Issue Focus: Pathfinders in Corporate Energy Management
Energy Matters was a quarterly newsletter for DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMO). It provided in-depth technical articles to help industry professionals save energy, reduce costs, and increase productivity. These archived issues may contain broken links or information that is no longer accessible. Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs.
This issue focuses on the many ways that companies are reducing energy and operating costs, and curbing emissions, through energy management programs.
In This Issue
- Companies Forge Individual Paths to Energy Management
- Cementing Energy Management at California Portland
- DOE Announces Second Round of Energy Savings Assessments
- Super Boiler Looks Promising for High Efficiency, Cost Savings
- Quick PEP Software Helps Jump-Start Energy Savings
- SoCalGas Pilot Program Boosts Industrial Energy Efficiency in Southern California
- How Your Plant Can Weather a Hurricane
- Texas Technology Showcase Set for December 2006
- Spotlight: New Equipment Improves Process Heating Efficiency at Texas Chemical Plant
Companies Forge Individual Paths to Energy Management
By Christopher Russell, Principal, Energy Pathfinder Management Consulting, LLC
Scrambling for relief from today's high energy costs, many industrial manufacturers are focusing on their energy consumption and finding ways to manage it. Although there is no "one size fits all" program, companies are finding positive ways to integrate energy management practices into their daily operations.
Benefits and Impacts
As an organizational process, energy management improves a company's business performance, while energy efficiency describes the practices and standards that are specified by an energy management plan.
Unchecked energy expenditures are like cumulative tax burdens on each stage of production. Thus, effective energy use can directly improve productivity. Aside from lower energy bills, other benefits include greater capacity utilization, reduced scrap rates, compliance with emissions and safety regulations, and enhanced risk management.
The best industrial energy management programs engage human, technical, and financial resources. Energy performance criteria usually reflect input from engineering, maintenance, finance, and utility staff, and all staff are accountable for outcomes. Coordinated energy decision making improves companies' competitiveness and ultimately contributes to its wealth, as illustrated in the diagram.
To better understand effective energy management programs, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) supported a sample study conducted by the Alliance to Save Energy. Ten companies were studied: 3M, C&A Floorcoverings, Continental Tire North America, DuPont, Frito-Lay, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Merck & Co., Mercury Marine, Shaw Industries, and Unilever HPC. Many of them used ITP information resources and software tools in creating their energy management programs.
They cited these reasons for establishing their programs:
- Energy expense control and management of energy price volatility
- Control of other expenses, such as capital expenditures
- Increased revenue potential through identification and replication of capacity improvements
- Improved product marketing through visible resource stewardship
- Risk mitigation related to environmental liabilities and operational reliability.
Though some common threads run through the programs, they are all different. Each has noteworthy features and results. For example, both 3M and the manufacturers that purchase its many products know that their markets require goods and materials with low environmental impacts; 3M has reduced its own energy consumption per pound of product at least 20% since 2000. Managers believe that resource stewardship simply makes good business sense.
Georgia-based C&A Floorcoverings matches its energy-efficiency initiatives with its business goals. In two years, C&A reduced its annual costs for natural gas, which topped $800,000 annually, by 10% by adopting an ANSI-certified standard, "Management System for Energy 2005," as a template for its program.
Energy consultants and in-house management worked together to help a Continental Tire North America plant in Illinois reduce its energy consumption per tire produced by 31%. Continental also partnered with an energy services company (ESCO) to incorporate self-sustaining energy management procedures into its operations.
With more than 100 plants in 70 countries, DuPont has made energy efficiency a high priority, applying a "Six Sigma" methodology to energy management. Through 2002, more than 75 energy improvement projects had been implemented, with average annual savings of more than $250,000 per project.
Frito-Lay's energy management focuses on results and requires extensive monitoring, measurement, and communications. The company's efficiency initiatives have yielded a return of more than 30% on efficiency investments.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation employs best practices to reduce air emissions, upgrade wastewater treatment, minimize process water use and packaging, and eliminate landfills and toxic chemicals at more than 165 plants worldwide. The company has reduced energy use per ton of product by about 12%.
The corporate energy program at Merck & Co. holds site managers accountable for reaching performance targets. The company's goal is to cut site energy costs by 22% in four years and avoid 250,000 tons of carbon emissions. Energy efficiency was used as a strategy to increase production from existing assets, offsetting the need to make capital investments in new capacity.
Mercury Marine, a marine propulsion systems manufacturer, gives a single manager the authority to make energy improvements, assigns cost control responsibility to production units, and uses information technologies to monitor energy flows and to bill production units for their energy use. A centralized compressed air system has reduced the company's $7 million annual electricity bill by nearly $500,000.
Using DOE plant assessment methods and ITP BestPractices materials, a demand-side engineer at Shaw Industries documented potential energy savings of $1 million per month in the first six months of his tenure. In-house staff use DOE resources in energy assessment and remediation activities.
