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Suresh Kumar.K.S
Asst.Professor, Dept. of Elect.Engg.
R.E.C Calicut
1. Introduction
Energy Audit is the translation of energy conservation ideas into realities by
blending technically feasible solutions with economic and other organizational constraints
within a specified time frame. It attempts to balance the total input of energy with its use. The
type of Energy Audit to be performed depends on:
- the function and type of the Industry
- the depth of final Energy Audit needed and
- the potential and magnitude of cost reduction desired
The primary objective of Energy Audit is to determine ways to reduce energy
consumption per unit of product or to lower operating costs. Electrical Energy Audit is but a
subtask of the General Energy Auditing. However, an Electrical Energy Audit in isolation can
be conducted, but the interactions between electrical energy use and other forms of energy use
in the plant and the possible trade-offs between electrical energy and other forms of energy
which may result in better overall energy efficiency in the plant may not emerge from such an
Electrical Energy Audit. The aim of an exclusive Electrical Energy Audit will be to reduce
Specific Electric Energy Consumption per unit of product output without increasing the
specific energy (other than electrical energy) consumption per unit product output.
Minor or major modifications of process design of the plant will often result in
dramatic improvements in the plant energy efficiency. The need for such modifications will
be brought out by a comparison of Specific Energy Consumption of the plant with standard
values pertaining to that particular product. However, such modifications in the plant
processes fall under the purview of a General Energy Audit and an Electrical Energy Audit
will not usually address this aspect of energy conservation.
Thus Electrical Energy Audit (EEA) assumes that the process design, material
flow etc. of a plant cannot be significantly altered. It focuses almost exclusively on the
Electrical System of the plant. Issues regarding process design will be examined in an EEA in
so far as to their implication on reducing the load levels on electrical equipment and reducing
losses in the Electrical System.
The intensity and the depth of the planned Electrical Energy Audit will depend
on a comparison between the best Specific Energy Consumption figures of the product (using
the same process design) achieved in the Industry on a world wide scale and the figure for the
plant in question. Also, the Statutory/non-statutory bodies on energy conservation in the
country may have laid down reference values for Specific Energy Consumption.
This article attempts an overview on Electrical Energy Audit of a medium
scale industry assuming that the need for an intense and in-depth EEA exits in the plant. The
coverage is by no means exhaustive, but is intended to be indicative of the general principles
involved in EEA of such a plant.
2. The Aims of Electrical Energy Audit
The essential aim of EEA is to arrive at concrete project proposals with
priority ordering and financial justifications, which if carried out, will result in reduction in
Specific Energy Consumption and to monitor the progress and performance of such projects
Different steps are to be gone through before the EEA can reach the level of
project proposals and recommendations. The first of these will be a Preliminary Audit.
3. The Preliminary Audit
3.1 The preliminary audit attempts to answer the following questions-
(i) How much electrical energy is actually used on a typical day per unit output ? And how
does it compare with the target figure? (This figure is to be arrived at by
calculating/measuring the output of the electrical equipment before the driven machinery).
(ii) How much is the company paying for its daily electrical consumption? Can it be brought
(iii) How much is the specific energy loss per unit output on a typical day? How are the losses
distributed in the Electrical System?
3.2 Data Required to Answer the First Question
In general the output energy of all electrical equipment at the process end over
24-hour period will be needed. In the case of some equipment the input energy may directly
furnish this data e.g. heaters, lighting, air-conditioning and refrigeration etc. whereas in the
case of equipment like motors a record of shaft speed over 24 hour period can be used to
calculate the required data. Of course, the data taking operations can be considerably
simplified by using the knowledge of plant personnel regarding type of duty on the equipment
and load variations on the equipment and load variations on the equipment etc. An exhaustive
data taking on all equipment may not be needed except when considerable energy loss is
suspected in the plant. Judicious selection of important equipment and optimum use of
available information can often simplify the data collection requirements to a manageable
3.3 Data Required to Answer the Second Question
Maximum VA Demand, Maximum Watt Demand, consumption figures of the
whole plant, energy cost figures of the plant etc. for the preceding 6 months or one year will
be sufficient data for this question. Daily VA and Watt load curve will help to assess the
possible savings in payment to the utility.
