Energy Conservation Study Services

Industrial processing plants use a combination of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, or other energy sources to power their unit operations. Raw materials, energy, and labor are typically a plant’s major expenses. Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) can help clients find opportunities to lower overall energy usage by performing an analysis of their process focused on reducing wasted energy and improving optimizing processes to minimize energy consumption.

Typical project tasks may include:

  • Energy assessments utilizing EPA provided tools and guidelines
  • Updating or correcting existing and often outdated mass and energy balances for the plant
  • Develop simulations of select unit operations to optimize energy usage
  • Investigate equipment, line, and valve sizing and fouling issues which may be needlessly wasting energy
  • Evaluate various process alternatives that may be more energy efficient than existing configurations
  • Evaluate utilizing alternative fuel sources to take advantage of seasonal relative price differences
  • Explore the opportunity for electricity cogeneration
  • Provide a final report outlining the findings and recommendations.

 

Our Experience

As a company consisting of high caliber chemical engineers with years of both plant operations and process design experience, we feel PROCESS is uniquely qualified to assist plant clients in uncovering ways to save energy. Often the energy savings analysis centers around those unit operations representing points of energy use. Points of use include equipment such as steam boilers, hot oil heaters, fired process heaters, and thermal oxidizers. Other significant opportunities are often found in the process heat transfer areas such as feed preheat trains, reboilers, intercoolers, reactor heating/cooling, etc. Last but not least, rotating equipment is typically a significant consumer of a plant’s energy with such equipment as pumps, compressors, fans, etc. PROCESS has significant experience in all these areas. See Our Energy Conservation Study Projects Below.

 

Tools At Our Disposal

PROCESS makes use of the latest engineering tools and process analysis techniques. We routinely use various process simulation software packages to design processes and analyze process options. In addition to these the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a number of energy assessment tools and best practices guidelines that PROCESS is capable of using as needed (SteamProcess HeatingMotors/Pumps/FansCompressed Air). A number of our engineers at PROCESS are well versed in performing heat transfer ‘pinch analysis’ and detailed heat exchanger evaluation using specialized heat exchanger design software. Any changes made to piping systems where relief devices are used could cause the device to be over/undersized for its application. If relief devices feed into a common blowdown or flare header system then the sizing of the header lines and flaring devices also need to be checked after significant process modifications are made. It is also common to find such systems ‘undersized’ as a result of many smaller changes to the process that have occurred over time and had a cumulative effect on the header loading.

Project Examples Involving Relief System Sizing

 

Process Safety Information

If your plant or process falls under the requirements of OSHA’s Process Safety Management program (29 CFR 1910.119), then certain process information is required to be accurately documented and kept up-to-date.

  • Heat & Material Balance information
  • Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams
  • Maximum Intended Inventory
  • Safe Operating Limits
  • Initial PHA and Revalidation PHAs (every 5 years)
  • Cause and Effect Diagrams
  • Interlock/Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) Testing Documents
  • EPA-RMP Offsite Consequence Analysis.

Project Examples Involving PSM Program Process Safety Information Development