Tips for Highly Effective Energy Management - Ken Currie
7 Habits of Highly
Dr. Ken Currie, Director, Center for Manufacturing
Research – Tennessee Tech University
Associate Director of Industrial Assessment Center
• Fans & Pumps are usually oversized to
consider worse case scenarios. Variable
speed drives allow for a throttled output
with a corresponding variable electrical load
to reduce flow.
• Furnaces are designed for peak product flow
but typical flow may only require a subset of
the burners to be in service.
Habit #1: Engineers Design for “Just-
In-Case” NOT Energy Efficiency
• Compared to electric motors, the work that is
conducted by compressed air is 7 times more
• Inappropriate uses and leaks are common losses
in a compressed air system resulting in
significant wasted energy – i.e. In a system that
is running a 200 hp compressor, 30%
represented by inappropriate uses and leaks can
cost approximately $4,500/yr in a single shift
Habit #2: Air is Free, but Compressed
Air is Very Expensive
• Poor management of air supply can
yield inefficiencies for costs and
also in meeting demand events.
Habit #3: Motel 6 Got it All Wrong – They
Should Not Have Left the Lights On
• Changing bulbs is a good first step, but all
light is not created equal and replacing one
fixture for another fixture may yield more
lumens than what is needed. Consider
reducing the number of bulbs to reduce
lighting levels as appropriate for the task.
• Sensors and controls allow for occupancy
sensors, daylighting, and timers.
• Few industrial operations are truly 24/7
• One company assumed that these compressors
were being turned off when in fact there was a
perceived production requirement that they be
left on – reality was quite different.
• Improper compressor sequencing and controls
can adversely affect energy efficiency.
Habit #4: Reality is Usually Somewhere
Between our Expectations and Total
• Air & steam leaks, HVAC efficiency
losses, results of poor
maintenance, equipment degradation all
result in the need for a continual
Habit #5: Low Hanging Fruit Always
Seem to Grow Back
Habit #6: Production Needs vs. Energy
Reduction – Can’t We Just All Get Along!
• Perceived needs for quality, production
throughput, and refusing to change anything
that may cause a production perturbation often
conflict with changes to reduce energy.
• Energy Management Systems create a cross-
functional energy management team working
to analyze and improve processes at the lowest
possible energy consumption.
Habit #7: You Can’t Reduce What You
Don’t Measure, and You Can’t Measure
What You Don’t Meter
This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee. This
material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under
Award Number DE-EE0000160. CFDA 81.041.
• Sub-metering helps to align energy
consumption with significant energy uses
allowing for concentration of effort.
• Measuring energy performance should be
calculated as a basis of production (energy
intensity) without consideration for rate
changes – MMBtu/unit production