Discrete event modelling for evaluation and optimisation of power utility energy demand

Megashnee Munsamy, Arnesh Telukdarie


Purpose: Current global energy costs, complemented by energy generation environmental impacts highlights the importance of quantifying and optimising business energy utilisation. Determining business electrical energy usage inclusive of core operations and support activities in a singular evaluation protocol is a challenge. The challenge is exasperated by changes in business operation, where every change implies significant rework of the business energy determination. This study develops a holistic energy determination model for the entire business requiring minimum inputs for energy recalculation, when aspects of the business changes.

Design/methodology/approach: The research adopts a quantitative approach focusing on Discrete Event Modeling. This includes data collection, model development and configuration, model validation and scenario models for optimization.

Findings: A coal fired power generation business, with multiple sites is comprehensively simulated to evaluate the baseline electrical energy demand and associated CO2 emissions. The results are captured at various resolutions of; business; site, functional business level and equipment level. The generation sites operational functions are identified as major electrical energy consumers. The adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies of Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, mobility and automation demonstrate energy savings of 1% of total site demand. As the Industry 4.0 technologies are applied to a limited number of processes, the results demonstrates the capability of these technologies having a significant impact on electrical energy demand and CO2 emission when applied to a broader spectrum of business processes.

Research limitations/implications: The research is limited to a single energy generating company, which is a coal to energy business.

Practical implications: The research has significant practical implications, mostly on the mechanisms to evaluate business energy utilisation. The ability to include all areas of the business is a key practical output.

Originality/value: The model is unique in that it is system agnostic to any production configuration, most especially changes in configuration.


Business systems, fourth industrial revolution, modeling, energy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3926/jiem.3606

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience