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Importance of Data in the Energy Industry

  1. Jun 1, 2017 #1
    Good day to all! I'm not a bot or spam either. I just want to inquire about an energy cost saving system. Electric demand charges mostly in business. That's why cutting down our usage costs is a priority. Any idea about a solution that will help us keep an eye on our utility bill, processing and overall data management?

    Thanks for reading. Your response to this will be highly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2017 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    If you have so-called demand meters what you have to minimize is the practices that cause very temporary higher demand, because that new value is what the meter "remembers". The demand "needle" gets reset every time the electric tech from the utility reads the meter. So you start over again, hopefully with better use practices.

    Example. Suppose you are using electric kilns. If you flip the 'on' button for all of them at the same time, you really elevate your cost. If you stagger the on button activation by 20 minutes (I made this value up), your electric cost will be way less because you have less demand charge. It may take longer to get all 10 kilns going but the cost of operation will be a lot less. Lumber mills near here use that very process for their wood drying kilns.

    Obviously you are not using a bunch of kilns. But it sometimes helps if you give a examples that are exaggerated.

    Since electric distributors pay for demand just like you do, they are usually willing to come to your business, audit your processes and devices, then show you how to cut demand.
  4. Jun 6, 2017 #3
    There is a data management solution. Check out online and read about it. It may be the one you are looking for. :)
  5. Jun 12, 2017 #4
    Thanks for your input! And I got your point, however I still have few questions in mind. Just to let you know that we are still starting and I really wanna get more information to help our company with this issue.

    1. Can you enumerate those practices you are referring that cause very temporary higher demand?

    2. With regards to electric distributors, is this the same with <******>?

    Looking forward to your reply. Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2017
  6. Jun 12, 2017 #5

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    1. All of the demand meters I've seen (USA, Canada, Bahamas) all work the same way. Once per month the demand on the meter is manually set to zero. During the billing period if you incur no measurable demand then your bill will be as low as possible - all other factors being equal.

    Now suppose on day three of the billing period, somebody turns on several pieces of equipment that use lots of power, all at the very same time. Flip, flip, flip. The demand meter records it. All of your use for the entire billing period, even before the switches were flipped is now billed at a higher rate. Had you turned on one big piece, waited for it to come up, then turned on the next piece of equipment (stagger the start times), then your end of the month bill will be less. Demand is something that is caused by use patterns for whole buildings, coolers, data centers, and so on.

    Older Electric heating and air conditioning systems with large single speed motors are an example of a bad choice when they are controlled by simple on/off thermostats. And are billed on demand meters.

    The simple answer is: do not turn on all your lights, desktop computers, heat/cooling and so on, at 8:00 am sharp every Monday morning.

    2. Yes, third party providers charge the same way, assuming there is some kind of regulation in your utility market. Texas (USA) may not work that way at all.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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