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Money Loss Calculators ‘Key’ to Halting Energy Waste

Adding calculated energy efficiency measurements or “money loss” calculators to plant equipment such as furnaces is a great way of alerting factory operators to energy loss, according to SustainablePlant.com.

Money loss calculators are software programs that, when used on a furnace, measure such variables as oxygen, draft and fuel usage and analyze the info to produce an easy-to-understand “dollars lost” readout, according to the article by Gary Faagau, president and founder of performance measurement firm Sumira Services. Money loss calculators can also be used on other plant equipment including turbines and heating systems, Faagau says.

According to the article, factory workers often ignore efficiency information unless it affects productivity. Using the dollars lost display provides operators with a visceral readout on performance and heightens the likelihood that the operators will take notice of the information, according to the article. Faagau advocates an incentive system to ensure operators don’t start ignoring the money loss indicator.

Last year a DuPont plant in Orange, Texas was recognized by the American Chemistry Council for initiatives, including furnace efficiency improvements, that saved 540 million btu.

By upgrading the design of its ethylene furnaces, the company achieved more than 67 million btu/hr fuel savings.  The investment builds on upgrades made in 2008, which reduced annual CO2 emissions by 34 million pounds (17,000 tons).

This month Philips Electronics reported that its energy consumption was down by three percent in 2011, compared to 2010. The company attributes the reduction to less load in glass furnaces, along with organizational changes, energy efficiency improvements and production mix changes.

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