Identifying Pneumatic Energy Savings with the Energy Responsible Tool

by | Aug 31, 2011 | Valves, Actuators & Regulators | 0 comments

If you use any of the social media forms of communications such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you know that it’s possible to get to know someone without actually meeting them face-to-face. You learn about their expertise and interests over time through their status updates.

And so it was with an Emerson intern, Adam Reineke, whom I got to know over this past summer through his tweets. He’s working with the Fisher valve team and has developed a web-based tool that provides an estimation of the pneumatic energy being used for instruments at steady state. It calculates operating costs and emissions for instrument air and natural gas in tonnes of Equivalent Carbon Dioxide (CO2e). By selecting different pneumatic instruments, you can quickly compare and identify opportunities for energy savings and reduced emissions.

Energy ResponsibleToolNamed the Energy Responsible Tool, it is based only on a single aspect of pneumatic steady state consumption. All steady state consumption values used in the tool are provided from the applicable manufacturer’s product bulletin’s specifications.

Other than the steady state aspect, the pneumatic energy consumption of the instrument depends on several other aspects of the process loop components, including, without limitation:

  • The control valve and/or actuator design and performances
  • Calibration and tuning of the field instruments (controllers, positioners, transducers, regulators, relays, volume boosters, etc.)
  • Supply pressure (20 psig, 35psig, etc.)
  • Quality of the supply media
  • The control loop performance
  • Instrument dynamic response

Adam provides options where you can change any of the settings for the price of natural gas, or carbon credit, or electricity rates in the “Change Settings” section to simulate your local consideration in appreciating the energy used for the instruments selected. I like how he included hyperlinks to sources on how he arrived at some of the values such as industrial electricity cost ($/kWh) and wellhead natural gas cost ($/MSCF) to cite a couple of examples. The “Print this Estimate” provides a print of all the settings used for the estimation.

And for those who like to know the underlying formulas, Adam includes these on the formulas page as well. There is also a page of definitions so you can quickly acquire the language surrounding pneumatic devices.

Adam continues his internship and pursuit his degree. In his short stint with us in the process automation industry, he has provided a great tool to help justify energy improvement and emission reduction project opportunities around pneumatic instruments. Newer energy-efficient pneumatic controllers such as the Fisher C1 pneumatic controller can decrease the amount of pressurized air or natural gas lost to the atmosphere with its low consumption.

Give the Energy Responsible Tool a try and share your thoughts. I’m sure Adam will be monitoring his Twitter stream looking for them!


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