Energy Audit Types and Methodology

3.2Energy Audit: Types And Methodology

Energy Audit is the key to a systematic approach for decision-making in the area of energy management. It attempts to balance the total energy inputs with its use, and serves to identify all the energy streams in a facility. It quantifies energy usage according to its discrete functions. Industrial energy audit is an effective tool in defining and pursuing comprehensive energy management programme. As per the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, Energy Audit is defined as “the verification, monitoring and analysis of use of energy including submission of technical report containing recommendations for improving energy efficiency with cost benefit analysis and an action plan to reduce energy consumption”.

3.2.1Need for Energy Audit

In any industry, the three top operating expenses are often found to be energy (both electrical and thermal), labour and materials. If one were to relate to the manageability of the cost or potential cost savings in each of the above components, energy would invariably emerge as a top ranker, and thus energy management function constitutes a strategic area for cost reduction. Energy Audit will help to understand more about the ways energy and fuel are used in any industry, and help in identifying the areas where waste can occur and where scope for improvement exists.

The Energy Audit would give a positive orientation to the energy cost reduction, preventive maintenance and quality control programmes which are vital for production and utility activities. Such an audit programme will help to keep focus on variations which occur in the energy costs, availability and reliability of supply of energy, decide on appropriate energy mix, identify energy conservation technologies, retrofit for energy conservation equipment etc.

In general, Energy Audit is the translation of conservation ideas into realities, by lending technically feasible solutions with economic and other organizational considerations within a specified time frame.

The primary objective of Energy Audit is to determine ways to reduce energy consumption per unit of product output or to lower operating costs. Energy Audit provides a “ bench-mark” (Reference point) for managing energy in the organization and also provides the basis for planning a more effective use of energy throughout the organization.

3.2.2 Type of Energy Audit

The type of Energy Audit to be performed depends on:

Thus Energy Audit can be classified into the following two types.

  1. Preliminary Audit
  2. Detailed Audit

3.2.3 Preliminary Energy Audit Methodology

Preliminary energy audit is a relatively quick exercise to:

3.2.4 Detailed Energy Audit Methodology

A comprehensive audit provides a detailed energy project implementation plan for a facility, since it evaluates all major energy using systems.

This type of audit offers the most accurate estimate of energy savings and cost. It considers the interactive effects of all projects, accounts for the energy use of all major equipment, and includes detailed energy cost saving calculations and project cost. In a comprehensive audit, one of the key elements is the energy balance. This is based on an inventory of energy using systems, assumptions of current operating conditions and calculations of energy use. This estimated use is then compared to utility bill charges. Detailed energy auditing is carried out in three phases: Phase I, II and III.

Phase I - Pre Audit Phase

Phase II - Audit Phase

Phase III - Post Audit Phase

A Guide for Conducting Energy Audit at a Glance

Industry-to-industry, the methodology of Energy Audits needs to be flexible.

A comprehensive ten-step methodology for conduct of Energy Audit at field level is presented below. Energy Manager and Energy Auditor may follow these steps to start with and add/change as per their needs and industry types.


Phase I –Pre Audit Phase Activities

A structured methodology to carry out an energy audit is necessary for efficient working. An initial study of the site should always be carried out, as the planning of the procedures necessary for an audit is most important.

Initial Site Visit and Preparation Required for Detailed Auditing

An initial site visit may take one day and gives the Energy Auditor/Engineer an opportunity to meet the personnel concerned, to familiarize him with the site and to assess the procedures necessary to carry out the energy audit.

