Any plant manager would be quick to admit that energy management comes with a lot of challenges. With a little forethought, it is possible to implement industrial production efficiency with little to moderate investment. There are a few areas worth looking into if you are interested in managing and improving energy use.
Processes and Process Control
Poor process control is the number one culprit in inefficient energy usage. Implementing changes in process control doesn’t have to affect the quality of the product if done correctly. An energy audit may be necessary to identify the crucial process control issues that can be addressed quickly and cheaply. Implementing a more efficient process control can result in anywhere between5 15-percent reduction on energy bill at the end of every month.
Boilers and Steam Distribution
You could potentially save anywhere between 10-30-percent in energy use by instituting more efficient steam generation and distribution. Simply improving boiler insulation, scheduling regular and appropriate maintenance, improving heat recovering and reducing boiler blowdown can have a dramatic effect on energy efficiency.
Additional measures include sealing off redundant pipework to stop any unnecessary heat loss and checking for leaks in the joints, pipework flanges and steam traps.
One of the biggest investments you can make in reducing energy use is to improve furnace yield and reduce scrap material. The biggest consumer of energy in an industrial plant is most likely the furnaces. A good first step is to go through the furnace’s original design specification and cross reference this information against the current operating conditions. If the yield is less than recommended, it may be time to improve the furnace.
Regular maintenance and watching for waste heat are also great ways to boost energy efficiency and industrial sustainability. Common culprits for waste heat where furnaces are concerned include hot product and flue gasses. Think of ways to recover and re-use this heat to reduce energy demands.
Drives and Motors
Motors and drivers are common place in fans, drive pumps and other industrial equipment. One of the biggest energy drains in this context is motors that are left on unnecessarily. Automatic sensors or timers to shut off fans and pumps are very useful for reducing energy wastage.
It may also be necessary to reduce fan loads. Installing variable speed drives on motors can reduce power requirements by a little short of 50-percent.
An energy audit performed by an external industrial facility management company can help a great deal to identify potential energy drains. The company can also assist with coming up with recommendations and implementing efficiency programs.
industrial sustainability, industrial production efficiency
Onsite Energy Corp.
2701 Loker Ave. West, Suite 107
Carlsbad, CA 92010