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Energy Management Principles
In 2015, authors Craig Smith and Kelly Parmenter completed the research and writing of the second edition of Smith’s 1980 book, Energy Management Principles. Their book is especially timely in light of new developments in the energy field.
What motivated you to write this book?
During the last three decades, we continued to track efficiency improvements made in the energy sector. Over this period of time in the United States and in other countries worldwide, the energy used to produce one dollar of gross national product dropped dramatically. At the same time, until recently there was a steady increase in the price of crude oil, vehicle fuels, and electricity. (The recent price decline was due in part to the global recession and in part to new discoveries of oil and gas reserves. Remarkably, the United States became a net oil exporter.)
After the 1973 oil embargo and continuing until the present date, there have been extraordinary changes in energy technology. Today one finds thousands of new products that are inexpensive, widely available, and use far less energy to produce a given output. Examples readily come to mind: the new LED lights, household refrigerators that use considerably less energy than the older varieties, improvement in electric motor efficiency, automobiles with twice or more fuel efficiency than past years, and the advent of hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Despite these advances in energy technology, there are still many more ways to increase energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy.
We felt it was important to describe the recent changes and the opportunities that exist and compile them in one concise book. We also added a new feature and included examples of the extent to which these new technologies could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.
As long as a half a century ago, some scientists expressed concerns about the prospects of increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere affecting global climate. While controversy exists concerning whether the climate changes we are experiencing are natural or man-made, there is little doubt that they are occurring and the growing consensus in the scientific community is that they are in part anthropogenic. In addition to effects on reefs, ocean food supplies, and altered weather patterns of drought and storms, we face inundation of coastal areas due to melting of the polar ice caps. There is no doubt that improving energy use efficiency will help mitigate global warming, as well as continue to deliver numerous additional benefits.
The book provides the practicing energy professional a solid grounding in the basic principles that underlie the great improvements in energy efficiency that have been made in the last three decades, and will pave the way for further advances in the next several decades, when new products and techniques that can scarcely be imagined today will be deployed.
Who is the primary audience for your book?
The primary audience for the book includes energy intensive industries, utilities, and government regulatory and research agencies. Industry seeks cost-effective solutions. New standards and financial incentives from government and utilities help hasten the implementation of new technologies. Universities and continuing education programs are an important second audience. Today many universities have energy management programs, either as a standalone department or part of environmental curricula. There is a need for a concise, complete text, to support university programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. There is also a need for more resources to train energy efficiency professionals. Finally, a third important audience is the general public. Well-informed and motivated homeowners and business operators can move quickly to implement cost-effective technologies.
What are the market needs/key challenges the aforementioned audiences face?
Industry, Utilities, and Government
In the United States, California has long been the leader in energy efficiency standards for vehicles and buildings. The governor recently proposed a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. In 2006, California enacted a comprehensive law to reduce greenhouse gases. This law, the first in the United States, requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. This is being accomplished by regulation, economic incentives, advanced technologies, and by cap and trade and other innovative programs. In 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive order to further reduce greenhouse emissions in the state to 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030, paralleling the goals of the European Union. Other states and countries also have aggressive goals. Meeting these targets will take cooperation between government agencies, utilities, and industry. With competing priorities for capital, a key part of the solution is educating these groups that well-planned energy management efforts lead to increased profitability in addition to providing environmental and other benefits.
With the 2016 United States Presidential election, an alarming trend has become apparent. Important political decisions are being made on belief rather than fact. Government leaders with no background in science are endorsing political beliefs and dogma as a basis for legislation and policies. These shortsighted actions could undo years of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Denying that climate change is a reality and that it is strongly influenced by human activity flies in the face of scientific evidence and the virtually unanimous agreement by the scientific community that this is one most important problems facing humankind.
We are very concerned about this trend.
Universities and Continuing Education Programs
With the new government policies, universities could face a diminution of research grants that support energy efficiency and climate change programs, accompanied by the departure of students and faculty from these critical areas. A shortage of trained personnel could be critical in the coming years.
The general public is challenged by rising energy costs and in some situations by curtailment or shortages. Approaching energy problems from the user’s end, rather than the supply end, introduces new challenges. First, the number of users is much greater than the number of suppliers, thus complicating the problem. Second, communication with some users—especially the general public—is difficult due to their number and diversity. Third, the technological sophistication of end-users varies widely, as do their capital resources, limiting the technical improvements that are feasible. Finally, the nearly infinite variety of uses invokes the need for a great many different technologies, materials, and equipment.