Unilever's Health and Personal Care Division's energy management program features a simple budget-to-actual spreadsheet comparing the energy performance of 14 facilities. The spreadsheet information has inspired facility managers to save $4 million in energy costs and another $4 million in avoided costs. This activity has caught the attention of Unilever's Board of Directors.
Some key features of the 10 companies' programs are summarized in the table.
|3M||Cont. Tire||C&A Floor||DuPont||Frito-
|Merck||Merc. Marine||Shaw Ind.||Uni-
|Tactics and Approaches|
|Performance goals and metrics||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Multiyear planning horizons||•||•||•||•||•|
|Prominent use of ESCOs||•||•||•|
|A standardized protocol for energy or quality control||•||•||•|
|Energy stewardship supports marketing strategy||•||•||•|
|Tools and Functions|
|Energy performance reflected in budget-to-actual comparisons||•||•||•||•||•|
|Database to archive energy performance metrics and/or projects||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Routine auditing or self-assessment of energy consumption||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|DOE analytical software and related reference material used||•||•||•||•|
|Corporate energy implementation guide||•||•|
|Easier financial criteria for energy improvement investments||•||•|
|Direct billing of energy costs to teams within plant||•|
|Organization and Communications|
|Corporate energy coordinator or "champion"||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|In-company energy team offers technical evaluation & assistance||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Energy performance results released in investor publications||•||•||•||•||•|
|Energy performance communicated to employees||•||•||•||•|
|Plant-level teams and/or supervisors support energy improvements||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Participation in government-business collaborations||•||•||•||•||•|
|Improvement suggestions filtered up through staff||•||•||•||•|
|Internet or intranet workshops, online peer networking||•||•||•||•|
|Recognition for high-performance plants||•||•|
|Hold energy awareness events for employees||•||•|
Commitment Is Key
Market conditions, asset management strategies, corporate involvement, a structure of authorities, and linking energy performance to business goals all seem to be major factors in effective corporate energy management programs.
More and more companies are tailoring programs to their own particular characteristics and needs. Their approach to energy management reflects their organizational profiles and abilities, and their commitment to improving productivity and profits through more efficient energy use.
This article was adapted and condensed from "Energy Management Pathfinding: Understanding Manufacturers' Ability and Desire to Implement Energy Efficiency," (PDF 221 KB) by the author; presented during "National Manufacturing Week" in Chicago, Illinois, March 2005. Download Adobe Reader.
About the Author
Christopher Russell is the principal of Energy Pathfinder Management Consulting, LLC, an organization dedicated to the design and implementation of energy management strategies for business organizations. He has evaluated energy management practices at dozens of facilities. An expert in business-oriented energy cost-control, he is often a consultant and keynote speaker at industry conferences (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cementing Energy Management at California Portland
By Steve Coppinger, P.E., Chief Electrical Engineer, California Portland Cement Company
Energy management is a hot topic these days, and that should come as no surprise. With energy costs rising dramatically and environmental regulations tightening, the pressure for industrial companies to reduce energy consumption is also increasing. The cement industry is especially sensitive because it is one of the major energy consumers in the United States, spending more than $1.2 billion per year on energy (U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Manufactures 2004).
In many cement plants, energy amounts to as much as 50% of variable costs. But California Portland Cement Company is standing firm on reducing its energy costs and lowering process emissions by implementing a corporate energy management program. Among the many benefits so far, the program has saved the company a total of $3 million.
About California Portland Cement Company
For more than a century, California Portland Cement has been supplying customers throughout the western United States with construction building materials. Headquartered near Los Angeles in Glendora, California, the company is a major supplier of cement, concrete and concrete products, aggregates, and asphalt. Today, its 2,000 employees operate facilities from Alaska to the northern border of Mexico. California Portland Cement sells 6 million tons of cement, 3 million yards of concrete, and 8 million tons of aggregates, which are worth nearly $1 billion in annual sales. To generate this volume, California Portland Cement uses highly intensive processes such as crushing, grinding, and heating raw materials to 2,700° F and higher. In 2003, seeking ways to curb energy use, save money, and improve environmental performance, the company established an energy management program. In fact, California Portland Cement has made energy management a core activity in its business plan.
"Effectively managing energy is an important part of our day-to-day operations," says CEO Jim Repman. "As an EPA Energy Star® partner, we place a high value on the environmental and fiscal savings gained from superior energy management." This corporate-wide philosophy is the foundation that guides the other important elements described below.
At the outset, California Portland Cement assigned an energy manager and formed an energy management team consisting of plant and corporate personnel. The team represents several different departments and functional areas, including engineering, operations, maintenance, accounting, executive management, and procurement.
In addition, the company enlisted assistance from the Energy Star program in developing a plan and putting the team together. The formal plan outlined goals, methods, and specific energy savings target areas. Saving money was the motivating factor for the plan, and the team realized that even a 5% improvement could result in millions of dollars in energy savings each year. However, they also saw that this effort could save significant amounts of process emissions.
