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

Implement Energy Efficiency Measures, Part III

Continuous monitoring of energy costs offers added benefits

12/20/2012

Innovations Promise Better Energy Efficiency

Five developing technologies may profoundly impact plant practices.

03/09/2010

Innovative Fixes for Saving Energy in Plants

Some uncommon practices can help reduce plant costs

08/07/2008

It’s Time to Answer The E(nergy)-Mail

Readers provide their input on content of recent columns.

09/03/2009

It’s Time to Review Your Plant Energy Systems

Annual checkups help ensure components keep running smoothly.

01/16/2009

It’s time for a design check

Pay closer attention to energy efficiency and impose standards.

02/13/2008

Know the Basics of Energy Management

Make energy management maintenance a routine part of your day.

11/22/2010

Make Your Energy Savings Permanent

Here are five ways to create sustainable energy programs.

10/14/2008

Make the Case for Energy Improvements, II

Implementing two near-term measures saves a petrochemical plant millions

03/13/2013

Make the Case for Energy Improvements, III

Waste heat can provide cooling via ammonia absorption refrigeration.

04/10/2013

Make the Case for Energy Improvements, Part I

An ammonia plant saves millions annually with a few medium-term measures.

02/07/2013

Manage Your Energy Management Program

Learn what roles make up a successful energy management program.

07/31/2012

New Energy Efficiency Standards Are Coming

Government, industry and academia team up on program.

01/13/2010

Not All Carbon Dioxide Is Created Equal

Put biomass to use to help reduce your plant’s carbon footprint.

07/07/2009

Optimize Boiler Loads

A boiler's limited turndown ratio causes huge dollar losses.

10/16/2013

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

Optimize Energy Costs in Petroleum Refineries, Part I

Improve refining margins with more energy efficient measures.

02/21/2012

Optimize Energy Costs in Refineries, Part II

Several options can improve condensate recovery.

03/20/2012

Optimize Energy Costs, Part I

Several petrochemical examples highlight energy efficiency.

12/20/2011