Sugar mills generally demand considerable amounts of electricity to run smoothly due to the intensive process of refining sugar. From ABB’s experience in the sugar industry, using 45–50GWh of electricity every year is nothing unusual for a typical sugar cane plant. But when you consider that this could power approximately 12,000 households across Europe, the scope of the problem becomes apparent.
It becomes even more concerning when you consider this alongside reports from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK, which projected that 2017 would see carbon emissions reach a record high after years of stability. The official figures have yet to be confirmed, but an increase could form the basis of tighter emissions rules across UN countries given the importance of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
With that in mind, energy efficiency for sugar plant managers is as much about establishing a competitive advantage as it is reducing expenses. In order to improve efficiency, managers must understand what is causing their plant to consume so much power.