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An industrial system can be analysed at different levels of detail by considering the energy inputs to the system, the efficiency of its energy conversions and the energy outputs, for example waste heat. Energy is carried around the system in different forms such as hot water, compressed air, gas, electricity and steam. Industrial energy flows can be complex, for example, an energy conversion device such as a boiler (chemical energy to heat energy) might supply industrial process as well as energy used in the building. Similarly, waste heat from a process might be re-used, converted into electricity or exported into a district heating system. Finally, greenhouse gas emissions depend upon the nature of the energy inputs to the industrial system as well as the amount used.

Consider the example of a small (150 employees) manufacturer in the food and drink sector. You may choose the type of product (such as ready meals, beer or another product with which you may be familiar). The owner wishes to audit the energy performance of the organisation because she is considering investments to improve its energy efficiency.

Additional benefits of the audit are that it will identify opportunities for cost and emissions reduction. The factory was built in the 1970s and has not been significantly modified since then. The processes that use heat and the building heating system are fed by steam and hot water from oil fired boilers that are as old as the factory but all other machinery including chillers, compressors, pumps, conveyors, etc. are electrically powered.

  1. Identify the most significant energy using processes within the factory and explain briefly how you would estimate or measure the energy they use.
  2. Illustrate the main flows of energy into, within and out of the factory, showing the main energy conversions that take place with typical efficiencies. Where are the main losses?
  3. Comment on the suitability of renewable energy technologies for this factory and suggest two other ways in which you might reduce the cost of the organisation’s energy use.

Energy Flows in an Industrial System

Energy is one of the most crucial resource that drives and defines the sustainability of the firm and hence, it is recommended by different scholars to use it with great accuracy and efficiency. The efficiency of the energy not only depends on the use of the power but the equipment that are producing and using the energy. The discussed report will assess the use of the energy used within the food and drink processing system. The conversion of energy between different equipment and the way they are used will be assessed taking consideration of a small industry will be discussed before concluding and offering recommendation for energy sustainability.

The subject of the paper is a small industry that brews beer and will take account of its energy consumption and conversion in different processes involve in beer brewing (Safdar, Ilyas and Malik, 2017). The organisation taken in consideration is a microbrewery with around 150 employees to carry out the process of beer brewing. A hypothetical organisation has been selected to discuss the case. The reason for selecting a hypothetical organisation lays base on a microbrewery has multiple machineries and tools that are used to complete the brewing process (Kubule et al., 2016). The most prominent energy consumers are the refrigeration, packaging unit, air compressor, brewing unit, lighting systems, boilers and others. The machineries and tools discussed are the prominent processes of the brewery and the process that consumes most of the energy is the refrigeration process followed by the air compressing, brewing, lightening, boiling and rest of the processes (Thollander et al, 2015).

The energy consumption and processing of each of the units that are part of the brewing process can be calculated by using the assistance of the energy meter that are attached with the instruments (Williams and Mekonen, 2014). Additionally, the past energy reports of the firm can be of great assistance in measuring the energy consumption of the instruments. It should also be noted that the energy rating of the instruments also needs to be taken in consideration to reach on an accurate result from the energy audit (Lujara, 2015). Measuring of the heat can also prove to be of great benefit as it will enable the assist in devising the strategy for the renewable use of the energy released.

The flow of energy has it’s influenced through four key factors:

  1. Choice of Technology: Different technologies adoption has its influence on the structure of the energy supply with the environmental emissions. The technology uncertainty can be the future development of technologies with the generation of electricity having the availability and the resources with energy cost.
  2. Policy Adjustment: Policies can be implemented by Policymakers that can regulate the supply of energy and consumption of energy with strategic purposes.
  3. Availability of Energy Resource: The supply structure of the energy for the instrument is dependent on the availability of resources.
  4. Energy Demand: Energy services are provided with the consumption of energy which have the cooling comfort, passenger transport and illumination. The energy supply gets influence by the demand of variation in energy.

The usage of energy is basically done by converting from one form to another (Iddrisu and Bhattacharyya, 2015). In fact, the energy gets generated with the source that serves the end-use of energy. There are number of steps for conversion were the energy get flows. The words “utilisation” and “generation” are bit confusing as there is no such energy that can get created or destroy (Fiorani, Guo and Kleij, 2015).

Energy Consumption and Conversion in a Microbrewery

The promotion with National Green Technology provide direction and motivation that can be built in four ways: (1) Environment; (2) Energy; (4) Social and (5) Economy. The pillar of energy gets emphasized by attaining the energy independence and are utilized by promoting efficiency.

The five objectives of the policy are as follow: (1) economic development can enhance the growth of the energy consumption that gets minimize, (2) the industry with Green Technology have a growth that get facilitate and through national economy it enhances the contribution, (3) the development with the Green Technology increases the national capability and innovation capacity which enhance the global arena of the Green Technology, (4) For the generation of the future it ensure environment conserve and sustainable development and (5) on the Green Technology the awareness and education of the public get enhance and encourage the widespread use. 

For a long term sustainable development, it is better to develop a plans for which the renewable energy gets utilize for a series of plans. Through renewable energy 56% electricity could be generated, of which 43% is contributed to large hydropower (Kousksou et al., 2014). The renewable energy has developed much slower due to the low energy prices. The processing of energy for the food and drink requires high cost which can optimize the utilization of energy and prevent by getting loss for which it is better to measure the utilized amount. Through this the energy audit develop a standard with regular consumption of energy and also reduces the wastage of energy and the cost. Thus, the study for the energy audit about the lead to energy conservation and future operation of brews beer measure the performance.

