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Promising Areas for Energy Efficiency in Industrial Process
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"Almost all of the electric utilities in the US have some sort of energy efficiency improvement program for their customers. In all cases these programs cover lighting and HVAC. Some of the more ambitious programs venture into the industrial sector. Industrial processes are very site specific in nature and difficult to penetrate by energy efficiency professionals. A review of the areas in which we can work and get results is beneficial. Our focus is regular, repeatable applications, which provide consistent energy savings. This will help us to devise annual goals and evaluate accomplishments for an EE program. In the author’s experience the areas are: 1. Motors 2. Pumps 3. Blowers 4. Variable Speed Drives 5. Refrigeration 6. Cooling Towers 7. Air Compressors, and 8. Plastics Fabrication The first six are pretty well analyzed and understood by EE professionals, and do not need much discussion. In the area of compressed air, DOE (Compressed Air Challenge) efforts have made significant progress in the last fifteen years or so. Yet the average compressor system in the US still operates only at about 57% of its potential. Considering the millions of horsepower tied up in the air compressor systems, the EE potential is still very large. Plastics fabrication has several sub groups like Injection Molding, Blow Molding, Extrusion, etc. With the introduction of servo motor driven Injection Molding Machines in the 90’s, commonly called “All Electrics”, energy efficiency has greatly improved for injection machines under 300 ton capacity, There were also improvements in the medium sized machines (400 to 700 tons). Auxiliary equipments that support the plastic fabrication operations are the next area for interest. Many of these equipments have cross-cutting functions in several sub groups mentioned above. This paper will focus on opportunities in this area."
Joseph, B. (2009). Promising Areas for Energy Efficiency in Industrial Process. Energy Systems Laboratory. Available electronically from