Common Efficiency Mistakes in Compressed Air Systems

Compressed air systems are significant energy users in most industrial facilities, and understanding how to maximise their efficiency and minimise their operating costs is vital.  The understanding of the basic drivers of efficiency in these systems is however fairly low, since as a utility/service, compressed air is not considered to be “core”. In this post I’ll Read more about Common Efficiency Mistakes in Compressed Air Systems[…]

How Variable Speed Drives Reduce Resource Costs

Variable speed drives (VSD’s) are used in conjunction with induction motors, and exploit the fact that a motor’s speed is proportional to the frequency of the power supply. By varying this frequency, VSD’s change motor speed, unlocking much-enhanced process capability. VSD’s may be used in feedback loops such that motor speed is varied in response to a process variable, Read more about How Variable Speed Drives Reduce Resource Costs[…]

Resource Efficiency Breakthroughs Require a Systems Approach

Resource efficiency in the industrial sector is fascinatingly complex. Industrial sites employ a wide variety of materials, resources and processing equipment, all arranged into various systems. There are resource efficiency opportunities to be found among each of the various components in a typical industrial plant, but the truly ground-breaking opportunities are generally found at the Read more about Resource Efficiency Breakthroughs Require a Systems Approach[…]

When to use Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Screw Compressors

Oil-filled screw compressors are used extensively in industry, and are favoured for their large capacity, relatively quiet operation and flexibility. The latest innovation with these machines, besides the technical aspects of air-end design, is the use of variable speed drives to modulate compressor speed and hence capacity. It is tempting, particularly when making machine replacements, Read more about When to use Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Screw Compressors[…]

Why Large Steam Users Should Consider Cogeneration

Power companies make it their business to generate electricity as cheaply as possible. It is not uncommon to find coal-fired boilers operating at efficiencies in excess of 90% at large power stations and at newer facilities, steam is generated at ever-higher pressures in a bid to maximise turbine efficiency. The scale of power generation plants Read more about Why Large Steam Users Should Consider Cogeneration[…]

The Simple Power of the kilo-Watt Hour

Energy is measured in many units, even within single measurement systems, and hence it is not surprising that, particularly for non-quantitative types, people often get confused when trying to understand the basics of energy efficiency and energy management. In my home country of South Africa we employ the metric system, and hence when we measure Read more about The Simple Power of the kilo-Watt Hour[…]

Energy Efficiency Opportunities Associated with Induction Motors

Induction motors are often described as the “workhorses” of industry, and can be found in every factory. In many plants they are the largest consumers of electrical energy and contributors to peak demand, and hence it makes sense to evaluate opportunities with respect to motors if one is seeking to reduce electricity costs and emissions. Read more about Energy Efficiency Opportunities Associated with Induction Motors[…]

Using Process-Level Management Systems to Drive Resource Efficiency

Technology is an important tool for maximising the resource efficiency of a manufacturing plant, but even the most efficient technologies require maintenance and management. The optimisation of resource efficiency, like any continuous improvement initiative, requires feedback. Process-level management systems are the key to continuous improvement. There are two major components to a good process-level management Read more about Using Process-Level Management Systems to Drive Resource Efficiency[…]

Does Your Factory Have a Resource Efficiency Strategy?

There are many overlaps between operational excellence, resource efficiency and broader sustainability issues. Improving product quality reduces rework and saves raw materials, energy and water. Sound preventive maintenance programmes improve safety, product quality, reliability and throughput. The elimination of bottlenecks, achieved through structured constraints analysis, increases throughput and reduces idling of machines, reducing energy intensity. Read more about Does Your Factory Have a Resource Efficiency Strategy?[…]

The Many Benefits of Condensate Recovery

Steam is a useful heat transfer medium due to its ease of transport and the large amount of energy it contains per unit mass, among its other virtues. In transferring heat, saturated steam condenses to form condensate, which is essentially hot distilled water. This condensate is removed downstream of the site of heat transfer using Read more about The Many Benefits of Condensate Recovery[…]