Now that the program is underway, the corporate energy team meets every 2 months, and rotates to different facilities throughout the company. This helps them target savings opportunities at the facilities and allows local plant employees to participate. In addition, each major facility or division has its own local team to ensure that initiatives are implemented.
California Portland Cement also created a process energy team made up of process engineers who conduct periodic energy assessments on specific plant areas throughout the company. They take measurements, review operational data, calibrate instruments and write reports describing opportunities. The process energy team also brings in consultants and uses resources such as those available through DOE's Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) to conduct energy audits.
An Emphasis on Corporate and Employee Buy-in
California Portland Cement has found that support and cooperation throughout the company, from plant employees to executive management, are essential to the effective implementation of the energy program. One of the sustaining elements is its senior management's commitment. For example, the Senior Vice President of Operations and the Vice President of Engineering participate in all corporate energy meetings. Through their participation, the energy program gains credibility and reinforces the need to meet company efficiency goals.
"The key to having a successful energy management program is to stay focused and keep the momentum going."
—Rick Patton, Senior Vice President of Operations, California Portland Cement
Because of the corporate emphasis on energy management, it is a regular topic at quarterly cost review meetings and frequently on the agenda at executive, staff, and board meetings. Corporate managers also understand the need to recognize employees for their contributions to the program's success. To bolster buy-in among plant employees, California Portland Cement has initiated a pilot bonus program at one of its plants. Employees receive incentive bonuses tied to the plant's energy performance. And, throughout the company, employees are recognized at awards luncheons and other events attended by CEO Jim Repman.
Methods for Measuring Performance
Led by the firm belief that "you can't manage what you don't measure," California Portland Cement has put in place data archiving systems to monitor energy performance at the manufacturing plants. The process energy team measures power consumption and fuel usage per unit of production at each phase of production; these data are reviewed at corporate energy and quarterly cost review meetings.
The company compares performance among facilities and also benchmarks against comparable plants in the industry. To do this, the process energy team uses software analysis tools such as Energy Star's Energy Performance Indicator (EPI) benchmarking software, ITP's MotorMaster+ and Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) from ITP's suite of BestPractices tools.
Specific Initiatives to Improve Processes
California Portland Cement has implemented several initiatives designed to boost performance in specific areas of its operation. The initiatives give the company a systematic approach to managing energy use and encourage best practices. The key initiatives include these:
Compressed Air System Improvements: The company has targeted compressed air as its first initiative in the program, because it offers the greatest savings opportunities of any utility but requires minimal capital costs and short payback periods. Work includes optimizing compressor operations, improving compressed air quality, reducing compressed air use, and minimizing air leaks.
Electrical and Lighting Systems: Motor management and lighting retrofits are the primary activities in this initiative. All new motor replacements must meet the latest NEMA premium efficiency standards. Most of California Portland Cement's facilities have conducted lighting surveys, and many have completed lighting retrofit projects for plant offices, warehouses, laboratories, and maintenance buildings. The latest lighting technologies, including fixtures, bulbs, motion sensors, and photocells have been installed throughout the company.
Mechanical Systems and Drives: California Portland Cement plants proactively replace v-belts with cog or synchronous belts on motor drives. These new belts can be 3% to 5% more efficient than the v-belts. Heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment optimization is also a part of this initiative.
Plant Operations, Engineering and Maintenance: To help employees implement energy savings measures, guidelines have been distributed throughout the company. This includes written specifications to require energy-efficient equipment for all new installations and retrofit work. The company also has developed purchasing and inventory policies to ensure that new equipment meets energy specifications.
Awareness and Education: California Portland Cement regards employee awareness as the most important initiative; it yields the best opportunities with the least investment. To keep employees informed, energy successes, tips, and meeting minutes are communicated throughout the organization through e-mail, intranet, newsletters, bulletin boards, and other methods. All around the facilities, posted signage reminds employees to be vigilant about reducing energy. The most effective signs are those that quantify practices that cause energy waste, such as air leaks. The company also offers employees training on various energy efficiency topics. Plant personnel have attended ITP BestPractices training and other training programs on compressed air, motor efficiency, process heating, and lighting.
Incentives, Rebates, and Resources that Target Opportunities
As its energy management program evolves, California Portland Cement is finding many ways to uncover savings and then implement energy projects. For example, in 2006, the Mojave, California, cement plant applied for and received a process heating Energy Savings Assessment offered by DOE as part of the Save Energy Now campaign. In 2004, the Rillito, Arizona plant received a cost-shared award from DOE and is currently completing a plant-wide assessment. From these two opportunities alone, California Portland Cement has identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings opportunities.
To help make projects more feasible, California Portland Cement also takes advantage of utility rebates. In the past 2 years, the company has qualified for more than $1.3 million dollars in rebates and has used these funds to implement energy efficiency retrofits and process improvements such as installing a state-of-the-art vertical grinding mill and a new, high-efficiency separator on an existing ball grinding mill at the Mojave plant.
