Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation:

Energy conservation is the cheapest new source of energy. We should resort to various conservation measures such as cogeneration (discussed earlier), and use energy efficient motors to avoid wasteful electric uses. We can achieve considerable electrical power savings by reducing unnecessary high lighting levels, oversized motors, etc. A 9 W compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) may be used instead of 40 W fluorescent tube or 60 W lamp, all having the same lumens output. The pay-back period for any additional initial cost is less than a year.

Everyone should be made aware through print or electronic media how consumption levels can be reduced without any essential lowering of comfort. Rate restructuring can have incentives in this regard. There is no consciousness on energy accountability yet and no sense of urgency as in developed countries.

Transmission and distribution losses should not exceed 20%. This can be achieved by employing series/shunt compensation, power factor improvement methods, static var compensators, HVDC option and FACTS (flexible ac technology) devices/controllers.

Gas turbine combined with steam turbine is employed for peak load shaving. This is more efficient than normal steam turbine and has a quick automated start and shut down. It improves the load factor of the steam station.

Energy storage can play an important role where there is time or rate mismatch between supply and demand of energy.

Industry

In India corporate sector is required by law, to include in their annual report, the measures taken for energy conservation. One of the key steps for energy conservation is a compulsory energy audit. This will put a finger on the places and items where there is wasteful use. Energy efficient drives and regenerative braking should be employed.

In India where most areas have large number of sunny days hot water for bath and kitchen by solar water heaters is becoming common for commercial buildings, hotels even hospitals.

In India where vast regions are deficient in electric supply and are subjected to long hours of power shedding mostly random, the use of small diesel/petrol generators and inverters are very common in commercial and domestic use. These are highly wasteful energy devices. By proper planned maintenance the downtime of existing large stations can be cut down. Plant utilization factors of existing plants must be improved. Maintenance must be on schedule rather than an emergency. Maintenance manpower training should be placed on war footing. These actions will also improve the load factor of most power stations, which would indirectly contribute to energy conservation.

Load Management

As mentioned earlier by various ‘load management‘ schemes. It is possible to shift demand away from peak hours. A more direct method would be the control of the load either through modified tariff structure that encourage the individual customers to readjust their own electric use schedules or direct electrical control of appliance in the form of remote timer controlled on/off switches with the least inconvenience to the customer. . Ripple control has been tried in Europe. Remote kWh meter reading by carrier systems is being tried. Most of the potential for load control lies in the domestic sector. Power companies are now planning the introduction of system-wide load management schemes.

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