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CP310  Comparing Energy Efficiency: where are we good? Benchmarking
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Recent rapid increase in electricity tariffs means energy efficiency is, and is likely to continue to be, critical in reducing operating costs. Pumps and treatment plant are major energy users and generators, yet despite the similarity between works and supply systems throughout the UK, if not the world, there is a wide variation in the amount of energy used per unit of production. The reason for this is unclear, but widely differing plant efficiency is likely to account for much of the variations.

This programme will dovetail with work being undertaken under the Water UK Energy Managers Forum and will link with CP298 None Intrusive Load Monitoring address the following questions:

  • Energy: how much is used, where is it used and how does one company or treatment plant compare with another?

  • What is the practical minimum benchmark consumption for energy efficient operation at a process or motor level?
  • What can be reasonably achieved in terms of further efficiencies on a site-specific basis?

Benefits to Clients

  • Reduced energy costs by eliminating identified waste and inefficiency.
  • Targeting of capex and maintenance to those elements that are least efficient and the greatest energy users.
  • Improved planning of future energy costs on the basis of achievable efficiencies rather than arbitrary targets.

Work Programme

  1. Develop a Benchmarking Process - A National set of Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs) will be developed to meet energy managers needs and will not just depend on information currently collected for other purposes. EPI baseline values will be calculated using models using process theory.
  2. Develop a Data Collection Methodology - The means of collecting the data will be determined, cost justified and agreed.
  3. Implementation - Data collection, targeting specific operations and works, will be initiated and the results will be collated and reported.

Project Outputs

  • A set of EPIs with baseline values and a detailed methodology for collecting data, and for calculating and comparing the EPIs.
  • A shared database of EPIs for water and wastewater treatment.

Related WRc Work

  • Extensive benchmarking programmes on UK wastewater (STEP) and drinking water (HOPP) treatment, international benchmarking experience for the World Bank (IBNET) 2001-2005.
  • Extensive process modelling of water (OTTER) and wastewater treatment (STOAT) and the development of Capex and Opex cost models (TR61) 1988-2006.

Duration: 24 months

WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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