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Save Energy
By Leena Mehendale, Executive Director, Petroleum Conservation Research Association

Energy makes our world work. We have almost come to take it for granted. But lately you may have heard people, and seen many newspapers and magazines discuss the ‘energy crisis’. What is the problem? Why are people constantly wondering about the future?

Let us show you how each of us has a part to play in tackling the problem. And making the world a better place in the future.

What is Energy?
We constantly hear the word ‘energy’ in everyday life. We admire the ‘man with energy’. We eat ‘high energy foods’. Parents say their children are ‘full of energy’. And so often we hear that the ‘world is running out of energy’, that energy is precious, that it should not be wasted.

What does ‘energy’ really mean?

The various forms of Energy:

Mechanical Energy
The moving force of all machinery. They do work by making wheels go round. Animal power and human energy are also examples of mechanical energy.
Heat energy
The heat of exploding gases makes an engine move forward. Blowing up a balloon with hot air, and letting it go, is like how a jet engine works with heat energy!
Light Energy or radiant energy, pouring out from the sun, sustains all green plants. Radio waves, X-rays and ultra violet rays are also invisible forms of radiant energy.
Chemical Energy
The energy of food and fuels. Food keeps us strong for work. The energy of oil, coal, wood and gas-released in the form of hear-runs engines, keeps us warm.
Electrical Energy
This is associated with magnets and electrical currents. It lights our homes; makes our gadgets work – at the flick of a switch.
Nuclear Energy
This is the energy from the nucleus of an atom. It can be very dangerous (when used for A-bombs and H-bombs) but also has very important uses if used for peaceful purposes (e.g.: in power stations).

How Energy aids mankind
Energy has always been the key to man’s greatest goals, and to his dreams of a better world. The caveman started on the path to civilization when he discovered the energy in fire for that and light, and utilized the energy in his body to hunt for food and survival. Today, man has come a long, long way, and discovered innumerable ways to make various forms of energy work for him.

This quest for finding new uses of energy has led to exciting discoveries and inventions in fact; we cannot imagine a world without them.
Machinery in our factories and farms, electricity for lighting and heating, petroleum to carry us places, nuclear power and solar power to aid exciting futuristic programmes and inventions have all risen from man’s interest in energy.

Our most important Energy Source
Of all our energy sources, there is nothing so useful of versatile as OIL or petroleum.

Hidden in vast reservoirs, deep under the earth, oil is considered the prime source of energy all over the world. When you think of ‘OIL’ you probably think of something to cook with, or something that keeps machinery working.

But oil is much more than that. In its crude state- or basic form –oil or petroleum is a dark black liquid, which is pumped out of the earth and ‘refined’ – or separated into various forms of ‘oil’. Each of these forms of ‘oil’ has countless uses – in our homes, on our roads, in our farms, and in our factories.

OIL takes millions of years to be made.
Oil lies trapped deep under the earth’s surface. How it got there is very interesting:

Plants and animals that lived millions of years ago on earth died and were covered with layers and layers of sand and rock, preserving their energy within their cells.
Under pressure, these turned into dark liquid – ‘crude oil’.

Oil was first discovered by man when it seeped to the surface in small quantities. As man began to discover uses for it – from medicines to fiery weapons, to burning at temples-the demand for this marvellous substance grew.

Today, gigantic oil wells with huge drilling bits bore deep through the earth’s surface till they strike a store of gas and oil, floating on water. Oil is made to gush out and collected in large quantities, from where it is sent to the refinery.

Oil is sometimes found under the ocean bed too! This method of pumping out oil is known as ‘off-shore drilling’.

Refining petroleum - for a hundred different uses.
Heat and pressure is applied to the crude oil in varying degrees at refineries – to squeeze every drop of usefulness from oil.

This separates oil into its various components such as: gas, petrol, kerosene, diesel, lubricants, etc.