Results and Rewards
Having a formal program allows California Portland Cement to focus on specific energy opportunities and take advantage of the various resources available. In just 3 years, energy management practices have been institutionalized and are now part of standard operations.
As a result of these efforts, California Portland Cement has already received several local, state, and national awards, including Energy Star's Partner of the Year Award in 2005 and 2006. The company is also reaping rewards in terms of savings; so far, they amount to more than $3 million in energy costs savings and a significant reduction in process emissions since the energy program was formed. Among the best rewards, however, is the sense of pride among employees that they have accomplished something that improves not only the bottom line but the environment, as well.
About the Author
Steve Coppinger has been with California Portland Cement Company for 20 years and is the company Chief Electrical Engineer. He leads the corporate energy management program and was instrumental in starting it in 2003. Steve is a licensed professional engineer in the State of California. He actively participates in industry and energy professional committees, including IEEE, Portland Cement Association, and Energy Star's Cement Focus Group. He also serves on the Energy Matters Editorial Advisory Board.
DOE Announces Second Round of Energy Savings Assessments
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will continue offering Energy Savings Assessments of the nation's manufacturing facilities in 2007. During the past year, these free assessments conducted on site at eligible U.S. plants have identified potential industrial energy cost savings and productivity improvements amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
As energy supplies and prices remain highly variable, another round of assessments is being planned. The application process for the second round begins on October 2, 2006. To apply, visit the Save Energy Now Web site.
The first 100 Energy Savings Assessments in 2006 identified more than $250 million in potential annual savings in process heating and steam systems. If those 100 plants implement all the recommendations made in their assessments, they will reduce U.S. natural gas usage by almost 30 trillion Btu per year, which is enough to supply approximately 400,000 households.
To achieve even more benefits, DOE is broadening the scope of the assessments in two ways:
- Assessments of pumps, fans, and compressed air systems will be offered in addition to those for process heating and steam systems.
- Cost-sharing options with industry associations, utilities, and other partners will be available.
The assessments are designed to reduce U.S. industrial energy use and costs through Save Energy Now, the Industrial Technologies Program's (ITP) component of the national "Easy Ways to Save Energy" campaign created by the Secretary of Energy in 2005.
Numerous other ITP resources will also continue to be available, such as technical training, ITP's suite of powerful software assessment tools, technical tips and publications, and more. If you don't already have the Save Energy Now CD, which includes many of these resources, order one today from our Web site (above) or contact the EERE Information Center, 1-877-337-3463.
And be sure to check our Web site often for updates on the next round of Energy Savings Assessments, the online application, assessment results, success stories, and more.
Super Boiler Looks Promising for High Efficiency, Cost Savings
Super Boiler Project Partners
- DOE Industrial Technologies Program
- Gas Technology Institute
- Cleaver-Brooks Inc.
- GTI Sustaining Membership Program
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Southern California Gas Company
- Utilization Technology Development Company
- California Energy Commission
- South Coast Air Quality Management District
- California Air Resources Board
- Specification Rubber Products
- Clement Pappas & Company
For more information, please contact Bob Gemmer, DOE Industrial Technologies Program, or call 202-586-5885.
A series of promising new technologies in steam generation could reduce U.S. industrial steam system operating costs by more than $10 billion annually, saving 185 trillion Btu per year. At the same time, the technologies would curb environmental emissions by nearly 2.7 million metric tons of carbon equivalent annually.
The new technologies are bundled in a unique, interconnected boiler system known as "Super Boiler." Combining innovations in combustion, heat transfer and recovery, vessel engineering, and controls in a highly efficient steam-generation system, the Super Boiler has a 50% smaller footprint than conventional boilers and minimal environmental impacts.
These innovations began in 2000 with a research and development partnership consisting of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), the Gas Technology Institute, Cleaver-Brooks, Southern California Gas Company, and several others (please see the sidebar). Now, the Super Boiler project is well on its way to demonstrating a first-generation Super Boiler that integrates several novel technologies to achieve extraordinarily high efficiencies (greater than 94%) and low emissions (less than 5 parts per million by volume (ppmv) of nitrogen oxides).
Time for a New Steam Technology
Today, both the potential and the need for a cost- and energy-saving Super Boiler technology are especially great. U.S. industry currently uses more energy for steam production than for any other single purpose, and it costs about $18 billion or more annually just to feed the boilers that generate the steam. But despite its major role in energy consumption, industrial steam generation technology has not progressed significantly since the end of the 19th century.
Now, however, industry has an important window of opportunity as an aging stock of industrial boilers nears retirement. The U.S. manufacturing sector uses more than 33,000 boilers with capacities greater than 10 million Btu per hour (MMBtu/hr). The largest block of those boilers was purchased in the 1960s, and more than 80% were purchased before 1978. About 60% of them are concentrated in just five industries: paper, chemicals, refining, food, and primary metals.