The efficiency of energy conversion is high that can save the energy. The efficiency of the system is high which losses the heat from one converter and utilize those energies to input into another computer and such process is called as waste heat utilization. The drying of the industrial product utilizes the heat in agro-processing.

There are some principle where the fuel is specified by knowing the content of the energy. The fuel heating value or the calorific value content chemical energy (Chong et al., 2015). Thus, it is easier to comparing different fuel that has different content of energy. It is easier to work out for fuel that is equivalent to another fuel (Mathiesen et al, 2015). The energy resources could get quantify and through it the amount of energy could be achieve depending on the energy that has been utilised for converting the energy for efficiencies (Schleich and Fleiter, 2016). The use of energy is though very limited to the industry. With practice, the source of energy get compare which can replace the value with the form of energy.

Opportunities for Cost and Emissions Reduction

The stability for the supply of energy provide a guideline for the policy of energy that has three principal objectives (Chong et al., 2015).

  1. The Environmental Objective: This objective minimizes the impacts of negative environment which has the energy supply chain for energy conservation, production, utilization and transportation.
  2. The Supply Objective: This objective ensure cost-effective, adequate and secure supply of energy that develop and utilize the alternative energy sources.
  3. The Utilization Objective: This objective utilizes the energy efficiently and has patterns which have non-productive patterns for consumption of energy. 


In this study, it is concluded that technology adoption has its influence on the environmental emissions were energy get easily supply. The study has define the sustainability of the form. The use of power has the energy efficiency which is equip by using and producing energy. The hypothetical organisation has selected a microbrewery and has tools that use the brewing process. When the energy get generated, the cost of the energy gets available with the resources. The energy get consume with cooling comfort, passenger transport and illumination which get influence by the energy variation. The prominent processes for brewery is discussed through tools and machineries which the refrigeration process consumes the energy which compresses the air. The conversation of energy is basically done by converting from one form to another. The paper has also provided information for long term sustainability development which develop a plan that utilize the renewable energy for a series of plan.

The figure below recommended to identify the comparison between the specific power and the specific energy which has a storage weight when energy get generated.

Fig 1: Challenges with SME

(Source: Sharma 2014)

The picture attached above cites the challenges of SMEs and based upon that the following recommendations have been made:

  • Increase in the number of windows and ventilation to save cooling & lighting prices and energy.
  • Selection of energy rated equipment for organisational operations. Additionally, green technology is also hugely beneficial in saving energy.
  • Adequate plantation in the organisational campus to keep the campus cool and airy.
  • Regular auditing and monitoring of the equipment to identify any extra consumption of energy and mitigate it immediately.
  • Smart monitoring can also assist in unplugging the equipment that are not in use. The technology such as IoT will be effective in this context and is also cheap to install.

Fig 2: IoT model of Industry

(Source: Ratan 2017)


Chong, C., Ni, W., Ma, L., Liu, P. and Li, Z., 2015. The use of energy in Malaysia: Tracing energy flows from primary source to end use. Energies, 8(4), pp.2828-2866.

Fiorani, G., Guo, W. and Kleij, A.W., 2015. Sustainable conversion of carbon dioxide: the advent of organocatalysis. Green Chemistry, 17(3), pp.1375-1389.

Gallo, A.B., Simões-Moreira, J.R., Costa, H.K.M., Santos, M.M. and dos Santos, E.M., 2016. Energy storage in the energy transition context: A technology review. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 65, pp.800-822.

Iddrisu, I. and Bhattacharyya, S.C., 2015. Sustainable Energy Development Index: A multi-dimensional indicator for measuring sustainable energy development. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 50, pp.513-530.

Kousksou, T., Bruel, P., Jamil, A., El Rhafiki, T. and Zeraouli, Y., 2014. Energy storage: Applications and challenges. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 120, pp.59-80.

Kubule, A., Zogla, L., Ikaunieks, J. and Rosa, M., 2016. Highlights on energy efficiency improvements: a case of a small brewery. Journal of cleaner production, 138, pp.275-286.

Lujara, N.K., 2015. Three Phase PWM Inverter for Low Rating Energy Efficient Systems. International Journal of Electrical, Computer, Electronics and Communication Engineering, 9(4), pp.400-406.

Mathiesen, B.V., Lund, H., Connolly, D., Wenzel, H., Østergaard, P.A., Möller, B., Nielsen, S., Ridjan, I., Karnøe, P., Sperling, K. and Hvelplund, F.K., 2015. Smart Energy Systems for coherent 100% renewable energy and transport solutions. Applied Energy, 145, pp.139-154.

Ratan, V. (2017). The role of open source in IoT - Open Source For You. [online] Open Source For You. Available at: [Accessed 22 Jul. 2018].

Safdar, S., Ilyas, S.U. and Malik, S.R., 2017. Energy Audit and Conservation Policies for Beverage Industries. NFC IEFR Journal of Engineering and Scientific Research, 2.

Sharma, V. (2014). Producitivity Challenges of Small and Medium Enterprises. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Jul. 2018].

Schleich, J. and Fleiter, T., 2016. Effectiveness of Energy Audits in Small Business. Policy, 51, pp.863-875.

Thollander, P., Paramonova, S., Cornelis, E., Kimura, O., Trianni, A., Karlsson, M., Cagno, E., Morales, I. and Navarro, J.P.J., 2015. International study on energy end-use data among industrial SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and energy end-use efficiency improvement opportunities. Journal of Cleaner Production, 104, pp.282-296.

Williams, A.G. and Mekonen, S., 2014, October. Environmental performance of traditional beer production in a micro-brewery. In Proceedings of the 9th international conference on life cycle assessment in the agri-food sector. American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, Vashon (pp. 1535-1540).

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