But… Precious oil is in short supply.
Oil, like all natural resources can only be found in certain places: N. America, USSR, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and N. Africa are some of the leading oil producing regions of the world.

India, unfortunately, has very little of its own oil…. hence we depend greatly on what we get from other oil-rich nations.
And with oil becoming more and more difficult to locate all over the world, it is also very expensive for our country to buy it.

Unfortunately, a lot is being wasted.
The saddest thing is that after paying so much, a lot of people carelessly waste this precious liquid.

In kitchens, gas and kerosene stoves sometimes burn unnecessarily. The black smoke you see coming out of automobiles means a big waste of petrol. In factories and farms, tonnes of precious oil are wasted through bad working methods.

Oil will last much longer….
If we all take a bit of care.

The world has been using up a lot of oil over the years. Will the day come when there is no more oil under the earth?

That day may not be far away. But what we can do now, when we still have this precious liquid, is to use it as carefully as we can.

In the kitchen:  the pressure cooker, and other fuel-saving methods help save gas and kerosene.

On the road: driving slowly and keeping vehicles in good condition save precious petrol and diesel.

In fact, we can try and avoid using private vehicles as far as possible, and think twice before each trip. Cycling costs not a drop of petrol!

In factories: thick black smoke, coming out of factory chimneys, is a sure indicator of waste-and a problem of pollution too. Factory workers can, with good techniques and an efficient work pattern, avoid a lot of waste of oil.

In farms: a simple checklist on tractors and lift-irrigation pumps for farmers can save valuable diesel.

You have seen how important oil is as a source of energy.

People all over the world have come to realize its value. And while the search goes on for finding more of this precious liquid, scientists are busy working on other sources of energy too.

But as long as people continue to waste our precious energy, all these efforts are of little use. That is why CONSERVATION – or using something without waste – is being popularized everywhere.

As you grow up, you too will be using various forms of energy especially oil, everyday. And the sooner you make conservation a habit the better!
Look around you: has somebody left the lights and fans on unnecessarily? Is there something boiling over in the kitchen? Are there any small errands you can do like walking or cycling down to the store, rather than use a vehicle that consumes petrol? Yes, there are many, many ways you too can help the world save energy.
Set up by the Government of India, Petroleum Conservation Research Association is a registered society under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to promote conservation of petroleum products. Its principal objectives:
To formulate strategies and promote measures for accelerating conservation of petroleum products leading to environment protection, energy and sustainable development;
To create awareness among masses about the importance, benefits and methods of conserving petroleum products & clean environment by enhancing information and capacity building;
To promote research, development and deployment efforts aimed at petroleum conservation & environment protection, support & facilitate efforts for adoption and dissemination of fuel efficient technologies and substitution of petroleum products with alternate fuels and renewables;
To establish synergistic institutional linkages at the national & international levels in the areas of petroleum conservation & environment protection;
To provide training and technical advisory services, designed to achieve economy & efficiency in use of petroleum products for cleaner environment;
To function as a “Think Tank” to the Govt. of India for proposing policies and strategies on petroleum conservation and environment protection aimed at reducing excessive dependence on oil.


Energy Audit & Diagnostic Studies in small, medium and large industrial units.
Empanelment of energy auditors.
Soft loan schemes for improving energy efficiency.
Driver training programme.
Model depots studies.
Workshops for domestic consumers of Kerosene/ LPG.
Clinics for farmers through Agriculture Extension Agencies, State Agriculture Departments and Universities.
Installing BIS standards agriculture irrigation pumpsets and rectification of inefficient diesel pumpsets for demonstration.
Workshops on fuel conservation for fleet operators and industries.
Organizing National/ Regional/State level Seminars on Petroleum Conservation.
Conducting exhaust emission awareness checks for petrol/diesel vehicles.
Development of External Faculties for promoting Oil Conservation.

