Energy Management Systems

In an earlier article, we introduced the energy management systems (EMS), where we discussed the concept behind it, the variables it should monitor, and the ISO 50001 standards that it should follow.

For the energy management systems, you need accurate devices to monitor consumption. Fortunately, you can combine products from different companies, giving you the best options in different areas. Then all the data from the field will go through the energy management systems to provide the insights necessary to reduce energy use and costs in your plant.

We’ll include at least two options for each variable. At the end of the article, we’ll explain how the system can analyze your data, giving you relevant information about your process.


Water can show up in a variety of places in a process. For example, you could have the consumption of water itself or its use in a cooling system. Therefore, you’ll need different solutions and different key performance indicators (KPIs) for each application. Consider the following KPIs:

Energy management systems
Courtesy of Endress+Hauser
  • Cooling system efficiency
  • System leakages
  • Specific energy consumption


For a simple flow measurement, you can go with a magnetic flow meter. It can offer good accuracy, repeatability, and ease of use in this application. However, make sure you pay attention to the suggested margins of error when you review your devices.

Ultrasonic or vortex

For condensate, you can’t use a magmeter because the fluid lacks the electrical conductivity needed for it. Instead, try an ultrasonic flow meter or a vortex flow meter. Here you should confirm that you only have condensate in the process. I’ve seen mixes of steam and fluid that created problems in the flow measurement.

Multipoint temperature transmitter

To monitor a cooling system, you need to measure temperature throughout the process. A multipoint can reduce the cost of this monitoring, depending on the distance between the points.

Air (compressed)

Here you should focus on analyzing supply and demand. Your usual KPIs:

  • Compressor efficiency
  • System balancing and leakage
  • Specific energy consumption

Thermal flow meter

Most compressed air applications have a low velocity, so you should try a thermal flow meter. It’ll allow good accuracy from low to high flow rates. You can also use an insertion thermal flow meter, simplifying the installation.

Energy Management System
Courtesy of FOX Thermal

Pressure transmitter

Across the whole system, you’ll need to monitor the pressure for leaks or high consumption. You don’t need a lot of accuracy, just a minimum to keep your solution at a high level. You’ll also need to maintain the air filter, which is about as easy as it gets. If you have an issue with your filter, then you either clean it or replace it. No sweat.

Electrical transmitter

It’s really important to monitor your compressor efficiency, so consider an electrical transmitter. It can check the voltage, current, and power rating of your compressors in the field. Again, fairly easy.


A good example here is a heating application, where we need to monitor the consumption of fuel gas. You may also need to measure the water consumption or temperature. Consider these KPIs:

  • System efficiency
  • Specific energy consumption

Thermal flow meter

The thermal flow meter provides the best cost benefits, with good accuracy and simple installation. You can consider a Coriolis flow meter, but the price difference makes it an expensive choice.

You can apply a thermal flow meter in different types of gas or even a mixed gas. Just check the vendor list of gases supported by the meter and set the percentage of each gas in your composition.

Multipoint temperature transmitter

In a heating application, you need to monitor efficiency throughout the process. You can either have sensors in the field, each with a transmitter, or concentrate all sensors in one transmitter. If you choose the second option, then a multipoint can reduce your installation and component costs.

Courtesy of Emerson Automation Solutions

Ultrasonic flow meter

In a heating system, you have to measure the water going through the boiler, and a clamp-on ultrasonic will do that easily. Also, you don’t need to cut the pipe to install it, and its +-1 percent accuracy will support the application just fine.


In an electrical system, we want to know the efficiency of the system in general as well as for specific devices like the motor, compressor, and more. You may need these KPIs:

  • Electrical efficiency
  • Real power compensation
  • System and phase load

Electrical transmitter

This device will constantly monitor the efficiency of the system components. A wireless solution, with its simple installation, provides one of the best options. You don’t even have to deal with a battery, because the device uses the same power supply as the field component.


In a steam system, you have to measure the efficiency of the boiler as well as the whole distribution. You also need to check the quality of the steam and the steam traps. You can use the following KPIs:

  • Specific energy consumption
  • Boiler efficiency

Vortex flow meter

Nowadays, the vortex flow meter provides the best solution for most steam applications. It can measure both the flow and the quality of your steam. You’ll find this solution a key player in your monitoring.

Acoustic sensor

You can use an acoustic sensor to monitor your steam traps. This sensor installs outside the pipe and sends data wirelessly, so you can avoid restructuring your process and wasting time in implementation.

Courtesy of Emerson Automation Solutions


Once you have all your devices installed in the field, then they’ll send information to an energy management system. There you can monitor and analyze your KPIs. The market has a variety of options, usually with open protocols, offering seamless integration across brands.

Industril Energy management system
Courtesy of Endress+Hauser

The field device will connect to a gateway. For example, if you decide to go wireless, then you’ll use an OPC or EtherNet-IP to send data to an archive and an energy management system simultaneously.

Some platforms have better installations and interfaces than others. Do your research to find the platform that’ll give you the data you need to make your process decisions.


Now you see the range of solutions. However, you need to choose each device according to which gives you the most accurate and ease of use in your application.

In the energy management systems, you must find viable solutions for your plant. First, you have to choose the right device for the right application. Then you have to choose how to send your data to the energy management system, but we’ll discuss that in the next article.

Below you have companies with Industrial energy management systems on the market:

TOP 5 devices to improve energy management solution

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