Pumps, fans and compressors together consume between 50 and 85% of the total purchased energy in processing plants. Over-sized equipment and inefficient control schemes for these systems often lead to inefficiency and higher operating cost. In this case study, engineers at Owens Corning saved over $250,000/yr by optimizing several pumping, fan and compressed air systems serving its Santa Clara, Calif., fiberglass manufacturing plant.
In 2007, an energy expert from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) assessed the plant's pumping systems and identified several opportunities to reduce energy use. The following four recommendations, once implemented, could significantly increase pump operating efficiency and reduce energy use for a combined annual energy savings of $122,000.