A well informed general public is a potent force for improving energy use efficiency on a global scale. If the economic benefits are understood, change can occur rapidly on a broad front, as we have seen happen over the past three decades. Our concern is that if government leaders start discrediting global warming, it sends a mixed message to the general public. In a race to reduce greenhouse emissions, science says we are starting late. We cannot afford delays.
Does your book solve needs/challenges of these audiences? How?
Industry, Utilities, and Government
From our research, we determined that the numerous types of energy efficient technologies fall into a finite number of categories. We postulate that energy efficiency can be achieved by the use of one or more of 16 general principles. The principles that follow are listed in order of increasing costs and complexity.
- The first principle is a careful review of historical energy use, to establish a baseline and to gain an overall awareness of energy use and expenditures.
- This would be followed by applying the second principle, which is the performance of detailed energy audits.
- From the audits, insight can be gained into areas where improved housekeeping and maintenance (the third principle) can be used to achieve low cost savings.
- With this data, the fourth principle, analysis and modeling of energy use, followed by the fifth principle, economic evaluation, can be used to determine which investments will have the best economic return.
- The sixth principal is to replace equipment with more efficient types.
- Likewise, the seventh principle involves employing more efficient processes.
- The eighth principle is energy containment, that is, heat recovery, better insulation, and waste reduction.
- All man-made materials have embodied energy; consequently, the ninth principle, material economy (scrap recovery, salvage, and recycle), conserves energy.
- Alternatively, applying the tenth principle, substituting material, can replace an energy intensive material with one that is less so.
- The eleventh principle has to do with material quality. Material properties, purity, and specifications may be linked to energy content.
- Aggregation of energy uses (the twelfth principle) can lead to greater efficiency. For example, in a manufacturing plant by co-locating certain steps in the process it may be possible to reduce energy use for transportation of materials.
- The thirteenth principle, cascading of energy uses, implies using high quality energy forms (for example high-temperature heat) first, and then using the degraded heat in subsequent process steps.
- The fourteenth principle, that of selecting alternative energy sources, can lead to efficiency and product quality improvements. For example consider microwave or induction heating rather than gas heating.
- The fifteenth and sixteenth principles, energy conversion from one form to another and energy storage, may also be appropriate to improve overall energy management.
Understanding how to apply these principles cost-effectively to industry will help government, utilities, and the industries themselves address energy and environmental goals.
Universities and Continuing Education Programs
For universities, our book provides case studies, examples, and checklists that illustrate the general principles that are described in the text. Equations that describe first principles are also included so students can understand the underlying physics. Separate chapters are devoted to energy analysis, management of heating and cooling, lighting, transportation, process energy, and integrated building systems. It offers a broad education on both theoretical principles and their practical application to energy using systems encountered in all aspects of life.
In addition to the discussion of technical measures, our book has chapters that provide an overview of utility rates and programs and the economics of efficient energy use. These will assist the homeowner or business manager in making informed decisions regarding energy improvements that will reduce operating costs and lead to a healthier environment, both indoors and out. Clear-cut procedures for performing energy audits, training and motivating employees, and monitoring to verify that new equipment is performing as it should are also described.
What unique features do you think make the book stand out in the market?
Energy Management Principles “covers the waterfront” of energy uses, with examples from all sectors, including residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and agriculture. In each, there are examples of changes to improve energy use efficiency and case studies to illustrate the application of the general principles described in the book. In a concise manner, the chapters contain sufficient reference data and mathematical formulas to enable the energy manager to evaluate many types of energy investments. Sources and references are provided for the reader who seeks additional information.
Let’s talk a little deeper about the book…
In this second edition of Energy Management Principles we added greenhouse gas equivalencies that correlate emissions to energy uses. The text contains some examples. The results were surprising. For example, changing one 45 Watt incandescent or halogen lamp to a 15 Watt LED lamp results in twice the light output and saves over 800 kWh in its lifetime. Even more striking, over its lifetime this simple lamp change will eliminate more than half a ton of greenhouse gas emissions compared to its incandescent predecessor.
An automobile obtaining 25 miles per gallon of gasoline and driven 12,000 miles per year will emit over four metric tons of CO2 per year. New fuel-efficient hybrids will cut this in half.
On average, 114 million U.S. homes (2012 data) each emit nearly 11 metric tons of CO2 per year. Energy management measures described in our book could reduce this by at least 10 percent to 20 percent.
