Energy sobriety requires common sense...

Posted on: 20 December 2022

The individual approach to reducing carbon emissions requires common sense and reflection and questioning of one's habits. In industry, it's the same.

Are the mining methods relevant 20 or 30 years ago are still relevant in the current environmental paradigm?

Le manufacturing process can it be reviewed without unbalancing the entire production chain and by being part of an efficient and energy-friendly change process?

What is energy sobriety?

In a context of energy transition, adjusting its consumption (electricity, gas, oil) and reducing its environmental footprint in various areas are becoming essential actions. At a time of overconsumption, energy sobriety invites us to rethink our mode of consumption and operation to limit ourselves to our real needs.

A real approach, its main objective is to reduce superfluous consumption in order to limit the harmful effects on the environment.

The négaWatt association specifies that energy sobriety is achieved using 4 levers: [1]

    • The convivial sobriety which results from a pooling of equipment and their use.
    • Dimensional sobriety which concerns the correct sizing of equipment in relation to their condition of use. This is to adapt the operation of machines in industries according to real needs.
    • Structural sobriety which consists in creating, in the organization of space or our activities, the conditions for a moderation of our consumption.
    • The sobriety of use which relates to the good use of the equipment in order to reduce consumption

Why do we hear about energy sobriety especially today?

The war between Ukraine and Russia, a major energy supplier in Europe, has aggravated the tension on gas and oil prices.
Not to mention that France is facing a drop in its electricity production linked to the maintenance of several of its nuclear power plants.

Faced with a risk of gas and electricity cuts this winter, the government, and more specifically Prime Minister Elisabeth Born, presented its energy sobriety plan on October 6, 2022 with a clear objective: a 10% reduction in France's consumption in two years and a 40% reduction in energy consumption by 2050.

Dametis is proud to be a signatory of the Sobriety Commitment. "Like the hummingbird, Dametis does its part."

Energy sobriety in industry

According to the statistical service of the General Commission for Sustainable Development, the industry sector consumed (in the end) 312 TWh in 2021, i.e. 17,5% of French consumption.[2] The main forms of energy used remain natural gas (37%) and electricity (36%), followed by refined petroleum products, marketed heat and coal.

An important part which highlights the major challenge that this sector represents.
Start a process ofenergetic efficiency begins today for industries to massively reduce their environmental impact and become real players in sustainable development in France.

Industries must implement actions to limit their consumption and achieve energy sobriety. Several simple gestures can be easily applied and represent substantial savings on annual energy bills: turning off machines/devices at night, investing in less energy-consuming machines, avoiding leaving devices in standby mode.

Reducing energy bills is also a branch of energy sobriety that should not be overlooked. And to reduce their bills, industries can turn to renewable energies such as biomass, geothermal energy, wind power.

How to take action?

First stage

  • An inventory of your energy consumption and your uses is essential to precisely identify possible improvements.
  • Establish an action plan tailored to your business.
  • Identification of your plant's real needs, current carbon footprint, costs and expected results.
  • Take the necessary measures to understand the operation of your plant and identify areas for improvement.
  • In-depth study to offer you the solution adapted to your needs.

Second step

  • Proposal of a less energy-consuming and more efficient alternative solution which will aim to:
    • reduce your energy consumption and expenditure
    • to embark on a process of energy sobriety
  • Support throughout your process thanks to the implementation of the technical and material solutions adopted.

Third step

  • Regular reports on the commitments made to ensure the functioning of the solution put in place.
  • Remote monitoring of the evolution of the consumption of your installations.

Customer cases to illustrate energy sobriety

Dametis, alongside alginate producers to optimize their production

Seaweed production activity

The existing : Dametis worked for a German industry producing alginate established in Brittany, working in a niche market, therefore. Created from seaweed, the manufacture of alginate, then used for food, cosmetics or pharmaceutical purposes, is a fairly complex process, which requires, in particular, heating and then cooling the material several times.

Step 1 : The reflection. Instead of multiplying the steps which require each time to have a substantial volume of water, to heat it / or to cool it to obtain the fact of heating or cooling, schematically, we confront the two masses of water: the one at 100° and the one at 10° in order to recover the energy of one to use it to cool the other.

Step 2 : Then, we accompany the replacement of the existing equipment by that recommended following the analysis to aim for energy efficiency.

Step 3 : Then comes the time to take stock, otherwise the process would be meaningless. The work team reviews the initial data, the commitments made at the start of the project and takes stock of the results of the new installation.

Guillaume Lecore, Director of Services at Dametis, adds: “This is a particularly interesting scenario at Dametis because rather than simply implementing a heating installation on a refrigeration installation, we have gone further in the process to put set up quite unique things through an innovative process that breaks the verticality of this type of industry.”

Dametis, alongside food producers to optimize their production

Onion production activity

The existing : An agri-food company producing onions wants to review its gas burner drying process to optimize its yield, avoid losses and reduce its energy costs in a situation where prices are often under pressure and where the energy transition must be imminent. The problem is as follows: when an onion is harvested, it is damp. In order for it to be preserved, the humidity must be removed, therefore drying it at a precise temperature never exceeding 22°C to avoid losing its properties and to obtain a counter-productive effect which would lead to the appearance of rot. Once dry, however, it can then be stored for a very long time at 4°C.

Step 1 : After preliminary analysis of the environment and the existing, it is the dehumidification of the air which was retained as method of drying. The Dametis team recommended using outside air to blow it over the onions to dry them. This air can then be cooled by a cold installation, and heated again thanks to the energy recovered by the cooling action to finally be blown on the onions. It can then capture much more moisture and thus allow efficient drying.

The solution : Installation of a refrigeration installation which has a much higher performance than the gas previously used, and which works thanks to electricity, therefore with a much better carbon impact.

Guillaume Lecore, Director of Services at Dametis, adds: “This solution was recently put in place, we will make a precise assessment remotely, but from the outset, on a replacement of gas by an electrical installation, we reduce around 75 to 80% CO2 emissions”.

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