Energy IQ: Why businesses need to unlock value with better energy management strategies

Think your business couldn't benefit from having an energy management strategy? Think again. 

Most successful companies have a marketing, product or supply chain strategy, but there is one more important but often overlooked area to consider when wanting to maximize profit: An energy management strategy. Today, a well-planned energy management strategy can position a company to take advantage of the recent trends shaping the energy markets.

"The days of considering energy costs as a given is long gone for most businesses," said Gino Butera, Vice President of Power Generation at Cummins. "A combination of five macro trends ranging from digitization and de-carbonization to electrification and de-regulation has created opportunities for businesses to be more pro-active with their energy costs." 

Energy use intensity for commercial buildings
Commercial businesses with higher energy use intensity benefit the most from energy management strategies.

According to a 2019 Deloitte study, 88% of businesses have changed their view of energy procurement from simply a cost to the business to an opportunity to create value. Cummins has identified three benefits or values to be unlocked by an effective energy management strategy.

No. 1: Improving the company’s financials

Energy bills (electricity, heating and transportation fuel) are one of the major expenses for many businesses of any size. If you are simply paying the energy bills without seeking the opportunities to lower your bills, you might be leaving money on the table. 

When it comes to electricity and heating costs, there are opportunities ranging from demand response and demand charge management to combined heat and power for your business to lower costs. You can even create a competitive advantage for your business through an effective energy management strategy, depending upon your local cost of electricity. Hawaii's largest craft brewer has accomplished this and created its competitive edge with the ability to estimate the cost of electricity. 

An effective energy management strategy would integrate the latest technologies in intelligent controls and microgrids into your company’s infrastructure, enabling your business to take advantage of financial opportunities. 

No. 2: Protecting the core business from interruptions

Lives, money and reputation. In the case of certain healthcare facilities, interruptions in a business could have disastrous outcomes including putting lives at risk. Even in the least harmful case, an interruption caused by a power outage will still cost your business money in the form of lost business. Both instances could do irreversible damage to the company’s reputation.

Even the most reliable power grids are at risk to fail. For example, electricity customers in the U.S experienced an average of over seven hours without power due to outages in 2017. In some states such as Maine and Florida, customers experienced an average of over 30 hours without power due to outages during the same year. 

An effective energy management strategy would feature a diverse set of energy assets ranging from storage systems to emergency generators to minimize interruptions caused by power outages. A diversity of energy assets would increase the resiliency of your company’s energy infrastructure instead of relying solely on the grid. 

No. 3: Advancing the environmental sustainability efforts

Today, more businesses are not just talking about sustainability but are establishing environmental sustainability goals to keep themselves accountable. One might think this is a trend for large multinational corporations, but in fact increasing number of small businesses also have sustainability goals.  

A business’ environmental footprint gets impacted by a variety of factors ranging from how its facilities are built to how its products are disposed, yet the use of energy gets the spotlight due to its significant impact on overall environmental sustainability. 

Electricity goals for businesses
Most companies have goals to reduce carbon footprint, and use of electricity and natural gas. 

An effective energy management strategy introduces new energy assets that produce less harmful pollutants to displace high-carbon sources such as coal. These new assets, including renewables and storage technologies, help businesses improve preservation of air, water and soil. 

Whether it is improved financials, continuity to serve customers or reducing environmental impact, an effective energy management strategy has multi-faceted benefits for any business. Building an effective strategy requires a consideration of both the company’s future goals and current operating realities. Check out this article outlining how you can start building an effective energy management strategy for your business.  If you are ready to take your energy strategy to the next steps, you can simply get in touch with an expert from Cummins to partner with you

Sign up below for Energy IQ to periodically receive relevant insights and trends about energy management. To learn more about distributed generation solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage

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References:

1 Deloitte Insights (2019). Deloitte Resources 2019 Study [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com 
 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Q&A: Heat safety awareness

While summer typically brings plenty of fun in the sun, it also means families need to be prepared for the dangers of extreme heat. 

On July 10, 1913, the United States experienced the hottest temperature ever recorded at 134.1°F in Death Valley, California. While most of us will never experience a temperature that high in our lifetimes, extreme heat still calls for vital safety measures during the summer. At Cummins, we want you to have the information available to stay safe all season long.

What are the dangers of extreme heat?

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

  • Sweating, clammy, pale skin
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Headache, muscle cramps
  • Weakness, fatigue, dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting

Actions to take: 

  • Move to a cool place with A/C
  • Lie down and rest with feet elevated
  • Stay hydrated with water
  • Cool your body with cold, wet cloths
  • Loosen clothing
  • Seek medical help if vomiting occurs or symptoms worsen

Heat Stroke Symptoms:

  • Fever of 103 or higher
  • Dry, red and hot skin with no sweating
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Dizziness, nausea, throbbing headache
  • Loss of consciousness or seizure

Actions to take: 

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Move person to a cool place
  • Lower person's body temperature with cold water, wet cloths and fanning
  • Place ice packs on neck, arm pits and groin
  • Death is possible if untreated

What are some safety tips during a heat wave?

