18 Insights That Can Be Gathered from a Power Monitoring System

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As energy costs climb and pressures mount for sustainable practices, mastering energy efficiency is non-negotiable in today’s environment. Commercial and industrial power monitoring systems stand at the forefront of this challenge, offering critical insights that drive both operational excellence and significant cost reductions.

This blog article cuts through the complexity to reveal 18 key insights gleaned from an effective energy monitoring system. From pinpointing wasteful off-hours consumption to identifying devices operating beyond their rated capacity, we uncover actionable strategies across various equipment including HVAC, motors, and lighting systems. This guide is an essential read for businesses committed to optimizing energy use, slashing costs, and advancing their sustainability goals.

Learn how an effective power monitoring system can help you turn practical insights into a competitive advantage.

18 Potential Insights Gathered from a Power Monitoring system:

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1. Off-hours Consumption

Understanding energy usage during periods when the facility is not operational can uncover unnecessary energy waste. This insight is crucial for identifying opportunities to reduce energy costs by adjusting the operation of non-essential systems like lighting and HVAC during off-hours.

Metric observed: Energy consumption during times considered in the calendar as off-hours.

Applicable machines: Lighting, HVAC, Motors/Pumps, Compressors

2. 3 Phase Excessive Current Imbalance

Identifying imbalances in current across phases can help in preventing equipment failure and ensuring energy efficiency. A significant imbalance suggests potential issues with electrical distribution or equipment malfunction.

Metric observed: A gap of ±15% or more between any single phase current and the 3 phase current average.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

3. Device Short Cycling

Short cycling can indicate that a device is turning on and off more frequently than normal, which can lead to increased wear and tear and higher energy consumption. This insight helps in diagnosing potential faults or inefficiencies in operation.

Metric observed: A device with an unusually short cycle.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

4. Device Does Not Cycle

When devices that are designed to cycle on and off remain in a constant state, it could indicate a malfunction or improper settings. This insight is vital for ensuring devices operate as intended to maintain efficiency and longevity.

Metric observed: A device that is expected to cycle but exhibits a permanent flat consumption.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Air Compressor

5. Device Constantly Operating

Devices that operate continuously without breaks can lead to unnecessary energy consumption and potential overheating. Identifying such issues can help in implementing corrective actions to reduce energy waste.

Metric observed: A device that does not appear to be ever turned off.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

6. Low Correlation with Outside Air Conditions

For HVAC systems, a low correlation between energy consumption and outside air conditions can indicate inefficiencies. Optimizing HVAC operation based on external conditions can significantly reduce energy costs.

Metric observed: An HVAC related equipment whose energy consumption does not appear to correlate with outside air conditions.

Applicable machines: HVAC

7. Device Sequencing Issue

Inefficient sequencing of devices can lead to energy waste and decreased equipment life. Proper sequencing ensures that devices operate in harmony, optimizing energy use and performance.

Metric observed: An array/rack of similar device types that do not appear to operate efficiently.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

8. Change in Consumption Pattern

A change in the energy consumption pattern of a device can be an early indicator of equipment issues or operational inefficiencies. Monitoring these changes helps in proactive maintenance and operational adjustments.

Metric observed: A device that used to exhibit a given consumption pattern that switched without an apparent reason to a different consumption pattern.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

9. Unusual Consumption Pattern

Identifying unusual consumption patterns can help in diagnosing equipment malfunction or identifying areas for energy efficiency improvement. This insight is crucial for maintaining optimal operation.

Metric observed: A consumption pattern that does not match the expected energy profile of a given device type.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

10. Inconsistent Operation

Repeating abnormal consumption patterns can indicate inconsistent operation or potential faults. Monitoring for consistency helps ensure devices operate within their designed parameters, reducing wear and energy waste.

Metric observed: A device that exhibits repeatedly abnormal consumption patterns.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

11. Devices Lack of Correlation/Dependency

Understanding the interdependencies between devices is crucial for efficient operation. Incorrect interactions can lead to operational inefficiencies and increased energy consumption.

Metric observed: Incorrect interaction between two or more devices. For example, device A must work when device B operates and vice versa.

Applicable machines: Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

12. Voltage Imbalance (PAN42)

Voltage imbalance can cause equipment to operate inefficiently or suffer premature failure. Identifying and correcting imbalances is critical for maintaining system health and energy efficiency.

Metric observed: A gap of ±2% or more between any single phase voltage and the 3 phase voltage average.

Applicable machines: Lights, HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

13. Voltage Discrepancy from Nominal Value (PAN42)

A significant discrepancy between the actual voltage and the nominal voltage can indicate issues with the electrical supply or internal distribution. Addressing these discrepancies can prevent equipment damage and improve efficiency.

Metric observed: A gap of ±10% or more between any single phase voltage and the given nominal voltage value.

Applicable machines: Lights, HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

14. Low Power Factor (PAN42)

A low power factor indicates that a large portion of the electricity being supplied is not being effectively converted into useful work. Correcting low power factor can reduce electrical costs and improve the efficiency of the power distribution system.

Metric observed: Device exhibits low power factor.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

15. Device Idling

Prolonged idle times can indicate inefficiencies in the operational schedule or control settings of a device. Addressing idling can significantly reduce wasted energy and operational costs.

Metric observed: Device exhibiting prolonged idle time.

Applicable machines: Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

16. Permanent Base Line Consumption

Devices that consume energy while not in active use contribute to unnecessary energy costs. Identifying and mitigating these base load consumptions can lead to significant energy savings.

Metric observed: Device consuming energy while not in use.

Applicable machines: Lights, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

17. Excessive Consumption

Identifying devices that consume more energy than expected can pinpoint areas for improvement. Addressing excessive consumption can lead to significant energy and cost savings.

Metric observed: Consumption levels higher than expected steady state operation.

Applicable machines: Lights, HVAC, Refrigeration, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

18. Device Exceeds Operational Rating

Devices operating beyond their rated capacity can be at risk of failure and may consume excessive energy. Monitoring and addressing these issues are crucial for safety, efficiency, and longevity of equipment.

Metric observed: Device exceeds maximum rating based on documented HP or kW or Full Load Amperage (FLA) limit.

Applicable machines: HVAC, Motors/Pumps, Air Compressor

How can a power monitoring system support your efficiency goals?

The PEC is Energy Monitoring Solution was designed for the needs of commercial and industrial facilities. Wireless, non-invasive monitoring sensors easily install throughout facility main panels and sub-panels, tracking electrical consumption on a machine-level basis, which is then routed into a user-friendly dashboard for analysis and action.

Tap into unprecedented energy data to learn how data flows through your building and confidently make headway on your carbon and efficiency goals.

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