High energy costs continue to prompt process manufacturers to seek ways to increase their energy efficiency. A colleague pointed a great post to me, The Seven Steps to Successful Industrial Energy Management, on the Energy Pathfinder blog.
My take away was that the culture for becoming more energy efficient starts at the top and developing metrics, incentives, and disincentives to change organizational behavior are keys to success.
Bob believes improving the operation of the Industrial Powerhouse can be a large factor in improving overall energy management at process manufacturing sites. The carbon footprint of the powerhouse can be reduced, the reliability and responsiveness of the operation can be increased, and the cost of energy can be reduced–all at the same time.
With this focus (and not to be out done by the seven steps), Bob offers his ten steps to successful Industrial Powerhouse improvement:
- Obtain top management commitment to improving the carbon footprint, reliability, and cost of operation of the Powerhouse.
- Benchmark current operations in terms of efficiency, reliability, cost, and emissions.
- Survey current process equipment, control technology, and operating methods. Create a matrix of factors that are impacting or limiting operating performance.
- Examine potential process equipment repairs and upgrades that could deliver benefit, rank these in terms of return for investment, and complete repairs and upgrades that will deliver good immediate benefit.
- Focus on process parameter measurement devices and actuators. Especially for combustion air and fuel flows, ensure that repeatable measurement and control capability exists.
- Implement full automatic control that is robust and reliable. Even the best operating crews cannot optimize Powerhouse performance every minute of the day for every day of the year.
- Install optimized control functionality as appropriate to optimize efficiency, prioritize lowest cost fuels, load equipment based on cost, and make economic operating decisions automatically.
- Change Standard Operating Procedures for the Powerhouse to ensure that process units are run in automatic using the optimized control functions. Make focus of operations identifying and troubleshooting process issues rather than manual process operating adjustments.
- Regularly benchmark operation in terms of efficiency, reliability, cost, and emissions, repeat steps above when results are not satisfactory.
- Investigate and consider re-powering the industrial site with lower cost fuels and/or technologies.
Bob and the Industrial Energy Solutions consultants have helped process manufacturers achieve ongoing savings from improved energy efficiency by putting these steps into practice. If your energy costs are higher than they could be, give these ten steps a try or contact the industrial energy team for help.