Designed for Super Efficiency
The boiler geometry incorporates a two-stage firetube design that is both compact and highly efficient. Key innovations include a transport membrane condenser (TMC) and a compact humidifying air heater (HAH) to extract sensible and latent heat from the flue gas for increased energy efficiency, compact convective zones with intensive heat transfer, and a staged/intercooled combustion system for ultra-low emissions.
This unique boiler design, which incorporates high-intensity heat transfer using extended surface firetubes, exhibits confirmed heat transfer coefficients approximately 18 times higher than those of plain firetubes. In laboratory tests, the technology reduced nitrogen oxides (NOx) to as low as 3 ppmv while maintaining carbon monoxide levels below 10 ppmv across the firing range. Excess air is maintained at 3% or lower, for improved efficiency in comparison to low-NOx burners that employ flue gas recirculation or high amounts of excess air.
From Demonstrations to Markets
Commercial prototype designs for both single-stage and two-stage boilers scaled up to 11 MMBtu/hr (300 horsepower [hp]) have been completed, and demonstration testing has begun. Current field tests at Specification Rubber Products in Alabaster, Alabama, are encouraging; using a single-stage, 300-hp, gas-fired Super Boiler with TMC/HAH heat recovery, tests are confirming a 94% fuel-to-steam efficiency.
Further tests are scheduled in September 2006 for Clement Pappas & Company in Ontario, California, using a two-stage unit. A TMC/HAH retrofit will also be tested on a conventional boiler in Utah. At the same time, laboratory development continues on an ultra-clean, dual-fuel capability for the Super Boiler.
Once energy cost savings are successfully demonstrated, Cleaver-Brooks plans to market a new line of high-efficiency, low-emissions industrial firetube boilers. At present, both the one- and two-stage boiler designs are being considered.
The one-stage boiler has a capability for oil backup firing and so can address a larger market. The two-stage intercooled boiler is not currently equipped for liquid fuel firing, so its market is limited mainly to California. However, plans are under way to develop a backup oil firing capability for the two-stage intercooled boiler, which will greatly expand its potential market. Plans are also under consideration to expand and apply Super Boiler innovations to watertube boilers, alternative fuels, and nonboiler heat recovery applications.
For more information, see ITP's Super Boiler fact sheet (PDF 1.19 MB). Download Adobe Reader. For updates on technology demonstrations planned for 2007, visit the ITP BestPractices Web site . You may also contact the EERE Information Center online or by calling 1-877-337-3463.
Quick PEP Software Helps Jump-Start Energy Savings
Quick PEP is a software assessment tool you can use to boost your plant's energy efficiency and your bottom line. The Quick Plant Energy Profiler, or Quick PEP, tool can help you understand how your plant uses energy and what you can do to reduce both energy usage and costs.
Developed under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) and available online, Quick PEP helps you identify opportunities for savings that will also improve your company's productivity and environmental performance. Using Quick PEP, you can quickly diagnose your plant's energy use and identify prime areas for savings.
Customized Report Points to Savings
Quick PEP provides an overview of the amount of energy you purchase and generate. It helps you identify major energy-consuming industrial systems, describes your plant's savings potential, and points out more specific resources and tools you can use to realize savings. With some basic information in hand about your plant, you can complete a plant profile in about an hour.
The result is a customized, printable report, including tables and graphs that show how much energy your plant is purchasing and how much it costs, how your plant is consuming energy, and how much energy and money you could save. The report also suggests some particular next steps to take to begin implementing energy-saving measures.
These next steps might include using more targeted system assessment software tools to identify specific savings opportunities or enlisting help from one of DOE's Qualified Specialists in analyzing industrial systems. You might also want to sign up for a training session to learn more about the use of these software tools as part of your approach to energy management.
Online Tutorial Provides Guidance
The Quick PEP online tutorial explains the information you'll need for your plant profile. It lists the major sections of the Quick PEP tool and a short description. And there are links to more detailed information about each section of Quick PEP and how to use it.
Quick PEP is available online in a beta version free of charge. To access it, visit the ITP BestPractices Web site and click on "Software Tools" in the list of quick links. And after you use Quick PEP, please send us your feedback and suggestions; contact the EERE Information Center online, or call the center at 1-877-337-3463.
SoCalGas Pilot Program Boosts Industrial Energy Efficiency in Southern California
Many of California's industrial plant managers know there are energy-efficient alternatives to the equipment and practices they use in operating their facilities. But sometimes they need help in conducting plant assessments that identify areas for energy savings, quantify benefits, and indicate strategies for making efficiency improvements. That's where the Industrial End-User pilot program at Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas, a Sempra Energy utility) comes in.
The SoCalGas Industrial End User pilot program is a collaborative effort with the California Energy Commission (CEC), the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), universities, and the state's industrial assessment centers. The pilot was created in response to mandates from the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to increase energy efficiency throughout the state, and it is modeled in part on nationwide DOE manufacturing plant assessments.