Oil Conservation awareness campaign through mass media i.e. (Press, Cinema, Radio, TV, Outdoor Publicity, Electronic Animation Display & Van Publicity of State Govt.).
Development and distribution of printed literature on Oil Conservation.
Publication and quarterly technical journal such as Act Bulletin, Newsletter on Oil Conservation.
Production of educational films, TV advertisements, radio jingles and cinema slides on petroleum conservation.
Participation in Exhibitions, Melas, Fairs, etc.
Market survey on effectiveness of awareness campaign.

Evaluation of fuel saving devices and additives.
Development of improved combustion equipments and systems.
Development of fuel-efficient appliances, devices, equipments.



Undertake regular energy audits.
Plug all oil leakage. Leakage of one drop of oil per second amounts to a loss of over 2000 litres / year.
Filter oil in stages. Impurities in oil affect combustion.
Pre-heat oil. For proper combustion, oil should be at right viscosity at the burner tip. Provide adequate Pre-heat capacity.
Incomplete combustion leads to wastage of fuel. Observe the colour of smoke emitted from chimney. Black smoke indicates improper combustion and fuel wastage. White smoke indicates excess air & hence loss of heat. Hazy brown smoke indicates proper combustion.
Use of Low air pressure “film burners” helps save oil upto 15%in furnaces.

Recover & utilize waste heat from furnace flue gases for preheating of combustion air. Every 21°C rise in combustion air temperature results in 1% fuel oil savings.
Control excess air in furnaces. A 10% drop in excess air amounts to1% saving of fuel in furnaces. For an annual consumption of 3000 kl of furnace oil, this means a saving of Rs.3 Lakhs. (Cost of furnace oil-Rs.10 per litre)
Reduce heat losses through furnace openings. Observations shows that a furnace operating at a temperature of 1000° C having an open door (1500mmx750mm) results in a fuel loss of 10lit/hr. For a 4000 hrs. furnace operation this translates into a loss of approx. Rs.4 lakhs per year.
Improve insulation if the surface temperature exceeds 20 °C above ambient. Studies reveal that heat loss from a furnace wall 115mm thick at 650°C amounting to 2650 Kcal/m²/hr can be cut down to 850 kcal/m²/hr by using 65 mm thick insulation on the 115 mm wall.
 Proper design of lids of melting furnaces and training of operators to close lids reduces losses by 10-20% in foundries.
Remove soot deposits when flue gas temperature rises 40°C above the normal. A coating of 3 mm thick soot on the heat transfer surface causes an increase in fuel consumption up to 2.5%.
Recover heat from steam condentsate. For every 6°C rise in boiler feed water temperature through condentsate return, there is 1% saving in fuel.
Improve boiler efficiency. Boilers should be monitored for flue gas losses, radiation losses, incomplete combustion, blow down losses, excess air etc. Proper control can decrease the consumption upto 20%.
Use only treated water in boilers. A scale formation of 1mm thickness on the waterside increases fuel consumption by 5-8%.
Stop steam leakage. Steam leakage from a 3 mm –diameter hole on a pipeline carrying steam at 7 kg/cm² wastes 32 kl of fuel oil per year amounting to a loss of Rs.3 lakhs.
Maintain steam pipe insulation. It has been estimated that a bare steam pipe, 150 mm in diameter and 100 m in length, carrying saturated steam at 8 kg/cm² wastes 25 kl of furnace oil in a year amounting to an annual loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs.

Maintain diesel engines regularly.
A poorly maintained injection pump increases fuel consumption by 4 gm / kWh.
A faulty nozzle increases fuel consumption by 2gm/kWh.
Blocked filters increases fuel consumption by 2 gm/kWh.
A continuously running DG set can generate 0.5Ton/ Hr of steam at 10 to 12 bar from the residual heat of the engine exhaust per MW of the generator capacity.
Measure fuel consumption per kWh of electricity generated regularly. Take corrective action in case this shows a rising trend.


