Energy Management Practices In Ugandan SME Foundries
John Baptist Kirabira, Angella Nalweyiso, Thomas Makumbi
Key Words: Casting, Crucible Furnace, Energy Consumption Pattern, Energy Management, Foundry, SMEs, Uganda, Used Oil Minimum.
Abstract: Foundry is one of the most energy intensive metallurgical industries. In Uganda, foundries are associated with large energy consumption necessitating the need to seek for ways to minimize their energy consumption. This study sought to establish the energy efficiency of the SMEs in Uganda with the view of devising means to reduce on their energy consumption. This was accomplished by studying the energy consumption trends in the industry using primary and secondary data obtained from a number of SME foundry operators in Uganda and basing on this data, energy efficiency and conservation measures have been devised. The major energy sources used in these foundries include used oil at a consumption rate of 72%, biomass (charcoal and firewood) at 21%, diesel at 6%, and electricity at 1%. The specific energy consumptions (SEC) of the firms studied range from 7.35 MJ/kg to 14.61 MJ/kg which is considerably on the higher side. The melting process consumes the biggest part of the total energy consumed, at 70% in the foundries. This necessitates the employment of more energy efficient melting technologies. Implementation of energy management programs in order to reduce energy requirements per unit of output is thus recommended. Different energy saving measures that can be employed in this sector were identified. Some of these can be implemented by adopting simple courses of action while others require high capital investment. It is thus recommended that these firms start by implementing the low cost solutions and progressively move to the capital intensive solutions.
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