Cool software tools for managing industrial energy use

U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program
Tags: energy management

Industrial system assessment software tools from the DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program demonstrate that tools do have the power to shape the way we conduct our business. Using these powerful software tools to find ways to reduce your industrial energy use can be a good first step on the path to developing a long-term energy management plan.

ITP’s software tools – for compressed air, pump, fan, motors, process heating and steam systems – were developed to meet industry’s need to measure and reduce energy use. Over time, these tools have laid the foundation for a variety of ITP activities, including end-user and specialist qualification training and Save Energy Now energy assessments.

Since 1995, 130,000 industrial plant personnel have accessed free ITP software tools. Many more customers are introduced to the software tools through ITP’s national training program, Save Energy Now energy assessments, and distribution of the free Save Energy Now CD. As a result of this widespread effort, the total implemented energy savings from use of the software tools from 1998 through 2007 is estimated to be 250 trillion Btu. From 2006 to present, total implemented energy savings from Save Energy Now assessments alone is estimated to be 85 trillion Btu.

This thumbnail image shows the general flow of energy and systems in a typical industrial plant and ITP software tools available for each system type.
View the interative diagram of plant energy flow and related ITP assessment software tools.

Birth of the Tools: Meeting Industry’s Need
ITP software tools have been helping U.S. industrial customers to identify energy and cost-saving opportunities in manufacturing facilities since 1995. It all began in the early 1990s when ITP program managers asked industry representatives what resources would be most helpful to them. The answer was “software tools for evaluating energy use in industrial systems.”

ITP assembled an industrial motor working group to develop a tool for motor-driven systems, resulting in MotorMaster+. MotorMaster+ is a Windows-based tool that allows users to make better motor repair/replace decisions by providing in-plant motor inventory, spare tracking, maintenance logging and batch analysis capabilities. MotorMaster+ was well received by industrial end-users, service providers, consultants, distributors, utility energy auditors and policy makers, which prompted ITP to develop an entire motor systems management curriculum to support these users.

At the same time, ITP launched the robust Motor Challenge program which included demonstrations of the software tool and development of technical motor publications, a training curriculum, and a series of motor management workshops. Soon, there were more than 20,000 MotorMaster+ users nationwide.

Building on the success of MotorMaster+, ITP quickly supported the creation of a complete line of tools designed to analyze system energy saving opportunities in compressed air, steam, process heating, pumping, fan, chilled water, and combined heat and power systems. Today, the ITP software tool Web site is a one-stop resource for tools ranging from baseline applications to system-specific assessment tools.

Tools for the Energy Management Trade
A good first step in developing your energy management plan is to profile and baseline your plant’s energy use through the use of ITP’s Quick Plant Energy Profiler (Quick PEP). This benchmarking tool quickly diagnoses your industrial plant’s energy use and identifies areas for reducing energy and emissions. It provides a good overview of the amount of energy that your plant purchases and generates, pinpoints the major energy-using systems, and describes your plant’s savings potential.

The evaluation takes about an hour, after which Quick PEP generates a customized report that details the results. Quick PEP also includes a CO2 footprint calculator and Chinese translation capabilities.

This diagram shows two horizontally placed rectangular boxes with an arrow situated between them pointing left to the box on the right hand side. The text in the box on the left hand side is labeled “Inputs” and lists a series of input information: average utility bill information; average production information; major energy-using systems; score cards* (optional); average energy usage information. To the right of this box is an arrow pointing right, which reads “Quick PEP.” To the right of this arrow is another rectangular box labeled “Outputs,”  followed by a list of output information: energy use and cost per unit of production; annual purchased energy graphs and tables; annual consumed energy graphs and tables; potential annual energy savings graphs and tables; customized list of next steps.

* Before presenting your results, Quick PEP requests information about the energy efficiency of your major plant systems. You can determine this yourself or fill out an optional “scorecard” to obtain efficiency information for selected systems.

The Integrated Tool Suite provides the same capabilities as Quick PEP, but is a stand-alone alternative that offers the entire suite of tools without need for an Internet connection. The Integrated Tool Suite also features system-specific score cards for compressed air, process cooling and heating, and pumping systems, as well as an Industrial Buildings scorecard that provides a snapshot of energy used by all the buildings at a plant. Plants may prefer to use this tool for proprietary reasons.