Improve power factor by installing capacitors to reduce KVA demand charges and also line losses within plant.
Improvement of power factor from 0.85 to 0.96 will give 11.5% reduction of peak KVA and 21.6% reduction in peak losses. This corresponds to 14.5% reduction in average losses for a load factor of 0.8.
Avoid repeated rewinding of motors. Observations show that rewound motors practically have an efficiency loss of upto 5%. This is mainly due to increase in no load losses. Hence use such rewound motors on low duty cycle applications only.
Use of variable frequency drives, slip power recovery systems and fluid couplings for variable speed applications such as fans, pumps etc. helps in minimizing consumption.

Use of electronic ballast in place of conventional choke saves energy upto 20%.
Use of CFL lamp in place of GLS lamp can save energy upto 70%.
Clean the lamps & fixtures regularly. Illumination levels fall by 20-30% due to collection of dust.
Use of 36W tube light instead of 40 W tube lights saves electricity by 8 to 10%.
Use of sodium vapour lamps for area lighting in place of Mercury vapour lamps saves electricity upto 40%.

Compressed air is very energy intensive. Only 5% of electrical energy is converted to useful energy. Use of compressed air for cleaning is rarely justified.
Ensure low temperature of inlet air. Increase in inlet air temperature by 3°C increases power consumption by 1%.
It should be examined whether air at lower pressure can be used in the process. Reduction in discharge pressure by 10% saves energy consumption upto 5%.
A leakage from a ½” dia hole from a compressed air line working at a pressure of 7 kg / cm² can drain almost Rs.2500 per day.
Air output of compressors per unit of electricity input must be measured at regular intervals. Efficiency of compressors tends to deteriorate with time.

Use of double doors, automatic door closers, air curtains, double glazed windows, polyester sun films etc. reduces heat ingress and air-conditioning load of buildings.
Maintain condensers for proper heat exchange. A 5°C decrease in evaporator temperature increases the specific power consumption by 15%.
Utilization of air conditioned/refrigerated space should be examined and efforts made to reduce cooling load as far as possible.
Utilize waste heat of excess steam of flue gases to change over from gas compression systems to absorption chilling systems and save energy costs in the range of 50-70%.
Specific power consumption of compressors should be measured at regular intervals. The most efficient compressors to be used for continuous duty and others on standby.

Replacement of inefficient aluminium or fabricated steel fans by moulded FRP fans with aerofoil designs results in electricity savings in the range of 15-40%.
A study on a typical 20 ft. dia fan revealed that replacing wooden blade drift eliminators with newly developed cellular PVC drift eliminators reduces the drift losses from 0.01-0.02% with a fan power energy saving of 10%.
Install automatic ON-OFF switching of cooling tower fans and save upto 40% on electricity costs.
Use of PVC fills in place of wooden bars results in a saving in pumping power of upto 20%.

Improper selection of pumps can lead to large wastage of energy. A pump with 85% efficiency at rated flow may have only 65% efficiency at half the flow.
Use of throttling valves instead of variable speed drives to change flow of fluids is a wasteful practice. Throttling can cause wastage of power to the tune of 50 to 60%.
It is advisable to use a number of pumps in series and parallel to cope with variations in operating conditions by switching on or off pumps rather than running one large with partial load.
Drive transmission between pumps & motors is very important. Loose belts can cause energy loss upto 15-20%.
Modern synthetic flat belts in place of conventional V-belts can save 5% to 10% of energy.
Properly organized maintenance is very important. Efficiency of worn out pumps can drop by 10-15% unless maintained properly.

Energy Auditors empanelment scheme
Energy Audit subsidy scheme
Soft loan for purchase of energy audit equipments & instruments

Besides these, PCRA also conducts Energy audits, Fuel Oil diagnostic studies, Studies in small scale industries, Follow-up’s; Organizes technical meets, Consumer meets, Seminars, Institutional training programmes, Workshops, Clinics; helps in organizing Action Group meetings and puts up stalls in exhibitions on conservation of petroleum products.

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