Perspectives: Energy Saver

Sustain Energy Costs through Simple Changes

Inexpensive alterations to operations may substantially cut energy costs.

By Ven V. Venkatesan, Energy Columnist

Process improvements such as high-yield catalysts, equipment advances, better design and process control changes can result in substantial energy savings. However, it’s not always necessary to look for complex process changes to save energy. Simple modifications to operations also can complement energy optimization efforts, resulting in significant energy savings. Here are some examples. Plants often use equipment designed to operate only during abnormal operations in normal situations. Operating a burner over 40–50% excess air level, instead of the optimum 10–20% level is one such example. Opportunities similar to this exist in plants that run multi-stage processes. In petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants, the product of one unit could be the raw material of another unit. Such plants store the intermediate product to improve the operational flexibility of the processing units. Product coolers generally facilitate storage. However, when the product could be supplied continuously as feed to the next unit, simply bypassing the intermediate product cooler can save unnecessary cooling and fuel.   

Read more

More from this perspective...

Title

Plant-Wide Energy Assessment Boosts Savings

Base-level analysis reveals potential savings of $1.5 million annually.

11/18/2013

Control Energy Costs

Conduct an energy audit and repeat it periodically.

01/01/2014

Break Energy Audits into Phases

A four-phase approach that cyclically repeats can yield improved energy savings.

01/21/2014

Break Energy Audits into Phases, Part II

After approval of projects, implementation can begin

02/19/2014

Control Steam System Energy Costs, Part I

Steam system losses can silently drain profits.

03/19/2014

Control Steam System Energy Costs, Part II

Don’t accept steam and condensate leaks as low-priority housekeeping issues.

04/15/2014

Don’t Err with Compressed Air

A variety of problems can impair performance, leading to high energy costs

05/15/2014

Cool Down Your Fuel Bills

Get energy costs under control by optimizing your process heating systems

06/18/2014

Pump Out Energy Loss

Review the total pumping system to lower electricity bills significantly

07/28/2014

Optimize Electrical Systems, Part I

Many facilities can reduce costs by performing simple operations

08/26/2014

Optimize Electrical Systems, Part II

Take a closer look at electric motors and plugged-in loads for potential energy savings.

09/29/2014

Reduce and Recycle Hazardous Materials

Optimize waste to save energy and disposal costs and cut process inefficiencies

10/21/2014

5 Tips To Sustain Energy Cost Control Efforts

Follow these steps to maintain results over time and identify new opportunities.

11/19/2014