Pre-assessment typically takes one to four weeks.
The pre-assessment survey will involve questions regarding annual sales, annual energy bills, number of employees, and overview of processes to determine the eligibility of client for assessment under the Department of Energy IAC program.
In order to assess the current situation, KIAC will request detailed information on expenses related to energy consumption and waste. This will involve monthly utility bills for electricity, water, natural gas etc., information regarding processes in plants, major energy consuming equipment, etc. It is highly beneficial to obtain the utility bill information directly from the utility provider if permission is given from the client.
Once the pre-assessment data has been returned to KIAC and deemed adequate, a suitable date will be chosen by client and KIAC.
A team consisting of Engineering faculty and students from University of Kentucky (field specialists if required) will visit the plant, usually for one or two days, to collect data related to processes and equipment in the facility.
The kick-off meeting would begin with a brief discussion on the findings from the pre-assessment analysis. It would be beneficial at this point to identify the plant personnel who possess detailed knowledge in the specific areas that KIAC would like to address. The client can make a brief presentation about their product/processes and specific safety requirements.
After the kick off meeting, KIAC personnel would tour the plant led by plant personnel who are knowledgeable on all aspects of the facility. It will help in identifying the potential saving opportunities that may exist throughout.
After the plant tour the KIAC team will divide into groups which will focus on the areas identified. KIAC teams would take engineering measurements in their respective areas in order to quantify the savings / benefits. At this point it would be beneficial if the teams interact directly with the plant personnel who have detailed knowhow of the particular areas. Also it would assist if the client can provide information about projects that the client is already working on and need assistance from KIAC. For example if there is a project involving upgrading a particular equipment to improve efficiency, the KIAC team can assist in performing a cost-benefit analysis for the project.
Around lunch time, the groups would meet to discuss opportunities and issues related to their respective areas. The KIAC team would give a briefing on the potential opportunities and seek feedback from the client regarding each of them.
After lunch, the teams will return to their designated areas and collect detailed measurements such as temperatures, pressures, electrical parameters, operating schedules, etc. KIAC would require assistance from qualified plant personnel for measurement of electrical parameters, steam parameters, etc.
At the end of plant visit, KIAC personnel would meet with the client and present an overview of the opportunities that offer significant savings, related payback periods, and potential areas of further work. Feedback from the client regarding viability and prioritization of the presented areas would be highly beneficial.
Generally the team will work to collect as much information as possible during the visit, but additional details may be required for a complete analysis. In the weeks following the visit KIAC team members may contact the client for clarification as needed. Within 30 days of the visit the client will be provided a confidential report detailing the analysis, findings, and recommendations with estimates of cost, performance, and investment recovery times.
In 6 to 9 months, KIAC personnel would contact the client to verify which of the recommendations were implemented and if not implemented, the probable reasons.
Furthermore KIAC may ask the client if a representative of the U.S Department of Energy (which funds the IAC program) may contact them to determine the usefulness of the service.