Powering Up After COVID-19

Powering back up after lockdown isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. In March 2020, food and beverage businesses began to shift operations in response to COVID-19, with measures taken across Australia to enforce social distancing and reduce on site occupancy.

Now, as state governments ease restrictions, you might be thinking about resuming business as usual.

But before you do, there are some important things you should be aware of to reduce your energy costs and avoid additional charges.

Below are some quick and easy tips to help your business power up operations back to normal.

Start on the front foot
If you are still on partial or total lock-down, this is a great opportunity to revisit your processes and consider energy efficiency upgrades or a new energy contract.

Consider an energy agreement that connects you with the true price of energy so that you can align your operations with times when energy is cheaper.

Get the timing right
Powering up during times of high demand puts a strain on the energy system and can lead to higher energy costs.

Even though you may be powering back up to normal levels, you may need to pay increased tariffs due to the demand you’re putting on the system.

Some equipment takes longer to start up, so start early. This may include a tap beer glycol system, post mix system, refrigeration and freezing units, as well as heating and air conditioning.

Automating your processes can help too. This may include setting your heating or cooling to come on at a certain time or using the self-clean function on a combi oven when demand for power is low.

Know your operations
Start with business critical operations and work your way towards full operations.

With patron limits, this could mean opening just one dining area midweek, offering a limited menu to operate less back of house equipment and simply using one front of house service area.

Take it easy with lighting
Your first instinct might be to turn on all of your lights, but lights can be a major energy drain.

When powering back up to full capacity, only light the areas you need and switch to energy-efficient lighting like LEDs and CLFs.

Keep it cool
Restocking fridges to full capacity will help them to chill faster and use less power to maintain temperatures.

For fridges that have been hibernated, position these in well-ventilated areas away from sunlight or heat from other equipment.

Powering your venue back up in stages will help your business avoid spending more than it needs to on power and will also help support the energy system.

Get ready for the future
If your energy agreement is up for renewal, use this time to look for a more flexible solution.

Energy rates have fallen to four year lows so choose a solution that reflects this change.

If you want to make the most of prices continuing to fall in the future, consider a plan that allows you to move to the new lower rate.

Get Power Active
If you’re looking for a flexible energy plan that connects you with the real price of energy and allows you to make the most of falling energy rates — it’s time to get Power Active.

Visit the Flow Power website to find out about the ways Power Active is helping Australian businesses save on energy costs. Click here.

Flow meters/ controllers with CANopen interface

Bronkhorst High-Tech announces the availability of a CANopen fieldbus interface on their flow meters and controllers for gases and liquids, as well as their digital pressure controllers.

CANopen enables system integrators to work with a high level of customization and optimization in any given application, to achieve best possible communication performance. The fieldbus allows for cyclic communication at 1 Mbit/s with up to 127 nodes in a network segment. Like DeviceNet, the CANopen protocol is based on CAN. For the user, this means that the basic communication features and bus connections are very similar.

Bronkhorst has many years of experience with fieldbus communication. With their “multi-bus” concept, the company offers their customers an extensive choice of seven fieldbus interface options. The wide range of digital metering and control devices is applied in many different markets, e.g. the food & beverage and chemical industries, gas and fluid analysis equipment, glass and tool coating processes, testing fuel cells for the automotive industry and in machinery used to produce electronic chips, LED lights and solar cells.

Enhanced level measurement technology from Emerson

Further addressing the tough challenges of accurately measuring level and volume of bulk solids and powders in large vessels, bins and silos, Emerson Process Management has enhanced its range of level measurement devices. 

A number of new functions and certifications will help to minimize maintenance, enable easy integration and expand the range of suitable applications.

“Uneven surfaces, irregular build-up and harsh, dusty and potentially explosive environments make measuring the level of solids in large vessels problematic, impacting inventory control decisions,” said Asael Sharabi, technical director at Emerson Process Management. 

“Emerson’s enhanced Rosemount instrumentation meets these challenges to provide users with greater control of inventories and entire manufacturing processes, with significant financial benefits,” said Sharabi.

The Rosemount 5708 Series 3D Solids Scanner, which uses acoustic measurement and 3D mapping technology to provide highly accurate continuous level and volume measurement, is now suitable for a broader range of applications. 

The device is now ATEX/IECEx certified for installation in areas with potentially explosive atmospheres, often found in solids measurement applications. A new mounting adaptor also allows the device to be installed within electrostatic precipitator (ESP) hoppers. 

By using its 3D visualiSation capability to map out the surface of the fly ash that builds up in the hopper, operators can optimiSe the process, reducing cost, risk and wear and tear on the hopper.

To overcome the difficulty of installation and integration, Emerson has introduced full SCADA integration support for the solids scanner. Users can now seamlessly integrate 3D visualiSation of the surface level into Emerson’s Ovation or DeltaV distributed control systems, delivered directly to control room operators.

For remote solids applications or where there is no existing cable infrastructure, wireless can be the key for a successful project. Both the solids scanner and the Rosemount 5402 Non-contacting Radar, which provides bulk solids level measurement for applications with smaller sized vessels, can now be connected to a WirelessHART network using a Smart Wireless THUM Adapter. This enables easy integration to the automation architecture, reducing installation cost and time.

New functions help to further reduce if not eliminate device maintenance requirements. The new air purging connection for the Rosemount 5402 prevents clogging of the antenna in applications with very dusty environments. The already present self-cleaning function on the Rosemount 5708 can now be complemented with a new PTFE coated antenna which helps extend maintenance intervals even further, especially where extremely sticky materials are present.