PCS Nitrogen's Improved Combustion Fan System Saves Energy and Money
February 15, 2005
PCS Nitrogen, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of PotashCorp of Canada, completed an energy efficiency project in 1993 that is yielding annual energy savings of 76,400 MMBtu and energy cost savings of $420,000. This project involved improving the efficiency of the combustion fan on a boiler at the company's chemical fertilizer plant in Augusta, Georgia. Before the project, the combustion fan could not automatically adjust itself to changes in the load; this resulted in excess steam production, and the steam was being vented into the atmosphere.
To solve this problem, staff at the Augusta plant installed an adjustable-speed drive (ASD) on the combustion fan. The ASD now modulates the fan's operation according to the load, and this allows the plant to lower the boiler firing rate by 21% during low loads to reduce the amount of unnecessary steam generated. Maintenance needs have also declined, because there is less stress on the fan's motor and bearings. Boiler feed water usage is also lower.
Total project costs were approximately $65,000, and the simple payback was less than 2 months. This successful project also served as the impetus for additional energy efficiency improvements that could save nearly $1 million per year in energy costs at the plant.