Why data is the key to improving energy savings

Nov. 10, 2015
“If you do energy efficiency correctly, you will have automatically increased the reliability of the system.”


Our process plants have been the epitome of data collection. Over the years, sensors, instruments and control technologies have fully automated our processes, making refineries and chemical plants much more manageable and reliable, as well as a safe place to work. Technology evolves continuously; this column will focus on some of the state-of-the-art data and testing that can make our processes “smart” so we not only realize higher energy efficiency but also reap the benefits of greater reliability in our operations.

Some industries use what’s known as “fault detection and diagnostics,” or FD&D; I strongly believe we can apply FD&D very effectively in our plants; the key is collecting the right data. Most times, this is not an issue given our process controls background. However, I sometimes find it a major issue when working with utilities at plants. Process heaters, steam systems, compressed air systems, pumping stations, chiller and refrigeration units, etc., often lack the level of data collection and details compared to process units. Because most processes run continuously and it can be costly to shut down, plants rarely retrofit data collection points unless a critical safety or operational issue is involved. Hence, I believe many of those data collection items should be incorporated right at the design phase or when completing major projects or upgrades.

To learn more about energy data, read “Energy Saver: Make Your Processes Smarter” from Chemical Processing.

Sponsored Recommendations

Arc Flash Prevention: What You Need to Know

March 28, 2024
Download to learn: how an arc flash forms and common causes, safety recommendations to help prevent arc flash exposure (including the use of lockout tagout and energy isolating...

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...