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Energy Audits and Projects Do More Than Save Energy
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As a result of an Energy, Process and Control System Audit, Suncor Energy began an Advanced Control System Project at the Oil Sands Extraction Unit in Alberta, Canada. The methods and initial results of that ongoing project are detailed in this paper. The initial step was to conduct an audit of the existing process units and their related controls. The audit's objective was to identify ways to reduce energy consumption, reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions, improve product quality and increase production. Several teams familiar with the process areas worked together to develop Control Objectives Analysis (COA) and related design packages utilizing improved controls, production modifications and modified operating procedures to meet the rapidly changing demands placed on energy producers. The Advanced Process Control System Project consists of two distinct parts. At the regulatory level teams reviewed and improved existing systems. The advanced control group developed a process model that was an effective method to identify process opportunities, obtain input from other team members and validate the resulting process modifications and control strategies prior to implementation. As a result of the combined efforts of small high performance groups of Suncor employees, system integrators and equipment vendors we anticipate a net reduction in energy usage, net reduction in GHG emissions, improved recovery yields and increased production generating a net positive cash flow impact of C$40MM/year.
Doucette, B.; Robinson, J. (2002). Energy Audits and Projects Do More Than Save Energy. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from