  • Do not leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles
  • Stay inside during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) and limit time outside in the sun
  • If A/C is not available, stay indoors on the lowest floor in a well-ventilated area with fans
  • Keep shades and blinds closed
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol and soda as they make dehydration worse
  • Limit strenuous activity and postpone outdoor games and events
  • Apply sunscreen frequently, wear a hat and light-colored clothing
  • Entertain yourself at air-conditioned public spaces such as malls, movie theaters or libraries
  • Check on family and friends with special needs, those who may not have A/C or live alone
  • Keep your pets indoors and ensure they are in a cool space and have plenty of water
  • Listen for weather updates from the National Weather Service on a NOAA weather radio
  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345) and listen to your local officials for shelter locations.

Cummins home standby generatorHow should I prepare for extreme heat?

  • Consider a home standby generator that will keep your home cool in the event of an outage
  • Properly install window air conditioners (sealing any cracks) and insulate if necessary
  • Check A/C ducts for proper insulation and clean filters
  • Install awnings, blinds or light-colored drapes to keep sunlight and heat out
  • Upgrade your windows and weather-stripe door to keep heat out and cool air in
  • Get trained in first aid and CPR

How can a generator keep me safe during a heat wave?

  • Home generators will keep your essential functions – like air conditioning – operating in the event of an outage
  • An automatic transfer switch will ensure your generator starts immediately once your power goes out, so you don’t have to go outside or leave your home
  • Portable generators can provide power to smaller items, like a window A/C unit to keep you cool when experiencing extreme heat

Get your free in-home assessment now or find a local dealer.

Cheryl Nelson, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist

Cheryl Nelson

Cheryl Nelson is an Emmy-nominated and AP award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, TV Host, FEMA-Certified Instructor and Weather and Preparedness Advisor for Cummins. You can visit Cheryl’s website at www.PrepareWithCher.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @CherylNelsonTV. 

Cummins Marine powers adventurists around the Great Loop

Bill and Amy Denison
Bill and Amy Denison complete the 6,500-mile journey around the Great Loop

Many mariners have the Great Loop on their bucket list but only a few are lucky enough to accomplish the task. Bill and Amy Denison are one of those few. With great pride, they were able to complete the 6,500-mile journey down the east coast, up the inland rivers and back across the great lakes.

Their journey began on the waters of Maine and Nova Scotia. Bill and Amy cruised along the coast and visited remote islands in their boat, Mar-Kat – a Back Cove 41 named after their daughters, Margaret and Kathleen. They decided that they wanted to venture further and joined the American Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA).

After six months of research and planning, the couple said goodbye to friends and family to set off on their journey to tackle The Great Loop. Departing on 15 June 2018, from Albemarle Sound in North Carolina, they headed south. Mar-Kat powered by a 710 horsepower Cummins marine diesel engine and a 9kW Cummins Onan marine generator.Cummins marine powered boat

Over the course of their journey, Bill and Amy travelled across 13 states and the Province of Ontario, going through 100 locks and racking up almost 500 hours on their boat. By completing the Loop in a counter-clockwise direction, they were able to take advantage of the swift river currents.

Bill said, “The Cummins QSM11 engine worked flawlessly throughout the journey and only required a few oil changes.” When service maintenance was required, the couple got in touch with their local distributor and “received good support from the Cummins Virginia team.”

With unique heavy-duty design elements, Cummins small diesel engines have an extended engine life and provide proven acceleration and torque performance. This reliable, four-valve-per-cylinder marine engine is trusted by hundreds of manufacturers and can be found in the engine rooms of pleasure boats all over the world. Additionally, with more than 8,000 dealers and distributors, the Cummins product gives customers the peace of mind that they need, regardless of where their journey takes them.

After successfully completing The Great Loop in 10 months, Bill and Amy are now planning their next adventure with Mar-Kat, maybe exploring Florida or the southern Bahamas. Regardless of where they head next, Cummins will provide the power, innovation and dependability to drive their voyage.

Discover the Cummins marine range at cummins.com/marine, to see how our engines and generators can power your journeys, on sea or by land. 

Need assistance in choosing the right solution for your boat? Find your local Cummins rep

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Australia’s landmark hybrid renewable energy microgrid complemented by thermal power generation from Cummins Power Generation

Cummins QSV91G gas generator and QSK60 diesel units support the Agnew Gold Mine's renewable energy microgrid.
Cummins QSV91G gas generator and QSK60 diesel units support the Agnew Gold Mine's renewable energy microgrid.

With an installed capacity of 56MW, the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Power Station became Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy microgrid – and the first to utilize wind generation at a mine. The energy produced is equivalent to powering 11,500 homes and will abate 46,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year alone. 

Agnew Hybrid Renewable Power Station, AustraliaWith an installed capacity of 56MW, the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Power Station became Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy microgrid – and the first to utilize wind generation at a mine. The energy produced is equivalent to powering 11,500 homes and will abate 46,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year alone. 

