replacing fossil fuel-powered process heating technologies with renewable energy-powered alternatives can result in significant energy savings.
So much energy optimisation and energy productivity improvement can be achieved through the implementation of smart, integrated energy metering and measurement systems.
Seeking yield improvements from waste recovery and by-product utilisation can not only create a cleaner source of energy, it stands to solve various waste issues and help organisations close the loop as we move towards a circular economy.
Equipment for energy recovery gives excellent return on investment and significantly improves energy productivity. Right now in Australia there is more than 5GW of heat recovery equipment installed across many sectors across Australia, including alumina, crude oil refining, chemicals, non-ferrous metals, sugar, dairy, beverage, HVAC and refrigeration systems. However, there is potential to add another 1-2GW of heat recovery capacity.
Integrated and centralised utilities are often more efficient than individual local systems. This is particularly the case for cogeneration and trigeneration systems that provide larger residential and commercial operations with significant power, heat and cooling needs. Other options for facilities integration include waste heat from data centres used for space heating in commercial buildings.