Question

You have been hired as the energy officer for a company that produces steel. Making steel is very energy intensive and requires a large amount of electrical energy. Your manager has requested that you estimate the cost of electrical energy that the company will need so that they can develop a budget. What information should you collect in order to answer your manager's request? Suggest a sample calculation of how you would determine the answer.

Solution

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I will use the following equation to help answer my manager’s request: cost = power used (in kW) x time (in hr) x cost of electricity (in cents/kWh)

I will need to know which pieces of equipment are involved in the steel making process, how long each piece of equipment runs for, how much power each piece of equipment consumes, and how much electricity costs. Then, for each piece of equipment, I will plug the corresponding values in the “cost” equation above. Then, I will add these individual costs together to determine the total cost of producing a specific amount of steel over a specific period of time.

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