How to find out the true cost of energy waste

How to find out the true cost of energy waste

qldcalibrations AdminApr 1, '19

Power quality is critical.

Problems with power quality can cause your equipment to malfunction or even cause complete shutdown to operations.  Or, at the very least, poor power quality leads to inefficient energy use and potentially excessive energy costs.

For companies to be more efficient with energy (and effectively save money), an energy loss calculator can work out the level of energy wasted due to poor power quality and even apply a dollar figure to it, while helping find solutions to improve the overall power quality.

A calculator that conducts load studies, captures hard-to-find voltage events over a user-defined period of time, and then demonstrates potential energy waste by giving you an idea of possible savings on a yearly basis.

But let's take a step back for a few seconds...

What exactly is power quality, and why should we care about monitoring it?

According to Fluke Australia (who manufactures the Fluke 430 Series II Power Quality and Energy Analysers that include an energy loss calculator function) power quality is the voltage that enables safe continuous, safe operation of equipment connected to a power source.

This voltage can dip below or spike above the normal level, which can lead to power outage or equipment damage, respectively.  Whether a dip or spike, disturbances to power can increase a company's operating costs.

Power quality problems can be caused by:

  • Installation - incorrect grounding, improper routes or undersized distribution
  • Operation - equipment being used outside of design parameters
  • Mitigation - incorrect shielding or lack of power factor correcting
  • Maintenance - grounding connections or deteriorating cable/insulation

When it comes to ensuring the above energy problems do not lead to complete shutdown, equipment issues or increased company operating costs, the Energy Loss Calculator Function of this particular instrument can have significant advantages to determining power quality opportunities.