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April 19, 2023

Four ways to cut energy consumption and costs in your laboratory

Sustainability and energy reduction have been critical topics in the minds of global decision-makers for decades. And due to the energy crisis, these issues have never been more pressing for international businesses and laboratories.

Most laboratories have many pieces of energy-intensive equipment, causing high energy prices to impact labs in every industry.

For example, fume cupboards, which are standard in many academic and commercial laboratories, consume tremendous amounts of energy. According to a study by the Danish Technological Institute, one single fume cupboard’s annual energy consumption is approximately 10,000 kWh, the equivalent of one ordinary-sized family house. Energy consumption contributes to annual CO2 emissions of roughly 11 tonnes and high energy costs.

To help mitigate the effects on operations, CTOs, CIOs, lab managers, and industry professionals can take a few impactful actions to make their labs more efficient.

This blog post outlines a few key actions that can help you use less energy, reduce costs, and optimise operations in your laboratory.

1. Monitor your laboratory equipment

Monitoring your lab equipment is an effective way to improve efficiency. When your equipment is continuously monitored, you can gather in-depth data on its utilisation and energy consumption. A real-time equipment monitoring solution helps you get comprehensive usage data from your equipment.

The data collected can help identify trends in your equipment’s energy use, such as fluctuations, spikes, and downtime. 

To get the most from monitoring, choose a solution that connects to all equipment in your lab, regardless of manufacturer, age, or function.

Monitoring will give you an overview of your lab’s energy use and help you make the most informed and data-driven energy reduction strategy. If the solution is cloud-based, you can monitor your lab equipment 24/7 from anywhere.

2. Analyse data on your equipment’s energy use

Gathering in-depth equipment usage data will help you to identify energy reduction actions and solutions for running your lab. 

Data on your equipment’s energy consumption can help you determine peak energy usage times, how frequently it is used, and ideal shutdown opportunities.

You can then use this data to identify energy and cost savings opportunities by modifying the equipment or using it less often.

With an understanding of your equipment’s energy usage patterns, you can optimise your laboratory operations and scheduling to be more energy-efficient and reduce overall energy costs.

3. Schedule equipment shutdowns

When it comes to your laboratory’s energy consumption, some of the biggest drains can occur when lab equipment is not in use. 

For example, if you have a centrifuge that runs 24 hours a day—even when no samples are being processed—you could be expending unnecessary energy and money on that equipment.

You can achieve energy savings by programming automatic equipment shutoffs based on data obtained from your monitoring solution. With Inniti’s Platform, you can also turn off equipment remotely, enabling you to shut down equipment after you leave the lab.

Use your energy monitoring data to be smarter about your equipment’s run time and utilisation.

4. Optimise your laboratory operations

Cutting energy consumption in your lab doesn’t mean sacrificing productivity. Optimising energy usage can improve productivity and streamline workflows.

The knowledge gained from your equipment’s energy data allows you to optimally allocate your laboratory's financial, human, and time resources.

Laboratories typically spend significantly less time on manual labour, repetitive tasks, and inefficient workflows once they connect and monitor their equipment as part of their digitalisation strategy.

Equipment monitoring is a key element of a laboratory’s overall digitalisation strategy that can boost productivity, increase efficiency, and lead to more innovation.

How to get started 

There are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your lab and reduce costs, but they all start with data. By getting real-time data on your equipment’s energy consumption, you will have a better idea of how much power each piece uses and when it is being used, so you can make smarter decisions about running your laboratory.

Energy monitoring has the potential to address companies’ concerns about the energy crisis and environmental sustainability while also supporting laboratories’ digitalisation strategies.

With Inniti’s energy monitoring solution, you can:

  • Monitor the energy consumption of connected laboratory equipment 
  • Plan and schedule equipment shutdowns
  • Optimise your lab operations to be more energy-efficient and sustainable

Book a discovery call with Inniti to see how energy monitoring can optimise your laboratory.

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