Demand Charge Limiters

More Efficient Energy Usage for a Consistent Utility Bill

Quad Plus will help you determine how your power company calculates the demand charge on your utility bill and implement software to help cut your power expenses by thousands of dollars every year. As you know, powering your auto shredder is an expensive proposition. Demand charges are fees calculated based on the highest 15-minute period of demand during your billing cycle and can account for up to 70 percent of your power bill!

Why Quad Plus?

In auto shredding applications, the main mill motor is the source of variability and accounts for the majority of the utility demand for the entire plant. The Quad Plus Demand Charge Limiter leverages the advanced technology in our main mill drive system to control and manipulate the demand charge. No additional external hardware is required to implement the Quad Plus Demand Charge Limiter which minimizes installation costs and commissioning times. Since the source data for the Demand Charge Limiter is native in the Quad Plus drive system, we can provide faster control and better feedback to operators and management of real-time demand.

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lower peak electricity costs with demand charge limiter software

Demand Charges Explained

One part of your electricity bill is the actual energy usage. This amount is found by multiplying the kilowatt hours (kWh) used by the energy rate and can only be reduced by consuming less electricity.

The second part of your bill is the demand charge. Your utility company uses a demand meter to measure how much power you are using during a demand interval--typically 15- or 30-minute segments of time throughout the billing month. The highest number of kilowatts used in any of these intervals is your “peak demand,” and this number is multiplied by the demand rate to get your demand charge.

Consuming reasonably consistent amounts of electricity throughout the month will give you consistent bills. However, spikes in usage could lead to extreme demand charges that aren’t reflective of your overall usage.

utility demand charges

How Demand Charges Fluctuate

The reason behind these charges lies in the responsibility your utility company has to deliver the electricity you need when you need it. If your peak usage is 100 kilowatts and you tend to consume a relatively steady 100 kilowatts per hour throughout the day and the billing month, the utility knows what to expect from you and can reliably make that energy available for you to use. In other words, regardless of how large that peak number is, the demand on the utility is steady and therefore less of a burden to manage.

On the other hand, spikes in usage can put a heavy burden on the utility as they are not prepared to deliver that level of demand and must rely on secondary systems to ensure your leap in usage doesn’t lead to brownouts for you and other customers. These systems are expensive to build, maintain, and use, and demand charges help to offset these costs. If your demand remains steady, the utility doesn’t have to do anything extra to supply your electricity and therefore isn’t going to rely on secondary systems. If you have spikes in usage, the percentage of your bill for demand will be significantly higher in order to meet your unpredictable demand.

electric company demand charges for industrial applications

Understanding Your Power Consumption

lower peak electricity costs with demand charge limiter software

The first part of the process is to conduct a Power Factor Correction Study. We’ll review your utility’s rate structure and your historical billing to evaluate use patterns. Next, we will create a detailed profile of your facility’s usage over typical operating cycles based on on-site monitoring and determine the real (kW) and reactive (kVAR) power flow and power factor through each branch of your power system.

This data from this study is used to determine the following:

  • Need, ratings, and location of capacitors for power factor correction
  • Reactive power flows
  • Basic economic analysis and payback period for recommended equipment

Once we have a clear understanding of your current usage patterns, we can get to work on cutting energy expenses.

How We Reduce Industrial Electricity Demand Charges

30-day demand cycle sample

Most companies have fairly consistent energy usage, but may have spikes in demand for events such as powering up systems and bringing them online. These events will be revealed during the Power Factor Correction Study, and are often what’s behind high demand charges. These events can be mitigated by reducing consumption on non-essential machines or by completing these tasks while other systems are not in use.

Our Demand Charge Limiters allow you to determine the kW demand you want to see on your power bill based on your production requirements. The manager enters the target kW demand on the setup screen and activates the program. The system begins calculating predicted kW usage and actual kW consumed. If your actual consumption exceeds the forecast during production, small corrections will bring it below the forecasted amount.

Let's Get Connected

hammermill shredder control system integration services

Quad Plus has been helping companies keep energy bills in check for 30 years. Our complete solutions will have you in control of your usage and demand without sacrificing production needs. Our team has the knowledge and experience to make your operations more efficient, and we’ll provide ongoing support even after your project is complete.

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