3.4 Data Required to Answer the Third Question
- The total electrical energy consumption per day and total actual energy use
per day.
- Power and Energy Meter readings at important subsections of the Electrical
- Actual energy use in the important subsections of the Electrical System
3.5 Results of Preliminary Audit
The results of preliminary audit will be expressed in the form of Load Factor
of the plant, plant power factor, average daily energy consumption and cost, estimates of
losses in the system etc. The energy flow in the system will be displayed on a subprocess to
subprocess basis in an energy flow diagram with electrical losses occurring in various
subprocesses marked. Also, the energy flow will be indicated on a single line diagram of the
electrical system with losses in various sections marked.
The results of preliminary audit set the parameters for the detailed audit. Also
the depth required in the detailed audit is, to a large extent, decided by the results of the
preliminary audit.
4. The Detailed Energy Audit
Almost all known energy conservation and energy management techniques
aim at one or more of the following objectives.
(i) Reduce the actual use of energy without much modification in the
process design.
(ii) Reduce the payment to be made for energy.
(iii) Reduce electrical energy losses.
Detailed Energy Audit aims at identifying priority ordered, economically
viable projects that will fulfil the above objectives. It will also arrive at recommendations
regarding maintenance procedures, changes in operation, changes in sequence of operations,
replacing inefficient equipment/process with energy efficient equipment/process etc. for
fulfilling the energy efficiency objectives.
4.1 Reduction of Actual Use of Electrical Energy
The actual use of electrical energy has been calculated/measured at the output
of electrical equipment in the preliminary audit. But the final value of electrical energy
content in unit output will be less than this value due to losses in energy conversion process
i.e. in the mechanical and chemical Systems in general. Improving the efficiency of energy
conversion process will result in lower loading levels in electrical equipment and lower use of
electrical energy. Reducing the pipe resistance by proper maintenance and correct sizing,
implementing automatic level control in pumping systems, replacing throttling valve in
pumping systems by variable speed a.c drives, replacing mechanical damper control and vane
control in blower systems by adjustable speed a.c drives, using Smart Motor Controllers
(SMC) on part loaded Induction Motors, reducing the leakage from compressed air systems,
reducing air infiltration into air-conditioned spaces, providing false ceilings/window
glazing/window curtains/automatic door closers/air curtains etc. in air-conditioned spaces
,relamping by CFLs and HID lamps etc. are some examples involving this concept.
In fact, this is the only context in which the EEA team pays attention to
systems other than the Electrical System in the plant. EEA has to examine the major low
efficiency energy conversion processes and arrive at ways to reduce the energy consumption
in those processes. The possibility of using automatic controls in order to switch off electrical
equipment when the process does not really need the energy and to adjust the efficient
operation of electrical equipment against varying process load levels should be critically
It is often possible to reset the process variables to new levels conducive for
lower energy consumption after a critical examination of the process. For example, in a space
heating application (or air-conditioning application) it may be possible to set the thermostat at
a lower (or higher) temperature thereby reducing the electrical energy consumption. But such
resetting of process variables will need a thorough study to ensure that the quality of product
is not compromised.
The plant lighting system will also come under the scrutiny of EEA with a
view towards finding out whether the existing illumination levels at various places are really
needed for the task or purpose involved.
As far as electrical energy conservation is concerned, reducing the use of
electrical energy is the primary action phase in the hierarchy of conservation strategies. At
this point, EEA should identify the steps to be taken to reduce the use of electrical energy and
draw up proposals for the financially viable projects aimed at this. The Company will have to
allot top priority to these projects in general since they will have a direct impact on electrical
energy consumption. The EEA proceeds to the next aspect of energy conservation and
management with the figure for actual electrical energy use updated assuming that the
projects aimed at reducing the energy use will be implemented.
4.2 Load Management
Examination of daily active and reactive load curves for a typical day at the
Incomer will reveal the need for load management in the System. Load Management at
primary level as envisaged here involves techniques aimed at improving the daily active
power load factor and bringing it close to unity and techniques aimed at bringing down the
daily average reactive load and improving the daily reactive load factor to unity. These
measures will directly affect the Maximum VA demand of the plant and thereby effect
savings in demand related cost of energy. Also, these measures effect a reduction in system
losses too. But the extent of loss reduction achieved will depend on the exact method used to
achieve active and reactive load curve smoothing. Reactive load reduction and smoothing is
usually achieved by the use of switched capacitors and exact loss reduction achieved will
depend on how the capacitor compensation is distributed in the system. This is where load
management at the secondary level (i.e. at a deeper level into the system) becomes necessary.
