By Liz Stevens
The US Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program has partnered with nearly 250 US organizations, representing more than 3,000 plants. The program helps these partners set and achieve ambitious energy reduction goals. By joining Better Plants, manufacturing partners gain access to a slew of information, tools and resources to improve their plants’ energy efficiency.
The DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office’s energy system and energy management software tools help manufacturers increase energy efficiency at the plant-level and in specific systems. These tools allow manufacturers to learn step-by-step ways to identify opportunities, monitor progress and improve efficiency in any facility. Here is a look at the Top 5 software tools available.
Energy Performance Indicator (EnPI)
A regression analysis-based tool to help plant and corporate managers establish a normalized baseline of energy consumption, track annual progress of intensity improvements, energy savings, Superior Energy Performance* (SEP) EnPIs and other EnPIs that account for variations due to weather, production and other variables.
This Microsoft Excel-based tool can be installed and run locally on computers running Windows 7 or newer and Microsoft Office Suite 2010 or newer. System inputs include monthly energy consumption data and any variables that affect the energy consumption in a facility. The tool identifies key variables affecting facility energy performance and calculates a modeled consumption based on the independent variables selected for regression. For Better Plants program partners, the tool calculates a variety of data required for the partner’s annual report.
* Superior Energy Performance™ [SEP], a strategic energy management program managed by the US DOE, offers a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency and promotes continuous, sustained improvement in energy performance from the operation of industrial facilities. SEP is a voluntary certification that industrial facilities earn by demonstrating continual improvement in energy efficiency.
Plant Water Profiler Tool, Version 1.0 (PWPEx v1.0)
PWPEx Tool v1.0 of Plant Water Profiler Tool is a downloadable, stand-alone tool in Excel format, developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with input from Saint-Gobain, Ford Motors, KYB, ArcelorMittal, ALCOA and Arconic. PWPEx Tool is a comprehensive tool designed for use by manufacturing plants falling under NAICS Codes 31, 32, and 33 to help their sustainability teams:
- understand the procurement, use and disposal of water in their plants
- be cognizant about the “true cost” of water, including the costs associated with water procurement, treatment, and consumption and wastewater disposal
- identify opportunities for reducing water use and achieve associated cost savings.
PWPEx Tool assesses the water efficiency status of a plant and its individual systems and provides a list of water efficiency measures and opportunities specific to the plant. Thus, PWP Tool is a “first step” that industrial manufacturing plants can follow to minimize their water use and achieve cost savings.
Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHASTEx v1.01)
PHASTEx v1.01 is a modified Excel format version of another tool, The Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST). The PHASTEx software tool is designed to improve energy efficiency and save energy for industrial heating systems – all commonly used heating equipment such as furnaces, melters, ovens, heaters, dryers and boilers used in industrial facilities.
The PHAST and PHASTEx tools have been used in many industrial plants in the US and other countries to identify energy use distribution and estimate energy losses, as well as to analyze potential energy savings by using commonly recommended energy saving measures.
The PHASTEx tool is a downloadable, standalone tool, and doesn’t require import and export functionalities. The tool can be used for most industrial plants in the manufacturing sector. (This tool is included in MEASUR, described below.)
Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT)
The Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT) is an online software tool that helps industrial users quantify energy use and savings opportunities in industrial fan systems. FSAT can be used to understand how well fan systems are operating, determine the economic benefit of system modifications, and establish which options are most economically viable when multiple opportunities exist for system modification.
The tool is designed for industrial plant managers and personnel who seek to improve fan system efficiency and measure potential savings opportunities in both dollars and electrical energy savings.
FSAT will operate on 64-bit computers running Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7, and with Microsoft Office Suite 2007 and 2010. (This tool is included in MEASUR.)
MEASUR (Manufacturing Energy Assessment Software and User Resource) was developed to help manufacturers improve the efficiency of energy systems and equipment within a plant, and it includes updated programming of several DOE legacy tools.
MEASUR consists of the following DOE legacy energy system assessment tools:
- Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT)
- Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST)
- Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT)
- Steam System Assessment Tool (SSAT)/ Steam System Modeler (SSMT)
In time, MEASUR also will include:
- AIRMaster+, to analyze energy use and savings opportunities in compressed air systems,
- An “inventory” providing an easy-to-create inventory database of equipment (motors, pumps, fans, process heaters, etc.) that is easily connected to assessments,
- A “treasure hunt” tool kit, to estimate the savings found in an Energy Efficiency Treasure Hunt / Kaizen and track the project process,
- Additional calculators are available that can be used independently for system parameter estimations and graphical analysis (e.g., estimate pump head, examine the pump-system curve, converting energy requirements for different heat sources, comparing the energy and cost implications of replacing or rewinding motors, etc.).
MEASUR operates on 64-bit or 32-bit computers running Windows OS, 64-bit or 32-bit computers running Linux OS, and Mac OS X.
For more information on the Top 5 software tools and other software available to Better Plants partners, visit https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/better-plants/software-tools.
For information on the Better Plants program, visit https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/better-plants.
or get the QuickStart Guide for Small to Medium Manufacturers at