Utilidata > Case Studies > Saving Megawatts with Voltage Optimization

Saving Megawatts with Voltage Optimization

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 Saving Megawatts with Voltage Optimization - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Automation & Control - Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA)
  • Functional Applications - Remote Monitoring & Control Systems
  • Sensors - Voltage Sensors
Applicable Industries
  • Utilities
Applicable Functions
  • Business Operation
Use Cases
  • Energy Management System
The Challenge
Conservation voltage reduction is the practice of operating electric distribution systems at voltages in the lower range of allowable levels, thereby improving the efficiency of many electric utilization devices (e.g. induction and synchronous motors, transformers, lighting systems, etc.). This approach can be applied to a variety of industrial settings; however, using an advanced real-time control system such as AdaptiVolt™ is critical to ensuring that voltages don’t drop to levels that put important processes at risk. AdaptiVolt™ monitors voltages through the facility in real-time and makes control decisions to safely reduce voltage, thereby achieving energy efficiency gains while maintaining process reliability
The Customer
Plum Creek Timber
About The Customer
Plum Creek Timber Company is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation, spanning approximately 7 million acres in major timber-producing regions of the United States. The company produces lumber and other wood products in
The Solution
In September 2008, Utilidata deployed its AdaptiVolt™ voltage optimization software at Plum Creek Timber’s Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) facility in Columbia Falls, Montana. The patented AdaptiVolt™ software has been installed at major electric utilities and industrial facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

The AdaptiVolt™ software has provided significant energy savings when implementing conservation voltage reduction in previous deployments. Real-time voltage monitoring and Utilidata’s patented algorithms allow the system to operate in facilities with varying industrial processes while providing savings and enhancing reliability.

Plum Creek’s MDF facility has two production lines: Process Line #1 and Process Line #2. Each process line has large plate refiners driven by high-horsepower (10,000+ hp) synchronous motors, which are each directly connected to one of three 13.8 kV feeders from the electric distribution substation. Each process line also has another direct connect feeder to the substation that powers the balance of the process, including motors for rolling, pressing, material handling and environmental conditioning. Each of the five electric circuits feeding the MDF facility are individually controlled at the substation by three-phase voltage regulators.

Plum Creek installed an energy metering subsystem to collect voltages for this project. Meters were installed on each circuit in the substation; installed at each synchronous motor; and, installed at 27 other locations throughout the facility.

The AdaptiVolt™ software connects to the electric metering system to obtain voltage readings, and then issues control commands to the voltage regulators in the substation. Plum Creek engineers and local electric utility operators have full visibility and control of the system through a SCADA user interface.
Operational Impact
  • [Efficiency Improvement - Production]
    There have been no production outages at Plum Creek’s MDF facility due to AdaptiVolt™. In fact, Plum Creek has experienced other benefits that have further improved process reliability.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Demand Savings 3.72% Energy Savings 9,063,800 kWh/yr (@ full production) Voltage Tap Change Performance 13.6 taps per day on average
  • Environmental Impact 9,063,800 kWh of energy saving achieves a reduction of: - 6,250 metric tons of CO2 - 18,700 pounds of NOx - 48,500 pounds of SO2
  • Plum Creek Timber earned an incentive of $337,000 for this project from Flathead Electric Cooperative and the Bonneville Power Administration.

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