The focus of these assessments initially has been on reducing natural gas usage by helping industry optimize the efficiency of their process heating and steam systems. However, customers also benefit from DOE training related to improving the efficiency of motors, air compressors, and other energy-consuming systems.
The program breaks new ground in its approach to energy efficiency by tailoring traditional classroom training material to each customer's needs. Strategies include both measurement training and process assessments. ITP software tools are used to model process energy consumption, and ITP steam and process heating tip sheets explain common system improvement techniques.
Significant Potential for Savings
SoCalGas is the largest regional utility of its kind in the nation, serving more than 200 industrial customers whose natural gas costs each exceed $1 million per year. However, most of the utility's customers fall below the 1 trillion Btu in annual energy consumption required to qualify for DOE-sponsored Energy Savings Assessments (ESAs) of large plants being implemented under Save Energy Now, the industrial component of DOE's "Easy Ways to Save Energy" campaign.
Therefore, SoCalGas has adopted the ESA model and is working with its large industrial customers to identify energy-efficient process improvements and to quantify annual therm and dollar savings. Because SoCalGas delivers more than 50% of California's supply of industrial natural gas, Industrial End User program activities benefit not just the southern region but the entire state, as well.
Assessments Show Specific Opportunities
Both SoCalGas and DOE Qualified Specialists in industrial systems train customers and help them assess opportunities in a process similar to DOE's industrial ESAs. The CEC and DOE have already helped SoCalGas facilitate several ESAs, and the resulting assessment reports identify applicable utility program incentives for large industrial gas customers and others. In addition, six SoCalGas industrial system experts have received training and certification as DOE Qualified Specialists, to date.
During the last year, SoCalGas has worked closely with DOE consultants to customize and simplify the methodology used in the Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) and the Steam System Assessment Tool (SSAT), both of which are used to quantify savings and document the calculations.
"SCG has developed a suite of calculation tools that will enable nonengineers to perform the fairly complex energy efficiency calculations we require. We are quite pleased with the results and believe it to be a big step in the right direction," explains Mark Gaines, SoCalGas Director of Customer Programs.
As it continues to help industrial companies find good ways to reduce their energy and operating costs, the SoCalGas Industrial End User pilot program stands to serve as a very good model for other regional utilities.
For more information on the Industrial End User pilot program, please contact the program manager, Bryan Warren. And visit ITP's BestPractices Web site for more resources to help you identify money and energy savings opportunities.
How Your Plant Can Weather a Hurricane
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) is joining with other national, regional, and local groups to help industrial plants plan and prepare for hurricanes. The deadly Gulf Coast storms of 2005 caused an estimated $20 billion in damages, including $5 billion in commercial losses alone. By mid-2006, some plants in the region still hadn't reopened, including facilities that produce nearly 20% of the region's oil and more than 10% of its natural gas. ITP works closely with companies in hurricane-prone regions, and many are DOE Allied Partners as well as Save Energy Now participants.
Plants need to know how to prevent such devastating human and financial losses in the future. Here's what some of them have been doing—and others can do—to weather another hurricane.
Minimizing Risks, Maximizing Resources
Many plants are back in operation. For example, a Domino Sugar refinery east of New Orleans had been producing about 6 million pounds of cane sugar daily (nearly 19% of the nation's supply) before taking in nine feet of floodwater. To get back on its feet, the company helped set up a trailer park nearby to temporarily house most of its 300-plus employees.
Tom Beardon of the Public Broadcasting Service interviewed Mickey Seither, Domino's vice president for operations, in the aftermath of the storms. Seither said, "We can fix anything; we can rebuild anything. If it's broken beyond repair, we can buy another one and put it in its place. But if we don't have employees, it's for naught."
Many of those employees worked long hours along with local electricians to repair or replace damaged equipment. As a result, the refinery was up and running again in time for the winter holiday baking season.
Some plants have been assessing their vulnerabilities and taking steps to minimize them. After Hurricane Katrina sent a wall of water roaring over an earthen levee and into a large DuPont plant in DeLisle, Mississippi, the plant had to shut down its titanium dioxide manufacturing process for more than four months. While repairing equipment as quickly as possible, DuPont also set up temporary housing and provided other help to hundreds of employees. To help stave off future damage, the company extended the levee with a 12-foot-high steel flood wall.
A number of companies are including energy efficiency in their recovery work. When Katrina caused severe flooding at a ConocoPhillips plant in Bellechase, Louisiana, hundreds of motors were damaged. After conferring with experts at DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Information Center, plant managers decided to repair about 500 motors larger than 50 hp and to replace some 600 smaller motors with premium-efficiency ones. They estimate that the new motors will trim their energy use by 2 million kWh per year.
What Plants Have Learned
Manufacturers can try to weather severe storms—and help save lives—by planning and preparing for them. Planning helps plant managers know when and how to shut down operations and start them up again. Being prepared helps to speed evacuations and minimize downtime, property losses, and damage to assets.
