Energy Management – Determination of the Area of Application
The ISO 50001 standards - requirements for an energy management system (EnMS) - offer companies the opportunity to determine for themselves the area of application (validity limits) and hence the scope of the system. To a certain extent, this poses a challenge to companies but is a key prerequisite for the development of the energy planning process.
Excerpt of the ISO 50001:2011 standards
1. Area of Application:
This International Standard determines the requirements for the implementation, realization, maintenance and improvement of an energy management system which aims at enabling a company to reach a continuous improvement of its use of energy and its energy consumption through a systematic approach.
Definition of the Term „Area of Application“:
Scope of activities, plants/ locations und decisions, which are made by the company through the EnMS and which can comprise several limits.
NOTE: The area of application may also include energy used for transports.
The determination of the area of application and the limits of the EnMS are important as all major energy-related aspects from the area of application should be considered.
- The scope of the implemented standards (area of application) determines the complexity of the EnMS, thus factors like upstream high voltage switchgear, transport logistics, goods transport or the production of externally produced components may be excluded or included into the assessment depending on their influence on energy consumption.
- The definition of the area of application is to enable to assign the input of energy to 100% to the total sum of energy consumption concerning the individual energy components (such as electricity, gas, thermal energy, etc.) as well as the total energy input ( in kWh). It should be noted that different types of energy can also be transformed within the system and may leave it as diffuse thermal radiation (see First Principle of Thermodynamics).
What kinds of energy does energy management deal with?
(Source: GUTcert guide “18 steps in three levels for efficient energy management according to ISO 50001 standards”)
It deals with the direct use of energy through
- burning of coke/coal, gas, oil or substitutes,
- the use of e.g. Diesel in the fleet or for internal transport with forklifts,
- gas, as the case may be, which beside its chemical and calorific energy input may include some additional energy input through its pre-pressure.
Factors which are also to be considered are
- already processed energies like electricity, steam, long-distance heating, long-distance cooling or compressed air which come from outside the audit parameters proper,
- internally produced electricity, steam, thermal energy, cooling water or compressed air which is not received from outside the audit parameters.
It should also be taken into account that energy is also emitted outside audit parameters in the form of
- e.g. burnable carbon monoxide,
- a product for a neighbour (e.g. steam, long-distance heating or electricity),
- residual material which can be used energetically (e.g. wood dust or chips, etc.),
- waste heat in the cooling water, radiant heat or, diffusely, warm air.
Other factors which may have to be considered for an overall analysis as the case may be, are the enormous physical energy content - the so-called carbon footprint - of delivered pressurized gases like N2, argon, O2, acetylene or H2 (whether they be used energetically or not). Technical gases may also provide chemical energy content next to their physical one.
Conclusions and Expectations
- The determination of the limits of the audit parameters is necessary for a serious energy planning process (i.e. the analysis of the use of energy and its consumption).
- The energy planning process is the most essential part of the ISO 50001 standards.
- The evaluation of the CO2 emissions (environmental effects) also makes sense for the energy planning process as it is one aim of ISO 50001 to reduce the greenhouse gases.
- An analysis through the companies themselves is also designed to facilitate an exemption of energy audits.
The general requirements of the ISO 50001 standards (the identification of an energy team, communications, etc.) do not pose any great challenge to companies which have been ISO 14001 certified. The energy planning process will certainly be a much greater challenge, as will be the assessment of the energy-related starting point, as the latter forms the basis for deriving performance indicators and will determine ensuing activities.