The primary level daily load curve smoothing directly affects MD related costs.
Secondary level load management is aimed at minimizing losses everywhere in the electrical
distribution system equipment. The target energy savings set by the Company may decide the
depth of secondary level load management into the system. For example, in the case of an
Industry using voltages at 11kV, 3.3 kV and 415V levels, the secondary load management
may penetrate up to the end of all 11 kV feeders or up to the end of all 3.3kV feeders or up to
the end of all 415V main feeders or finally up to the end of all 415 V distribution feeders.
Secondary load management at all voltage levels will lead to primary level load management.
But load management at primary level does not necessarily result in secondary load
4.2.1 Data Needed for Secondary Load Management
(i) Active and Reactive daily Load Curves for all 415V main feeders, 3.3kV
feeders and 11 kV feeders.(In general at all the voltage levels employed in the
plant).This may require submetering. If the metering facility is not there
already, EEA has to execute a data collection operation.
(ii) Information on the loads that can be staggered and shifted to any time period
during the day or to specified time periods during the day. This is a process
related information and EEA has to collect this information through
discussions with plant personnel.
4.2.2 Principles Employed in Secondary Load Management
(i) A three-phase feeder carries a given amount of power with minimum feeder
losses when all the three phases are balanced. Hence feeders with single-phase
loads must be checked for balance and should be balanced if there is
unbalanced loading. The balanced condition must be maintained throughout
the day as far as possible.
(ii) A feeder that is to carry a given amount of energy over a day will do so with
minimum energy losses if the daily load factor on the feeder is unity. This
statement is true for any electrical equipment including transformers, motors
etc.(If the equipment is off during some period of the day ,the load factor
pertains to the period during which it is on).
(iii) A group of feeders emanating from a common bus and carrying a given
amount of total energy over a day will do so with minimum energy loss if (a)
all the feeders have daily load factor of unity and (b) all the feeders produce
same IR drop (i.e. if the feeders are identical they must share the energy
transport equally).
(iv) A group of transformers operating at same voltage level and transporting a
given total amount of energy over a day will do so with minimum loss of
energy if (a) the daily load factor at all the transformers is at unity and (b) VA
loading of transformers is such that the product of loading factor (i.e load
expressed as a fraction of transformer rating) and full load copper loss factor
(i.e full load copper loss expressed as a fraction of transformer rating) is the
same for all transformers. This assumes that all the transformers are on all the
time. If some transformers can be switched off it is possible to minimize
energy losses still further.
(v) The total capacitive compensation VArs at various periods of the day that
should come into effect at the incomer point is decided by Maximum VA
demand considerations. However, the distribution of capacitors is dictated by
various other considerations.
Prominent inductive loads at process end must be compensated right at
the load terminal; at least partially. Typical example is the use of capacitors
that are switched along with motors. But individual capacitors at the terminals
of all the motors in the plant may not be needed and may not be economically
advantageous. The remaining compensation may be carried out at the various
buses at various voltage levels.
(vi) Capacitors at various buses at various voltage levels introduce flexibility into
the problem of smoothing the load curves and balancing the load curves of
various feeders terminating at a particular voltage level for optimum energy
loss. The load curve smoothing on the various feeders can be carried out first
by taking into account only the active part of the load powers. The resulting
Var load curve (which may turn out to have a low load factor) on various
feeders may be smoothed out by using fixed and switched capacitors of proper
values at various buses. Also, the condition for minimum energy loss in all
feeders put together may be adjusted simultaneously. The same strategy can be
used to adjust the loading of transformers at a particular voltage level for
minimum energy loss.