The Louisiana Chemical Association has been coordinating with member companies in the Gulf region to document and share the lessons they learned in 2005. For example, to keep lines of communication open, many companies are establishing in-plant or mobile emergency operations centers and keeping important contact information up to date. Many others have purchased satellite phones and set up toll-free numbers outside the region for all employees to use. Some have installed satellite dishes to maintain Internet connections during emergencies.
To house employees and keep critical operations going, companies are stocking up on portable generators, cots, tents, water, nonperishable food, and first aid items. One plant installed showers in some bathrooms and purchased a washer and dryer for its administration building. Another plant plans to stock emergency supplies at the beginning of each hurricane season. And some plants that set up emergency housing in 2005 are keeping electricity and water connections in place even after returning the borrowed trailers, just in case.
Companies are also hiring employees skilled in making electrical and other repairs. And they are creating checklists needed to restart key equipment in case trained staff are not available. They are also stocking as much inventory and as many spare parts as possible and coordinating with key suppliers on emergency plans.
Here are some basic guidelines emerging from the lessons learned:
Establish several ways to maintain critical communications with managers, suppliers, and customers during and after an emergency; consider creating a mobile emergency operations center.
Be prepared for flooding, which is usually the most serious obstacle to restarting operations.
Prepare to quickly shut down key utility supplies like air, oxygen, nitrogen, steam, natural gas, and other raw material feeds.
Establish plant evacuation routes, know the routes for your area, and inform employees about them.
Update internal contact lists so you can locate employees quickly; update contact information for emergency response groups.
Investigate how to provide temporary housing, basic amenities, and medical services to employees, if necessary.
What Your Plant Can Do
Knowing your plant's vulnerabilities can help you minimize them. First, assess your plant's current situation. Then, determine how and when to obtain emergency backup power, supplies, and parts; coordinate with local emergency teams on evacuations; and shut down and start up operations.
Many federal, state, and local resources can help you plan and prepare. A guide produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency helps plants, industries, and businesses prepare specifically for hurricanes. It recommends ways to establish a planning team, analyze capabilities and hazards, and develop and implement a plan. Here's a summary of these guidelines.
How To Plan and Prepare for a Hurricane
1. Establish a planning team
- Choose a leader and staff based on skills and capabilities.
- Assign specific tasks to individuals or teams.
2. Analyze capabilities and hazards
- Assess current preparations, potential risks, impacts of power failures and structural damage, and ways to mitigate damage.
- Contact your local floodplain manager or other official to learn your flood risk; use flood-resistant building materials; erect physical barriers; anchor tanks and other structures.
- Reinforce roof and siding panels against high winds; cover windows and doors; anchor tanks; remove loose objects from your site.
- Have emergency backup power—e.g., a generator, battery storage, or combined heat and power (CHP) system; keep utility contact information handy for power outages.
3. Develop your plan
- Plan for before, during, and after an emergency; establish protocols for employees' safety and site readiness.
- Prioritize a list of site preparations; update emergency power and supply options.
- Establish emergency communication systems and backups; determine staff responsibilities and procedures for shutting down, recovery, and restarting.
- Develop an evacuation plan, including support for employees.
- Establish procedures to shut down utility and process operations safely.
- Find ways to protect business records, materials, and inventory.
- Update critical contact lists.
4. Implement your plan
- Track the storm's path and intensity through the National Hurricane Center.
- Stay in touch with your state's emergency operations center and with corporate headquarters, other plants, employees, customers, and suppliers.
- Carry out procedures for site preparation, emergency backup, shutdown, and evacuation.
If your plant produces materials needed for restoration and recovery, be sure to let local emergency operations centers know how you can help. And if you haven't already, please start planning today!
For more information on hurricane preparedness, please see the ITP "Hurricane Ready" Web site and the related links: www.eere.energy.gov/industry/hurricaneready/.
Texas Technology Showcase Set for December 2006
This year's Texas Technology Showcase for industry is scheduled for December 6 and 7, 2006, in Galveston. Attending this showcase is an ideal way for industrial engineers, plant managers, energy specialists, and others to come together, network, and learn about the latest energy-efficient industrial technologies and most effective energy management strategies.
The conference, which will be held at the Galveston Island Convention Center in the San Luis Resort, is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, Texas Industries of the Future, the Texas State Conservation Office, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
This year's theme is "The Engineer's Energy Toolbox: Practices, Technologies, and Management." Along with industry, research, and government leaders who are experts in your field, you will learn more about—
- The leading companies in energy efficiency and environmental performance
- How to incorporate best energy management practices to reduce costs
- Proven technologies that help plants meet requirements for reducing NOx emissions
- How to build support for energy efficiency in your organization, from operators to managers.
The conference will include four concurrent technical sessions, three plenary addresses, and an awards ceremony. More than 40 experts will exhibit technologies and services for energy-efficient and environmental applications.
