Electrical Energy Consumption and Energy Conservation of Rice Mills in the Northeastern of Thailand
Modern rice mills have increased in size and now operate with improved technological milling systems and tend to use electrical energy increase. The aim of this research was to determine the Electric energy consumption (EEC) and energy conservation of rice mills. Ten rice mills in the Northeastern of Thailand were studied. The results showed that average of EEC of the rice mills was 1,183,271 kWh/yr, and a Specific energy consumption (SEC) of 19.50 kWh/ton. The average Energy cost (EP) was 141,452 USD/yr, and the average specific energy cost (SEP) was 2.37 USD/ton. This EEC was dependent on rice quality, production quantity, and the wattage of the electrical machines operated in the rice mills.
The whitening polishing machine used the highest EEC at 33.17%, with 21.60% EEC used for mist polishing machine. Bran separator, other equipment, air compressor, hulling machine, husk separator, meal separator, and sieve separator consumed the energy of 11.68, 8.86, 6.67, 6.54, 5.72, 4.75, and 1.01%, respectively. The improvement of the EEC in rice mills must focus on the equipment which has the highest the EEC. There are 3 systems where energy can be saved in rice mills, including the power supply systems, the motor systems, and the air compressor systems that can be reduced average cost 4,518.363, 3,313.162 and 936.687 USD/yr, respectively. (1 USD = 34.650 THB as of 23/09/2016.)