(vii) The general problem of load allocation to feeders, feeder allocation to buses,
bus allocation to transformers etc and fixed/switched capacitor allocation at
various buses before and after transformers, such that minimum energy loss
conditions will prevail everywhere in the system throughout the day is a quite
complex one. However, it may be formulated as a optimization problem and
may be solved on a digital computer. The solution obtained thereby will have
to be compared with the existing feeding arrangement in order to find out the
additional switchgear installations, cable-laying etc. needed to implement it.
System modifications needed to implement the optimum solution may turn out
to be unacceptable due to various reasons like economic viability, time
required to carry out such modifications, complexities involved in the
modifications etc.
A better approach would be to identify competing sub-optimal
solutions that do not involve any extensive structural changes in the Electrical
System and to examine these alternatives on a cost-benefit basis. The EEA
team should resort to approximate engineering calculations and good
engineering judgement to arrive at three or four different feeding
arrangements/capacitor allocation that will result in lower energy losses.
Detailed calculations can then be employed to decide between them.
4.3 Reduction of Losses in Electrical Motors
Minimization of losses in all the electrical equipment except the
process end equipment would have been taken into account in the load management
strategies arrived at by EEA so far. What remains is the reduction of losses in the
equipment that form the loads on the Electrical System.
Induction Motors constitute 70 to 80% of electrical load and hence
reduction of losses in these motors assumes special significance. It is assumed that
EEA has already taken note of the various ways in which the loading levels of these
motors can be minimized by better utilization of energy in the energy conversion
process. This includes identification of motors that require automatic control for
avoiding idling, motors which need to be fitted with variable speed controllers etc.
4.3.1 Data Needed for Loss Reduction in Motors
(i) Rating of Motors and Nature of Load
(ii) Loading Data over a typical day; preferably in the form of load curve in the
case of large motors.
(iii) Type and details of the controller provided for the motor.
4.3.2 Data Collection
(i) The torque output of an Induction Motor is proportional to slip for a torque
variation of 10% to 110% of rated value. Since the speed does not change much in this
region the power output itself may be taken as proportional to slip in the range of 10%
to 110% of rated HP output. Thus accurate measurement of speed of the Induction
Motor and the System Frequency will permit determination of power output of the
motor. Contact/non-contact type digital tachometers can be used for this purpose.
It is also possible to estimate the power output of the motor by measuring the kW and
kVA input to the motor if certain assumptions regarding the full load efficiency of the
motor can be permitted. However,the speed based method will be more accurate.
(ii) Power Measurement at the input terminals by using the power meter on the
panel or clamp-on Energy Audit Meters will give the input power.
(iii) Losses can be estimated using these readings.
4.3.3 Factors Affecting the Induction Motor Performance
(i) Voltage and Frequency Operating the motor at other than rated voltage and
frequency can result in reduced motor efficiency and adverse effects on power factor,
break-away torque, starting current, running speed etc.
(ii) Unbalanced Voltage Even a small degree of unbalance at the motor terminal
voltages can result in large negative sequence currents in the motor. And the resistance
of the rotor to negative sequence currents will be greater due to skin effect and deep
bar effect. Thus small unbalance in voltage will cause large increase in motor losses
and heating. Careful balancing of voltages everywhere is imperative from this point of
(iii) Loading Level Motors are designed to operate with maximum efficiency at
full load. At part load efficiency and power factor come down. Thus, for same power
output, using an oversized motor will result in higher active power input and higher
reactive power input into the motor compared to a properly sized one. Thus, part
loading of Induction Motors (especially on a continuous duty basis) will increase the
losses and the Maximum kVA demand of the plant.
Motors maintain good efficiency in the range of 60%-100% of rated output. However,
loading below 50% of rated load results in serious active and reactive losses.
Replacing the oversized motor with a properly rated one or installing variable voltage
controllers on the oversized motor will have to be resorted to when part loading of
motors is observed.
(iv) Speed For same HP rating motors with higher speed have higher efficiency at
rated loads.
(v) Duty Cycle The losses in the Induction Motors depend on the type of duty on
the motor. The duty cycle of the motor has to be obtained and suitability of the motor
for the duty must be examined. For example, a continuous duty rated motor, if applied
for an intermittent duty with frequent starting will have more losses than a high
starting torque intermittent duty type motor.
