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A Systems Approach to Optimize the Operation of a Refrigeration Unit at a Chemical Plant
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This paper focuses on the ongoing system level analysis and the optimization results of two steamturbine driven refrigeration units at the Dow Chemical company Peroxymerics (PXC) plant located at St. Charles Operations in Hahnville, LA. Six-sigma has been accepted as a corporate-wide philosophy at the Dow Chemical Company, and this methodology was applied to this refrigeration system optimization at the plant. Process refrigeration at the plant comprises of two individual systems that operate at different temperature levels and serve a myriad of process loads as well as provide chilled water for the plant. The total plant capacity is ~6,500 refrigeration tons and has a total charge of 225,000 lbs of refrigerant - R134a. Two steam turbines drive the refrigerant compressors. The utility cost structure is interlaced with costs and credits for the supply and return steam to the plant headers. As a first step towards a systems approach for optimization of the refrigeration unit operation, Dow Chemical Company contracted with Hudson Technologies to undertake a feasibility study. After the projects were completed, operational data was then collected and analyzed to quantify the cost savings and level of optimization. Trending certain key parameters indicated ongoing performance and closely monitored system degradation.
Papar, R.; Zugibe, K.; Heitler, J. (2005). A Systems Approach to Optimize the Operation of a Refrigeration Unit at a Chemical Plant. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from