Here, we have a compilation of what industrial energy management is, how should we go about instrumentation, and which devices we can consider in designing such a system.

What is an industrial energy management system?

An energy management system (EMS) monitors, controls, and optimizes energy performance in a plant. That means it measures the generation, transmission, and consumption of energy. It should also help diagnose problems like over-consumption and leaks across the entire plant.

Elements of industrial energy management

What do we need to create a product? We need a workforce, raw materials, and energy. In many industries, we can use one or more of the energies found in the acronym WAGES.

  • Water
  • Air
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Steam

Therefore, to efficiently manufacture any product, we will need an industrial energy management system. This system will monitor the processes and provide data on a plant’s performance and energy performance to help make critical decisions.

To know about IIoT solutions, you can read the Visaya Article on IIoT Applications

Designing an industrial energy management system

There are a number of ways to design and use an energy management system. To ensure efficient functioning, we will have to think about three key factors:

  • Correct installation: We have to set our device(s) to collect data in the right places in the process.
  • Accuracy: Accuracy means our device(s) must measure and collect the right data.
  • KPI Monitoring: Choosing the right KPI and monitoring it accurately from a KPI platform can be crucial to the plant efficiency.

All the field information comes through a gateway, field data manager, or programmable logic controller. Thus, one can integrate the information into a system or KPI platform to analyze all this data. Then, its easy to make better decisions and improve your plant’s energy consumption. This brings us to the standards for that consumption, the ISO 50001.

The ISO 50001

The International Organization for Standardization has created a set of standards for energy performance, the ISO 50001. If we live in one of the 163 member countries, then we need to know and follow the ISO 50001.

The ISO created the 50001 to support the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In essence, it helps companies implement industrial energy management systems.

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The instrumentation of industrial energy management systems

For industrial energy management systems, we need accurate devices to monitor consumption. Fortunately, we can combine products from different companies, providing the best options in different areas. All the data from the field will go through the energy management system to provide the insights necessary to reduce energy use and costs in the plants.

Water measurement

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

For this, we can consider the following KPIs:

  • Cooling system efficiency
  • System leakages
  • Specific energy consumption

Electromagnetic flow meter

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

Ultrasonic or vortex flow meter

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

To know more about ultrasonic flow meter, you can read the Visaya Article here

Multipoint temperature transmitter

To monitor a cooling system, we 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) measurement

Here we should focus on analyzing supply and demand and following are the usual KPIs:

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

Thermal flow meter

Most compressed air applications have a low velocity, so we should try a thermal flow meter. It allows good accuracy from low to high flow rates. We can also use an insertion thermal flow meter, simplifying the installation.

Pressure transmitter

Across the whole system, we need to monitor the pressure for leaks or high consumption. We don’t need a lot of accuracy, just a minimum to keep the solution at a high level. We also need to maintain the air filter, which is about as easy as it gets. If we have an issue with your filter, then we either clean it or replace it. Pressure transmitters.

Electrical transmitter

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

Gas measurement

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

For this, we can 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. We can consider a Coriolis flow meter, but the price difference makes it an expensive choice.

We can apply a thermal flow meter in different types of gas or even a mixed gas. We just need to check the vendor list of gases supported by the meter and set the percentage of each gas in our composition.

Multipoint temperature transmitter

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

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. Ultrasonic flow meters.

Electricity measurement

In an electrical system, we would 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. We don’t even have to deal with a battery, because the device uses the same power supply as the field component.

Steam flow measurement

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

  • 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. We can find this solution a key player in the monitoring process.

Acoustic sensor

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

Data Management

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

Memograph M RSG45 Advanced Data Manager for the organization of process values

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

To know more about energy monitoring and the solutions, check out the Visaya Article here


So we have touched upon the range of industrial energy management solutions that might be needed based on the applications required. However, which device to choose in particular will depend on the details of our process, budget and other variables.

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