“The renewable energy technologies of EDL’s Agnew Hybrid Renewable Power Station are complemented by thermal generation from Cummins gas and diesel generators,” said Jason Dickfos, EDL Head of Growth. “We’re pleased to be working with Cummins to deliver this landmark project, which will provide the Agnew Gold Mine with more than 50% renewable energy over the long term, without compromising power quality or reliability.” 

The hybrid renewable energy solution at the Gold Fields mine in Western Australia consist of a new off-grid 23MW power station incorporating gas, photovoltaic solar and diesel power generation, followed by 18MW wind generation, a 13MW battery and an advanced microgrid control system. A crucial requirement was that the generators had to provide continuous, reliable power at temperatures up to 45°C. The Cummins QSV91G gas generator model was selected due to its ability to operate in high ambient conditions, in addition to providing high impact step loads and fast ramp rates while maintaining power quality, while the Cummins QSK60 diesel units provide additional power during peak periods of demand and have black start capabilities in the event of a power outage. 

Read more about the Agnew microgrid in this case study

Angela Papageorgiou

Angela Papageorgiou is the Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for the Energy Management Segment of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2014, Angela worked in Marketing Communications agencies supporting the development and execution of B2C and B2B campaign projects. angela.papageorgiou@cummins.com

Energy IQ: Three situations that maximize the advantages of cogeneration applications

Three situations that maximize the advantages of cogeneration applications
Three situations that maximize the advantages of cogeneration applications

Greenhouses, hospitals, industrial manufacturers and commercial building owners are some of the many turning to cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP). They enjoy benefits ranging from improved financial performance to reduced environmental footprint. Cogeneration applications’ high efficiency in converting the energy in the original fuel into useful energy is the foundation of these advantages.

These benefits of cogeneration applications are further amplified under certain situations. Let’s cover these situations and associated examples of cogeneration applications. 

No. 1: Certain aspects of your business operate 24/7

The most cost-effective cogeneration systems operate at full output 24/7. 

This doesn’t mean your whole business needs to run 24/7. Instead, you can identify aspects of your business that run 24/7, and power these with a cogeneration system. Meanwhile, you can still have the utility connection and on-site boilers. These are useful to power the rest of your business operations and to manage potential peaks in electricity or thermal energy demand. Another advantage of using a combination of cogeneration and utility power is around maintenance events. This combination allows you to conduct maintenance and service on your cogeneration system without interrupting access to electricity for your business.

Hospitals are a good example of cogeneration applications for this scenario. Controlling the temperature, managing air quality, keeping the medical equipment operational and many other activities require electricity and thermal energy throughout the day. 

No. 2: The need for thermal energy is consistent; it is also simultaneous with the need for electricity several months of the year

Many facilities leverage cogeneration applications with increasing popularity over the years
Many facilities leverage cogeneration applications with increasing popularity over the years

Selling or storing excess thermal energy is often not practical. Excess heat is commonly released as waste heat, lowering the overall efficiency and financial gains of the cogeneration application. The efficiency of a cogeneration system increases when the thermal needs (steam, hot water or chilled water) stay at a consistent level. The same doesn’t apply as much to electricity needs, since excess electricity could often be sold back to the electric utility.

The longer the simultaneous need for electricity and thermal energy, the more advantageous a cogeneration application is. In fact, a good guidance is to consider cogeneration applications if your business has simultaneous needs for electricity and heating/cooling around half of the year or more 1. There are exceptions to this, and some applications are feasible even when the simultaneous need is 2,000 hours a year, about three months. 

Industrial manufacturing is a good example of a cogeneration application for this scenario. Thermal energy needed in industrial processing tends to be consistent throughout the facility’s operation. Moreover, thermal energy and electricity is usually needed simultaneously throughout the year in these facilities.  

No. 3: Electricity prices are high compared to the cost of natural gas

You are financially better off if producing electricity on-site is cheaper than purchasing electricity from the utility. Many cogeneration systems that produce electricity on-site use natural gas as the fuel, and this is where the spark spread comes into play. 

The spark spread is a metric for estimating the profitability of natural gas-fired electric generators. It is the difference between the price of electricity and the cost of the natural gas needed to produce that electricity 2. As the spark spread increases, savings provided by a cogeneration system also increases. Spark spread is an indicator of financial viability, but it is not an exact measure of profitability. 

Facilities where the cost of electricity is high and natural gas as a fuel is available are good examples of cogeneration applications for this scenario. 

Beyond the factors above, the Evaluating Cogeneration for Your Facility white paper outlines other aspects to consider as you explore cogeneration as an option.  

Sign up below for Energy IQ to receive energy focused insights in markets ranging from data centers and healthcare facilities to manufacturing facilities, and everything beyond. To learn more about cogeneration and trigeneration power solutions Cummins Inc. offers, visit our webpage.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

References: 
1 Hamilton, J. (n.d.). Evaluating Cogeneration for Your Facility [Bulletin]. Cummins Inc. Retrieved from https://www.cummins.com
2 U.S. Energy Administration Office (February 2013). An Introduction to Spark Spreads. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/
 

Raise Your Energy IQ

Grow professionally with energy trends and insights delivered to your inbox. Read about energy technologies and trends on our Energy IQ Hub.

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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