(vi) High Efficiency Design - High Efficiency Design versions of Induction Motors
with 20 to 30% higher costs are available in the market now. These motors use
specially processed low loss steel core, longer stator and rotor and optimized precision
airgap to minimize the magnetizing current and core losses and they use more
copper/aluminum for reducing copper losses. The higher initial investment is often
paid back in one to two years through loss reduction.
4.3.4 Motor Loading Analysis in Electrical Energy Audit
(i) Classify the motors into various categories depending on type of loading viz.
Continuous constant load duty, Continuous variable load duty, Intermittent duty with
or without starting/electrical braking, short time duty etc. In each category, classify the
motors into low HP, medium HP and high HP classes.
(ii) Short time duty motors of all ratings may not offer much in terms of possible
loss reduction. However, they may be used for peak shaving applications.
(iv) Low HP motors may need only a cursory evaluation since the loss reduction
achievable from them may not be enough to justify the effort and expense, especially
in the first EEA. However, the final decision in this matter will depend on the number
of such motors in the plant, their HP distribution, loading levels, the extent of loss
reduction desired by the firm etc.
(v) The adequacy of rating (under rating or over rating or wrong type of motor
etc.)of the motors has to be paid close attention in the case of motors on intermittent
duty with frequent starting/reversing/plugging etc. The starting/stopping control of
these motors will have to be looked into from energy loss point of view.
(vi) Continuous constant load motors and continuous variable load motors offer
possibilities of loss reduction. Their loading levels must be determined. If part loaded,
EEA should come up with suggestions for loading them fully by transferring load
from similar under loaded motors or for replacing the motor by one of suitable rating
on an interchange basis i.e. various underloaded motors in the plant must be
relocated and reused with only a minimum number of motors being relegated to store
room and only a minimum number of motors drawn from store room or for replacing
the motor with a new high efficiency motor of suitable rating. Financial viability of the
suggestions also must be examined by the EEA.
5. The Electrical Energy Audit Report
The Electrical Energy Audit Report in general should be organized as
I. The company, products, the processes, flow diagram of process, performance figures
of the plant.
The performance figures of the Electrical System of the plant as a whole and
comparison of these figures with achievable ones.
The electrical energy flows (over a typical day) displayed in process flow diagrams
with electrical losses occurring at various points marked.
The electrical energy flows (over a typical day) displayed in one-line diagram of the
Electrical System with electrical losses occurring at various sections marked.
The scope and depth of energy conservation program envisaged by the EEA for the
company as a result of preliminary audit.
II Findings of the EEA as to the causes of over use of electrical energy at process end
(including lighting and air-conditioning)
Listing of projects (with priority ordering based on ROI analysis) recommended by
EEA in order to reduce the process end use of electrical energy.
Time frame for these projects.
Estimates on reduction in energy consumption and energy cost that will result from
implementing these projects (i.e. impact analysis).
III Findings of EEA as to the cause of low load factor (both active and reactive load
factors) at various points in the Electrical System and unacceptably high reactive
loading (if any) at various points.
Findings of EEA as to the causes and degree of phase unbalances, harmonics, loading
unbalances (from optimal loss point of view) in feeders and transformers etc.
The various feeding arrangements and load staggering arrangements arrived at by
EEA along with the projects to be executed in order to implement them (installing
additional breakers, switches, bus couplers, relocating transformers, replacing
transformers, automatic switching ON/OFF of transformers, capacitor installations,
additional cable laying etc.)
Comparison of various alternatives in terms of resulting loss reduction, cost incurred
in implementing, time needed for implementation, reliability aspects etc.
The recommended scheme.
IV Motor Loading Analysis.
Recommendations to replace/interchange/replace with a new high efficiency motor
etc. with financial viability analysis.
Recommendations to improve losses in other electrical equipment if any (eg. Lighting,
heating etc.)
The report also should contain an abstract that summarizes the present
energy position and a list of various projects with time, cost and benefit included.
In the case of subsequent Energy Audits, the report should also cover
the progress of projects taken up as a result of earlier EEA reports and their impact on
Specific Energy Consumption and cost of production.
6. Conclusion
A general framework for carrying out Electrical Energy Audit of a
medium scale industry has been outlined in this article. Important general principles
that aid the analysis of audit data also have been briefly touched upon.