Industrial Utility Efficiency    


Every municipality and utility is facing the reality of rising energy costs. In 2010, the Town of Billerica, MA, which is located 22 miles northwest of Boston with a population of just under 40,000 residents, engaged Process Energy Services and Woodard & Curran to conduct an energy evaluation of the Town’s Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) and pump station systems sponsored by National Grid. The objective of the evaluation was to provide an overview of each facility system to determine how electrical energy and natural gas were being used at the facility and to identify and develop potential costsaving projects.
Plug an electrical device into an outlet. Does it work? Great! For some people that’s all that matters. When it comes to compressed air, many manufacturing plants operate the same way. As long as there is enough air, that’s all that matters. But what if cost control also matters to your company? Smart compressed air users may already know how much air they’re producing, but they also want to know how much air they’re using—and whether they’re using it productively. To find out, they’re taking accurate, real-time measurements using flow meters.  
The XZR400BM oxygen analyzer is a small and light transportable instrument, capable of taking readings of both trace and percentage oxygen levels. It has been introduced to meet the demands of companies that wish to take routine readings from multiple sample points, and is a highly cost-effective solution. The instrument is capable of taking readings on a low flow rate – just 2 l/h – which means less waste of the sample gas from the process.
The monitoring project will investigate the energy consumption of cable television STBs in active and passive states at 25 California residences. To identify the energy savings potential of STB optimization, AESC will monitor both power and IR remote-control activity. Using these two data streams, AESC will isolate times of active and inactive use and their respective energy consumption. The power and energy consumption of STBs during times when the residents are not watching TV could prove to be a significant energy savings opportunity.
Productivity is more reliable when equipment can be monitored to detect incipient failures and take corrective action before the plant goes down. But many devices, such as analog control valves, pneumatic valve terminals and field sensors, often do not offer diagnostic feedback, or it is not being used. This white paper describes how this problem is being addressed, and includes an example of pneumatic valve terminals that can monitor, among other things, open load or coil currents at the specific valve and pressure inside the valve terminal.
Recently the capacity of the Las Palmas, California, waste water treatment operations were expanded by combining two plants and making one centralized filtration center. The new center expanded the flow capacity from 162,000 Gallons per Day (GPD) combined to 288,000 GPD when the manually controlled reclaimed water operations were updated to a state-of-the-art automated system. Reclaimed water from the plant irrigates local community green spaces. The new automated system ensures lower labor costs, consistent quality, and peak efficiency in the process of reclaiming waste water for irrigation.
We have industrial accounts where we mix chemicals and acids. Our favorite is blending wine and spirits using compressed nitrogen. The old way to blend was to use “air rousing.” This was done by installing rows of perforated pipes in the bottom of the tank and attaching an air pipe to this grid. Since the typical mixing cycle was 45 minutes, copious amounts of air and energy were used.
You may be wise to watching the demand meter or shifting heavy loads to off-peak hours, but those are not your only options. With advanced energy management technology, you can automate control of energy from refrigeration compressors, pumps, and other equipment so that your facility runs at optimal efficiency, you pay the lowest possible rates, and you can participate in incentive programs that pay you for unused kilowatts.
Many times, the hierarchy of making improvements in your compressed air system will begin with the larger equipment. If your compressor is outdated, inefficient or sized improperly for your plant, the cost of replacing it may scare you away from proceeding down the efficiency path. It is also typical to first concentrate on updating the controls of a compressor to best match peak demands and lulls in the need for air and, while this is a very good step to take in your overall plan of attack, it can also burden your budget.