Did you ever wonder how Google stores all the data that you can access in microseconds, or where all those photos go that you put on Facebook? There are huge, warehouse-size buildings scattered around the world that are full of thousands of racks of electronic storage media operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A typical rack uses 350,000 kWh per year, which, if generated from fossil fuels, leads to the dumping of over 240 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere for each rack. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that by 2020, the carbon footprint of data centers will exceed the airline industry.
CO2 emissions continue to increase. Based on the latest data, 2016 was the hottest year on record. For the third consecutive year, the previous record was exceeded. The figure below appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on January 18, 2017. The data are from NOAA and NASA.
Talk about the Transportation chapter. Why did you decide to include it?
In the first edition of this book, transportation was mentioned in just a few paragraphs. Brief remarks were made about the benefits of vehicle fuel efficiency, car and van pooling, improved traffic controls, and community transportation plans to increase the use of public transportation. Today, nearly 4 decades later, we have a better understanding of how important transportation is to the global energy economy. Also, the advent of hybrid and electric vehicles has begun to substantially modify transportation energy use.
Today, transportation is a major energy use in the global economy. Worldwide, there are approximately 1,000,000,000 passenger cars in use, and this number is expected to double in the next two decades, especially in Asia and non-OECD countries, where growth will be approximately 2 to 3 percent per year, or 10 times that of the OECD countries. In 2012, transportation was 27.9 percent of global energy use, 33.1 percent of total OECD energy use, and 27.8 percent of United States energy use. In the global economy, nearly 55 percent of world petroleum and liquid fuels were used by the transportation sector. In the United States, this percentage was 72 percent, while in OECD Europe it was 58 percent. The balance of transportation energy is a small percentage fueled by natural gas or electricity, and a miniscule amount by fuel cells or alternative fuels such as vegetable oil.
From these data, it is apparent that transportation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. In 2012, the United States emitted 6.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. Transportation produced 28 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions, second only to electric power generation. While at first glance transportation might seem to be out of the purview of the energy manager, it is an area where decisions made at the individual or corporate level can make a difference in the long run.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles still preventing more efficient use of energy?
In the 35 years since the first edition of this book was published, world energy consumption has more than doubled, from 20 x 1010 Gigajoules (1975) to 55 x 1010 Gigajoules (2010). It is expected to triple by the year 2020, reaching 67 x 1010 Gigajoules. It is very hard to visualize what these large numbers signify.
To assist, let’s imagine that all energy came from crude oil. There are several sizes of oil tankers in use today. “Panamax” tankers—the largest that can use the Panama Canal, can carry 500,000 barrels of oil. Suezmax tankers carry 1 million barrels of oil and are about 285 meters or 940 feet long. Then there are very large tankers (2 million barrel capacity) and ultra large, (up to 4 million barrels capacity.) The world tanker fleet today is less than 5,000 vessels of various sizes. To supply the projected 2020 energy use of 67×1010 GJ would require 110,000 Suezmax tanker loads. If these tankers were lined up end to end, they would reach three-fourths of the way around the world, that is, from London, across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific Ocean, and to India.
The raw cost of this much energy in 2020 cannot be forecast with any accuracy, but at around $ U.S.11 trillion it would be in the range of the total gross domestic product of China. Saving just 10% of this cost would be roughly equivalent to the total gross domestic product of Spain.
In the last several decades, there have been several major changes in outlook. Natural gas, which was thought to be in short supply, has become abundant as a cheap source of fuel. The United States, which had been importing fuels, has become an exporter. Fracking is a new technology that promises new energy supplies, but also raises environmental concerns. The rapidly expanding economies of India and China are likely to increase coal combustion, raising additional concerns about global CO2 emissions.
Without the great improvements in energy efficiency that have come about over the decades since 1973, the problems we face would be even more urgent. Further progress requires international cooperation and collaboration of unprecedented scope. Nations must put aside nationalistic interests and work together for the common good. Current efforts to do this on a on an international scale have met with great resistance. Even though the United States is one of the largest energy users, it has failed to take a leadership position by setting an example. We hope that things will change for the better in the future, but in the meanwhile, each one of us—state, company, or individual—can assist in reducing this threat by making certain that our energy use is as efficient as possible.
The world is at a historic balance point where large emerging economies in Asia and South America are experiencing a rapid growth in demand for energy. How this demand is met has far-reaching consequences. Energy management promises to be of increasing importance in enabling humankind to meet the challenges of the future: providing employment, food, and security for future generations, without the spoiling the “blue planet.”
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