The table below outlines the characteristics of ITP’s primary software tools. ITP also offers specialized tools for chilled water systems, combined heat and power, and NOx emission analysis – all available at no cost on the software tools Web site. The following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.

Primary ITP Software Tools




Metric Version

Compressed Air

(PDF 1.2 MB)

Uses plant-specific data to evaluate supply-side operational costs for various equipment configurations and system profiles, and estimates potential savings and simple payback.



Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT)
(PDF 1.3 MB)

Calculates the amount of energy used by fan systems; measures system efficiency; and analyzes the savings potential of an upgraded system.



(PDF 1.2 MB)

An energy-efficient motor selection and management tool, MotorMaster+ software includes a catalog of more than 20,000 AC motors. Features motor inventory management tools, maintenance log tracking, efficiency analysis, savings evaluation, energy accounting and environmental reporting capabilities.



MotorMaster+ International
(PDF 1.3 MB)

Allows users to evaluate repair/replacement options on a broad range of motors, including those tested under IEEE and IEC standards. Users may conduct analyses in six different currencies, calculate efficiency benefits for utility rate schedules with demand charges, edit and modify motor rewind efficiency loss defaults, and determine “best available” motors. Can be modified to operate in English, Spanish and French.


Process Heating

Process Heating Assessment Tool (PHAST)
(PDF 1.3 MB )

Surveys process heating equipment that uses fuel, steam or electricity, and identifies the most energy-intensive equipment. Performs energy (heat) balances on selected equipment (furnaces) to identify ways to improve efficiency.



Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT)
(PDF 1.2 MB)

Assesses the efficiency of pumping systems and prioritizes energy-efficiency opportunities by determining dollar and electrical energy savings.



Steam System Tool Suite
(PDF 1.3 MB)

Steam System Scoping Tool (SSST) – Evaluates a facility’s steam system operation and compares your system against identified best practices.

Steam System Assessment Tool (SSAT) – Estimates the impacts of key steam system improvements. Generates results detailing the energy, cost and emissions savings that could be achieved by up to 16 different improvements.

3E Plus – Calculates the most economical thickness of industrial insulation for operating conditions entered by the user.


Expanding the Reach of the Tools
The success of the software tools established the foundation for a series of ITP activities to enhance the use of these tools and help industrial customers meet their energy management goals. These activities include training, assessments and the development of technical publications.

A complete system training curriculum was created to help users take full advantage of ITP’s tools in identifying energy-saving upgrade opportunities. Since 1999, approximately 18,000 people have attended ITP training courses that focus on compressed air, pump, fan, motor, steam and process heating systems, which are offered year-round and throughout the United States. Read the related article in this issue for details on ITP’s training program.

To add to the knowledge industrial plants gain from assessments and training, ITP provides additional information in the form of technical publications such as system sourcebooks, tip sheets, fact sheets and case studies. The case studies describe real-world situations in which companies have used ITP software tools to identify and implement energy saving opportunities.

Software Tools Save Energy Now
Companies use ITP’s software tools to realize efficiency benefits throughout their facilities by quantifying potential energy-saving opportunities in specific systems. In 1999, ITP launched its plant-wide energy assessments to encourage industrial companies to measure energy use in their facilities. These cost-shared comprehensive assessments were conducted across several industries that included the aluminum, chemical, forest products, glass, metal casting, mining, petroleum and steel industries. Read case studies and Performance Spotlights on these assessments.

ITP’s software tools play an integral part in ITP’s current focus on Save Energy Now system-focused energy assessments. DOE Energy Experts, who are qualified specialists skilled in the use of the tools, work with company’s plant personnel to perform system assessments while at the same time training plant staff on the use of the tools.

Since 2006, more than 770 Save Energy Now energy assessments have been performed using ITP software tools. These have identified more than $1 billion in energy cost savings, of which more than $140 million have been implemented. Read Save Energy Now case studies of the software tools in action!

Shaping Best Energy Management Practices
ITP’s industrial assessment software tools can shape the way we manage energy use and assist in developing best energy management practices. Take advantage of these free downloadable software tools to identify energy-saving upgrade opportunities – a good first step in helping you meet your long-term energy management goals.

Read More Energy Matters Articles on These Topics

This article is courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program. It appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of the DOE’s Energy Matters newsletter. For more information, visit

Begin a Free Subscription to Machinery Lubrication