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Energy Conservation Part 6 – Holistic Approach
Posted on January 31st, 2017 by David W. Spitzer, P.E. in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence
Previous posts discussed the various domains of sustainability as related to energy conservation as related to instrumentation and control. For review: Sustainability is the capacity to endure; it is how systems remain productive indefinitely; it is the endurance of systems and processes. Sustainability includes four interconnected domains: processes, economics, politics and culture.
A holistic approach to energy conservation not only considers these four domains but also their interrelationships with multiple engineering disciplines.
For example, the previously cited variable speed drive application involved consideration of multiple disciplines to ensure that the motor and equipment would not burn up in operation (electrical and mechanical and process), the transformer and wiring were adequate (electrical), capacity was sufficient (mechanical), steady operation and reliability were maintained (instrumentation and control), energy savings were realized (utility), capacity increased (utility and process) and the overall process was improved (utility and process). I suggest that there were likely other considerations given. It should be clear that this project would not have been conceived or successfully implemented if only one discipline were considered. Conversely, this variable speed drive could have failed catastrophically had the various disciplines not been considered.
Taking a holistic approach to energy conservation is not easy but is necessary to obtain superior results. It generally helps to involve creative people with skills in multiple disciplines who are not afraid (politically) to make suggestions that could potentially morph into viable projects.
See previous posts:
- Energy Conservation Part 1 – Culture
- Energy Conservation Part 2 – Politics
- Energy Conservation Part 3 – Processes and Economics
- Energy Conservation Part 4 – Environmental Impact
- Energy Conservation Part 5 – Innovation
All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.
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David W. Spitzer, P.E.
Principal at Spitzer and Boyes, LLC
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