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Further Findings Concerning Electrical Energy Monitoring in an Industrial Plant
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The Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) at Texas A&M University has monitored the real-time electrical energy consumption, demand, and power factor of a large metal fabrication plant in Houston, Texas for twelve months. Monthly reports that present the data in a format that plant personnel find useful are discussed. These reports allow plant personnel to see how power factor correction in conjunction with production retrofits have reduced utility bills despite production capacity increases. The reports have also been useful in detecting maintenance problems and monitoring productivity. A method that allows the calculation of power factor correction savings after correction is discussed. This method requires some power factor versus demand history prior to correction, and is used to determine what the demand would have been if the correction equipment had not been installed, even if the real demand of the plant changes. Major plant electrical modifications and their impact on a monitoring system are also discussed. Such modifications increase the potential for technical problems with the monitoring equipment and result in hard-to-find problems. A future step to be examined is one that uses visual or audible warning devices in the plant to control demand. At least one plant has adopted this idea in the form of warning lights that inform employees to shut down unnecessary equipment. This concept appears to be potentially beneficial to all plants which have some type of demand monitoring device on-site.
Lewis, D. R.; Dorhofer, F. J.; Heffington, W. M. (1995). Further Findings Concerning Electrical Energy Monitoring in an Industrial Plant. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from