Energy Savings

Energy Reviews and Energy Management Solutions

Electricity costs from traditional sources are increasing and at the same time the capital costs of some renewable energy sources are falling. Businesses need to understand how energy and carbon affects your bottom line profitability. LC can review your energy usage and assist in implementing a range of energy demand and greenhouse gas management solutions. We can also assist in installing solar energy and energy storage solutions for businesses. All of these can help:

  • Reduce energy costs and bottom-line operational costs
  • Minimise risks in relation to carbon pricing changes
  • Improve corporate social responsibility reporting
  • Improve energy management and monitoring

Our energy management team is made up of experienced process and electrical engineers who understand the links between energy use and operations. Through our linkages with universities and major energy providers, we can also access specialist knowledge in mining, manufacturing, infrastructure and other commercial sectors when necessary. Specifically we can:

  • Develop demand management strategies
  • Identify relevant funding and assistance progammes and assist in preparation of funding proposals and grant applications
  • Conduct energy audits in accordance with AS-NS Standards AS/NZS 3598.1-3, and the EEO energy assessment framework
  • Identify energy savings opportunities and estimate payback periods
  • Assist in providing appropriate finance for solar and storage applications
  • Tailor and design specific implementation plans and installations to meet your operational and individual site requirements
  • Design systems that integrate within your existing framework (e.g. to incorporate solar hybrid solutions to work alongside an existing diesel generator)
  • Project manage, procurement, implementation and installation of equipment
  • Monitor and report on performance pre-and post-project implementation
  • Provide energy management training, and assistance with ongoing business needs

A practical example

PTEhydraulics PTEhydraulics2

LC engineers carried out an energy audit of PTE Hydraulics in 2012. With three factories at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, PTE Hydraulics is one of the largest specialist manufacturers of hydraulic cylinders in Australia.

The audit showed that substantial energy cost savings could be made by (a) shifting the loads on some of the machinery to reduce peak demand during factory working hours (typically peak demand occurs between 10.00 and 14.00 each working day) and (b) installing solar PV on each of the three factory buildings.

As a result of the audit, the company commissioned LC Energy to design PV systems tailored specifically to the needs of the whole factory site. The outcome of this audit illustrates perfectly the benefits that commercial customers may expect to achieve by commissioning an audit of their premises and processes.

To comply with the local network provider, the PV system design had to include bespoke protection relays to limit export of power back to the grid.

The initial audit recommended that PV systems should be installed in 2 stages. Small systems (each below 30kW) were therefore installed first on each of the three buildings, with the aim of determining the optimal size of arrays and inverters. This was followed by a period of monitoring (essentially a level 2 audit) before the final installations were carried out for the whole site.

Tier 1 panels and hardware were sourced at the request of the factory owner and installation of stage 1 (80kW of PV panels and 60kW inverter) was completed in June 2013. With support from AusIndustry, installation of phase 2, bringing the total installation up to 133kW of PV panels and 120kW of inverters was completed in March 2014. All of the SMA inverters are monitored via a blue-tooth connected SolarLog and performance can be viewed online at the LC Energy website.

The expected output of the total system is 184 MWh per year and the expected annual CO2 savings from the project is estimated to be 151 tonnes. Over the first 12 months of operation the return on investment has been 6.5% with total energy savings of almost $18,000.

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