Sub-Meter Energy Monitoring and Automatic Control System

A printing and book binder manufacturer in Sydney’s west was struggling to understand where their electricity was being spent. With their electricity rates significantly increasing due to oil and gas price increases from geopolitical turmoil, cost control over the electricity bill became a major area of work.

However they did not know where to start searching, or which initiatives to begin with to have best return. Should they install a large 100kW solar system, or search for air leaks, replace the largest motor with a higher efficiency rating, install a VSD on more motors, or sequence start-up, or add energy storage? Without the data they couldn’t analyse and without the analysis they couldn’t make a high quality, data-driven decision and lower their risk of doing the wrong thing.

Key Energy helped design a permanent sub-meter system and with the NSW government grant for sub-metering application where appropriate. The manufacturer was able to secure the government grant, and Key Energy executed the project meeting all bill deadlines and project budgets, with the grant paid to the applicant successfully at the end of the project.

The energy monitoring system sends the data to the cloud and is served as a web dashboard for the key management staff and business owners, including accounting team so that they can perform better activity based costing on each print run. This allows them to allocate costs more accurately and hence improve the pricing.

It also identifies which areas and in some cases, which equipment, is being run inefficiently or needs follow up for additional investigation with temporary power meters and power loggers. This has yielded a range of insights into the best energy efficiency courses of action, such as air compressor leak repair and on-site solar.

The next stage for the manufacturer is to incorporate the LUKA automation controller to enhance and optimise processes, start up sequencing, and also turn off certain loads when power is peaking above a target threshold level.

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