For more information and to register, visit the Texas Technology Showcase Web site.
And to learn more about corporate energy management, read the feature article in this issue of Energy Matters: "Companies Forge Pathways to Energy Management". You may also be interested in a profile of California Portland Cement Company's successful energy management program, also in this issue.
New Equipment Improves Process Heating Efficiency at Texas Chemical Plant
- Saves $7 million annually
- Reduces annual energy consumption by 210,000 MMBtu
- Improves throughput by 8%
- Achieves a 2.6-year simple payback
To improve the efficiency of a sulfuric acid recovery process, staff at Rohm and Haas's Deer Park, Texas, plant replaced a natural gas-fired furnace and preheater with new equipment. Using DOE's Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) software, plant personnel were able to accurately determine the energy savings and productivity improvements that would result from replacing the equipment.
This retrofit project has yielded higher than anticipated energy savings and productivity gains. Annual energy and energy cost savings total 210,000 MMBtu and approximately $2 million, respectively. Also, the recovery process now has a higher acid reclamation rate, which provides annual cost savings of $5 million per year. With total project costs of $18 million, the project achieved a 2.6-year simple payback.
Covering more than 800 acres and employing more than 750 people, the Deer Park facility is Rohm and Haas's largest production plant, producing more than 5 billion pounds of chemical products annually. The plant's sulfuric acid recovery process, which was installed in 1970, reclaims approximately 3,600 tons of sulfuric acid per day by decomposing sulfuric acid residue.
In 2002, a pinch analysis identified structural inefficiencies in the process that resulted in energy losses. The preheater's efficiency was found to be 62%, down from its design rating of 76%, largely because of leaks in the heat exchangers. Plant personnel realized that the furnace and preheater were near the end of their design lives and planned to replace them. In 2004, they used the PHAST tool to estimate how much energy the retrofit would save. The PHAST analysis showed that, in addition to the retrofit, more energy savings and higher capacity could be obtained by increasing the temperature of the preheated air by 25%. These savings estimates validated the decision to replace the unit.
The project included replacing both the preheater and the furnace as well as upgrading certain sensors and insulation. The newly installed preheater solved the leaking heat exchanger problem associated with the previous preheater. Previously, the type of furnace exhaust oxygen analyzer used resulted in delayed readings and made it more difficult to accurately monitor combustion conditions. Three new analyzers were situated within the furnace ducts to provide real-time readings of exhaust oxygen levels. Finally, plant personnel installed 9 inches of insulating refractory, rather than the 4.5-inch refractory used in the previous furnace.
The retrofit project is yielding substantial performance improvements and energy savings. The preheater's efficiency has risen to 83%, reducing process energy use by about 8.5%. The exhaust oxygen analyzers allow staff to operate the furnace consistently at the lower end of the desired oxygen range, so the furnace uses even less fuel. Also, the new furnace's configuration allows for more efficient burning and faster residue decomposition, so plant personnel were able to lower the furnace temperature by 40°F.
Preliminary data show that the process uses about 11% less natural gas than it did previously. This translates into annual energy savings of 210,000 MMBtu and energy cost savings of $2 million. The new furnace's capacity utilization is better than expected and throughput is 8% higher; consequently, $5 million worth of additional sulfuric acid is reclaimed. With total project costs of $18 million and total savings of $7 million, the simple payback is 2.6 years.
Ensuring the efficiency of an industrial process heating system requires reducing energy losses and maximizing the amount of energy transferred to the load. At the Rohm and Haas Deer Park plant, some structural conditions accrued over time that reduced efficiency and caused energy losses in the plant's sulfuric acid recovery process. To improve the efficiency of the process, staff decided to implement a system-level project to replace an aging furnace and preheater and upgrade the furnace's sensor technology and insulation.
An assessment performed using DOE's PHAST software was instrumental in determining the project's energy savings and production benefits, which turned out to be higher than anticipated. PHAST and other DOE software tools—such as AIRMaster+, PSAT, SSAT, MotorMaster+, and FSAT—can help plant personnel determine how to optimize their industrial motor systems and processes.
Claudia O'Rourke, a chemical engineer with Rohm and Haas, is the process steward in the Deer Park plant's sulfuric acid recovery unit. She routinely evaluates the efficiency of the recovery process and uses DOE's PHAST software tool to gauge the efficiency of the preheater and furnace. The Deer Park facility has been using DOE techniques and tools to evaluate energy efficiency opportunities since 1999.
Using DOE System Assessment Software
Industry professionals involved in system or plant operations, engineering, and management often use DOE software to evaluate their plants' motor and industrial systems. DOE offers one-day training workshops in compressed air, electric motor, fan, process heating, pump, and steam systems that teach the DOE assessment software tools (AIRMaster+, FSAT, MotorMaster+, PSAT, PHAST, SSAT, SSST and 3E Plus). These workshops assist attendees in identifying cost-cutting and efficiency opportunities in their plants.
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