While you may be familiar with Lockheed Martin Systems’ (LM) world-class stealth fighters, you’re probably unaware of its best-in-class approach to energy management. As one of the world’s leading defense contractors, LM’s operations require energy—and a lot of it. With a corporate energy reduction target of 20% by 2020, LM’s 115,000 employees, located in 75 different countries, face a big challenge. Fortunately Principal Power Systems Engineer, Tom Knoedler, is equipped with the strategy to make it happen and shared some of those best practices at this past year’s EnergySMART Conference. Read on for an inside look at LM’s strategy for energy reduction—it’s nothing you can’t do, too!
1. Set clear priorities—and make sure they drive your strategy.
On a day-to-day basis, Knoedler must ensure three basic things:
A safe facility: Staff must be provided with a secure environment where safety is a priority.
Reliability of equipment: Given the high production costs involved in making LM’s fighter planes and other equipment, it is imperative the manufacturing process is seamless. Equipment must be functioning at optimal levels and cannot negatively impact the manufacturing process. This involves maintaining temperature, humidity, and pressurization levels, as well as complying with regulatory authorities like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Energy savings: Because LM is serious about reducing its energy consumption from its 2010 baseline by 2020, energy efficiency across all sites is key.
These basic priorities guide LM’s energy management plan and help its team stay focused on how to deliver great results.
2. Use data to identify—and trim—the fat on HVAC systems.
Based on LM’s priority to reduce energy consumption, Knoedler looked for reductions wherever he could find them, and settled on HVAC systems after identifying that 50% of its energy consumption was due to this source alone. As part of its energy reduction plan, LM closely monitors its HVAC systems in order to identify opportunities for savings. Facility managers rely on energy monitoring to actively monitor usage across their buildings. This visibility helped LM identify that a significant portion of its energy consumption is due to HVAC systems alone, and by using a “systems approach” they’re able to influence this consumption by 25-30%. This reduction has been the result of targeting equipment designed with excess capacity and monitoring it to find ways to reduce output to appropriately match the load. Access to energy data allowed engineers to monitor what temperature, humidity, and pressurization levels are the least energy-intensive while still maintaining the manufacturing process. By identifying these set points and installing variable frequency drives (VFDs) to improve the efficiency of pumps and fans, LM has reduced its overall energy use without sacrificing the quality of its products or the safety of its facilities.
3. The time is yesterday: upgrade to LED now.
In addition to optimizing its HVAC systems, LM leverages visibility into its energy data to monitor the results of lighting retrofits. By replacing older, fluorescent fixtures with LED lighting, LM capitalizes on low-hanging fruit and ensures energy efficiency across all operational fronts. Simple upgrades like these are closely monitored by the corporate engineering team who benchmark energy savings across multiple sites, connecting hundreds of utility meters to a centralized database.
Demand response programs, which pay large energy users for temporarily reducing energy when it’s needed by the grid, have delivered a significant additional revenue stream to LM. With sites enrolled in the Delaware Valley area of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, facilities voluntarily power down during times of stress on the local grid. Using energy intelligence software (EIS), energy managers are able to actively monitor their performance during dispatches and ensure equipment is running at the appropriate energy level. Once a dispatch has been completed, engineers then use EIS to slowly restore power to operations, careful not to surge the system. By participating in demand response in the PJM region, LHM earned a total of $136,381 in 2013 alone. These savings represent dollars that can be allocated to other energy efficiency projects like installing motion-activated lighting or upgrading older, inefficient equipment.
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