Today, countries all across the globe deal with major energy decisions which might have long-term consequences. Constantly rising energy demands are posing a threat to global economic progress and prosperity. The majority of today’s global energy generation relies on non-renewable fossil fuels, including oil, gas, and coal. This is a major climatic concern, and also a threat to future generations’ lives and the lives of those living in negatively affected countries and regions.

Improving business energy efficiency may often seem like an impossible endeavour. This is due to a number of factors. To begin with, energy efficiency does not occur overnight. It can take several months to observe a reduction in energy consumption, and it can take years for energy-saving solutions to pay off. To make matters even more challenging, energy managers need to persuade the rest of their organisation to work effectively even if they are not present.

In the last few years, the industry has steadily improved its energy efficiency, and this trend is likely to continue. Energy efficiency is a major factor in the industry, since it might assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs while also saving energy. Furthermore, studies estimate that by hastening the adoption of energy-efficient technology and practices, the industrial sector could save an additional 15 percent to 32 percent of its energy by 2025.

In this article we will discuss some energy-efficient technologies and the benefits of energy efficiency.

What is Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency generally refers to the use of lower energy to accomplish the same work, i.e., preventing energy waste. The purpose is to minimise the energy needed to supply products or services, as well as the impact of air pollution.

Several technical breakthroughs have helped the food and beverage industry’s operations to get more efficient, less stressful, safer, less power consuming, and eco-friendly in recent times.

Energy Efficient Technologies that are applicable in the industry.

Membrane filtration:

Membrane filtration has been used to eliminate contaminants from liquids which are too small to be removed by regular filtration procedures, such as bacteria, viruses, proteins, and dissolved salts. This can be used to concentrate, fractionate, filter, and regenerate liquids, partially or completely replacing conventional evaporation and centrifugation processes.

Ultra filtration, nanofiltration, microfiltration, and reverse osmosis are four different types of membrane filtration technologies that are commonly used in the agro processing sector, depending on the specific application (RO). The separation capacity of these technologies is determined by the membrane pore size and the molecular mass of the particles to be removed.

Application: concentration of cheese whey

highly efficient heat pumps:

The Building Technologies Office is introducing the newest version of heat pump systems, that warm and cool your home by transferring heat from one place to the other. Heat pumps are refrigeration systems that employ compression to transmit heat for warming instead of chilling. They collect thermal energy from a cold source, heat it up, and then move it over to a heat sink.

Application: Heating and cooling are required in the meat, dairy, and beverage sectors. Processes of evaporation and concentration.

Carbon-Fighting Clothes Dryers:

A similar concept that underpins heat pump technology that keeps your house warm can also be applied to another crucial task: drying your clothing. A new form of clothes dryer is being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric, which employs a heat pump cycle to provide the warm air required for drying. As a result, the dryer is now more energy efficient, with the ability to reduce electricity usage by 60% when compared to current models.

Application: Drying clothes

Vapour recompression (mechanical and thermal):

MVR is a technology that belongs to the “open-loop” heat pump system category, which is ideal for evaporation processes. The technology enables the latent heat in steam to be recovered, which is frequently lost in conventional techniques. A compressor recovers vapour generated by evaporation, increasing temperature and pressure to many degrees over the liquid’s boiling point.

Application: Brewing beer (wort kettle), concentrating milk, concentrating effluents, distillation, and separation.

Roofing Materials with Reflective Properties:

Cool roofs, which are coated with materials that contain particular pigments, reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than normal roofs. Innovative fluorescent pigments produced by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries may reflect nearly four times as much sunlight as ordinary pigments, making these types of roof systems even “cooler.”

The Key Benefits of Energy Efficiency

  • Energy efficiency aids in cost cutting:

Enhancing your firm’s energy efficiency may result in cost savings. Several organizations used to consider energy as an uncontrolled expense. Nevertheless, more businesses are realising that energy consumption can be managed and that the quantity of energy consumed by your firm can have a direct good or bad financial impact.

  • Lowering the Risk:

Global energy markets have been more volatile in the past few years, which has resulted in significant price fluctuations. As the world’s population keeps growing and energy demand rises, the International Energy Agency anticipates this pattern to continue.

  • Enhancing Brand Reputation:

As the world becomes more concerned about the environment, being energy-efficient can help a company’s image, that can help the company perform better. But keep in mind to not begin Green washing, as this might harm your company’s reputation.

  • Improving the Standard of Living:

Energy-efficient gadgets are necessary to improve your quality of life. It is easier to use them because they make life easier for you. Some of these household appliances will just require little replacement and maintenance, allowing you to save both time and money.

For example, when you replace an outdated fluorescent light bulb with a much more energy-efficient light bulb, As time goes on, you’ll notice that it lasts longer and helps you save money on your power bill.

  • Saving the Planet:

In the same manner, energy efficiency will benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions. It suggests that reducing your company’s carbon footprint can be combined with reducing your energy costs, benefiting both your company and the environment.

Conclusion:

Energy efficiency in the workplace might be challenging, but there are numerous advantages to a company that prioritises it. It is true that conserving energy saves money, but a good energy efficiency strategy may also boost your firm’s image, secure your company from unpredictable energy markets, enhance staff productivity and protect the environment.

By Somasree Roy

References: 

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/publications/efficiency/industrial/6843

https://surple.co.uk/energy-efficiency-benefits/

https://www.energy.gov/articles/future-home-tech-8-energy-saving-solutions-horizon

Image source: IED