The Industrial Assessment Center at Arizona State University, known as IAC@ASU, conducted its 500th assessment at a wastewater treatment plant in the Phoenix metro area in December.
IAC@ASU currently ranks sixth among the 33 Industrial Assessment Centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Its mission is to identify technology, systems and productivity opportunities that result in increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and providing better financial results for small and medium-sized manufacturers, while educating and training the next generation of energy and productivity experts. The Center conducts energy, waste and productivity assessments through one-day site visits at no cost to the facility.
Since its inception, IAC@ASU has provided more than 3,900 recommended actions with a cumulative total of recommended savings of more than $77 million in operating costs and over 1,100 gigawatt-hours of energy — an amount roughly equivalent to what would be required to provide electricity to about 80,000 homes for a year. Companies that have implemented IAC’s recommendations have seen an average annual energy cost savings of almost $65,000 and an average reduction in carbon emissions of over 420 tons per year.
The students participating in the IAC’s activities get hands-on experience with calculations, measurements and site visits. As such, in the last four years, 36 ASU students have participated in the activities of the center. These students come from different engineering disciplines including electrical, mechanical, environmental and industrial engineering, as well as computer science and engineering management.
IAC@ASU also conducts applied research that support its mission. Some areas of current research include energy supply side management, smart manufacturing and energy in the food cold chain.