During the initial site visit the Energy Auditor/Engineer should carry out the following actions: -

The main aims of this visit are: -

Phase II- Detailed Energy Audit Activities

Depending on the nature and complexity of the site, a comprehensive audit can take from several weeks to several months to complete. Detailed studies to establish, and investigate, energy and material balances for specific plant departments or items of process equipment are carried out. Whenever possible, checks of plant operations are carried out over extended periods of time, at nights and at weekends as well as during normal daytime working hours, to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

The audit report will include a description of energy inputs and product outputs by major department or by major processing function, and will evaluate the efficiency of each step of the manufacturing process. Means of improving these efficiencies will be listed, and at least a preliminary assessment of the cost of the improvements will be made to indicate the expected payback on any capital investment needed. The audit report should conclude with specific recommendations for detailed engineering studies and feasibility analyses, which must then be performed to justify the implementation of those conservation measures that require investments.

The information to be collected during the detailed audit includes: -

  1. Energy consumption by type of energy, by department, by major items of process equipment, by end-use
  2. Material balance data (raw materials, intermediate and final products, recycled materials, use of scrap or waste products, production of by-products for re-use in other industries, etc.)
  3. Energy cost and tariff data
  4. Process and material flow diagrams
  5. Generation and distribution of site services (eg.compressed air, steam).
  6. Sources of energy supply (e.g. electricity from the grid or self-generation)
  7. Potential for fuel substitution, process modifications, and the use of co-generation systems (combined heat and power generation).
  8. Energy Management procedures and energy awareness training programs within the establishment.

Existing baseline information and reports are useful to get consumption pattern, production cost and productivity levels in terms of product per raw material inputs. The audit team should collect the following baseline data:


Draw process flow diagram and list process steps; identify waste streams and obvious energy wastage

An overview of unit operations, important process steps, areas of material and energy use and sources of waste generation should be gathered and should be represented in a flowchart as shown in the figure below. Existing drawings, records and shop floor walk through will help in making this flow chart. Simultaneously the team should identify the various inputs & output streams at each process step.

Example: A flowchart of Penicillin-G manufacturing is given in the figure3.1 below. Note that waste stream (Mycelium) and obvious energy wastes such as condensate drained and steam leakages have been identified in this flow chart

The audit focus area depends on several issues like consumption of input resources, energy efficiency potential, impact of process step on entire process or intensity of waste generation / energy consumption. In the above process, the unit operations such as germinator, pre-fermentor, fermentor, and extraction are the major conservation potential areas identified.


Identification of Energy Conservation Opportunities

Fuel substitution: Identifying the appropriate fuel for efficient energy conversion

Energy generation :Identifying Efficiency opportunities in energy conversion equipment/utility such as captive power generation, steam generation in boilers, thermic fluid heating, optimal loading of DG sets, minimum excess air combustion with boilers/thermic fluid heating, optimising existing efficiencies, efficienct energy conversion equipment, biomass gasifiers, Cogeneration, high efficiency DG sets, etc.

Energy distribution: Identifying Efficiency opportunities network such as transformers, cables, switchgears and power factor improvement in electrical systems and chilled water, cooling water, hot water, compressed air, Etc.

Energy usage by processes: This is where the major opportunity for improvement and many of them are hidden. Process analysis is useful tool for process integration measures

Technical and Economic feasibility

The technical feasibility should address the following issues

The Economic viability often becomes the key parameter for the management acceptance. The economic analysis can be conducted by using a variety of methods. Example: Pay back method, Internal Rate of Return method, Net Present Value method etc. For low investment short duration measures, which have attractive economic viability, simplest of the methods, payback is usually sufficient. A sample worksheet for assessing economic feasibility is provided below:


Classification of Energy Conservation Measures

Based on energy audit and analyses of the plant, a number of potential energy saving projects may be identified. These may be classified into three categories

1. Low cost – high return;

2. Medium cost – medium return;

3. High cost – high return

Normally the low cost – high return projects receive priority. Other projects have to be analyzed, engineered and budgeted for implementation in a phased manner. Projects relating to energy cascading and process changes almost always involve high costs coupled with high returns, and may require careful scrutiny before funds can be committed. These projects are generally complex and may require long lead times before they can be implemented. Refer Table 3.1 for project priority guidelines.