The Department of Energy released three new case studies of manufacturing plants participating in its Save Energy Now initiative, which makes recommendations on potential savings in cost and energy use. The studies reveal that these three companies are saving a combined $1.5 million annually, after implementing some of the suggestions.
J.R. Simplot’s fertilizer plant saved $335,000 and 75,000 MMBtu in fuel by implementing three of the recommendations. First, the company revised their boiler operating practices to reduce steam venting by 17 million pounds annually. Then, the boiler feed water pumps were also repaired. Finally the company repaired the medium pressure condensate line and the pumps serving it, which has led to a 15 percent increase in the condensate recovery rate and reduced more than 3 million gallons of water used annually.
Kaiser Aluminum saved $360,000 and 45,000 MMBtu in fuel, and improved furnace efficiency by 11 percent through implementing two of the DOE’s recommendations. First, excess oxygen levels in the reverberatory furnace were brought down to 2 percent, improving the furnace’s thermal efficiency. Then, the company improved the seal on furnace doors to prevent it from cracking, allowing the burners to reach its required temperature in a shorter period of time.
Shaw Industries saved $872,000 and 93,000 MMBtu in natural gas and No. 6 fuel oil by integrating the most cost-effective recommendations into their energy management program. The company optimized the boiler sequencing to base load the more efficient boilers. Next, they installed a waste water heat exchanger on a dye line and on a separate process in the dye house. Finally, the company installed a stack economizer on a boiler. The implementation costs added up to about $1.5 million, which paid back in less than two years.