IIT Madras sets Up IEAC to Assist Industries Free Of Cost In Cutting Down Energy Consumption

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‘Industrial Energy Assessment Cell’ (IEAC) is launched by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) to help large and small industries in reducing energy consumption throughout the assessments as well as providing evaluated technological solutions.

The service is being offered free of cost with assessments being done by research scholars, postgraduate and undergraduate students under faculty supervision.

The IEAC, from January till July 2019 has completed seven detailed assessments and 24 Walk-Through Assessments and has provided technological solutions that will help each industry obtain project savings between Rs. 50 lakh and Rs. 1 crore, if implemented.

A couple of firms had already implemented the suggestions and accrued savings to the tune of Rs. 20 lakh.

The assessments were help full for sectors like biscuit manufacturing, textile manufacturing and elevator manufacturers.

IIT Madras wants that other IITs and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) should also start the assessment program which can help industries in their respective regions.

Prof Mahesh V. Panchagnula, Dean (International and Alumni Relations), IIT Madras, said:

“India is a net importer of energy. It is important that we address the problem from both conservation and efficiency improvement perspectives. This is an important step in that direction.”

It is an interdisciplinary effort with faculty from different engineering departments and economics involved and the IIT Madras Faculty working on this IEAC initiative includes:

  • Prof. Mahesh V. Panchagnula, and Prof. Satyanarayanan Seshadri, Department of Applied Mechanics,
  • Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy and Prof. Shankar Narasimhan, Department of Chemical Engineering,
  • Prof. Srikanth Vedantam, Department of Engineering Design,
  • Prof. Krishna Vasudevan, Department of Electrical Engineering and
  • Prof. VR Muraleedharan, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for Technology and Polity.

Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy said:

“As more assessments are performed this initiative will enable us to assess the potential for implementing cutting-edge data science and AI technologies for manufacturing excellence in SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) in upcoming time.”

The IIT Madras team of students and a faculty will assess plant-wide energy and resource management system, undertake a detailed study of plant operation and energy usage and suggest means of optimizing energy consumption that will result in considerable financial savings for the manufacturing unit, if it implements the suggestions.

Prof. Satyanarayanan Seshadri said:

“In some cases where the manufacturing plant is very efficient and comes out to be a learning opportunity for us. We also benchmark in which we identify existing efficient practices and spread it to other industries.”

Prof. Muraleedharan said :
“These surveys also enable various stakeholders such as the government policy makers, industry trade bodies and research institutes like ours to come together for a roundtable discussion, thus promoting better understanding of the needs and bottlenecks in promoting energy efficiency in industries.”

Foundries in Western countries accept less than 1 percent rejection rate while Indian foundries operate at 8 to 10 percent rejection rates. The Motivation for this project was the need for an efficient and agile manufacturing sector which is critical for India’s growth.

Plant personnel will benefit by becoming aware of ‘Best Practices‘ for energy savings. The students will also gain industrial experience as each IEAC team consists of graduate and undergraduate.

The team formed than conducts a one-day visit to the plant site and studies electricity, gas/oil, air/steam (if applicable) and other streams as well and discusses plant operation with top management personnel.

The visiting team will also set online sensors to log real-time data and energy and waste streams are analyzed. The findings are quantified and typical issues related to this class of plants are listed. A final report is sent within 6 weeks of the visit and the follow-up is done 8 weeks and six months after receipt of report.

This initiative will help IIT Madras fulfil its motto:

“Be of research and technological service to the nation.”

The IIT Madras wants to keep offering free of cost and the donors and industries sponsoring this initiative will have the first mover advantage in India which will bring university students and faculty in systemic contact with industry on the issue of energy efficiency improvement.

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