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Saving Big Bucks with Your Log Sheets
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This paper speaks to a common problem in a lot of industrial and institutional boilerhouses. Most boilerhouses do an excellent job at collecting information. Circular chart recorders churn out pressures, temperatures, and flows for everything from steam to natural gas to city water consumption. If your facility is like most, this stuff all gets chucked into a drawer or file cabinet daily. Have you ever wondered why you collect and record what you do? What were people thinking when the existing logs were set up? This paper attempts to challenge the original thought process and hopes to evoke in you and your staff a renewed vision of what should be collected, how, and then what can be done with it. It seems that most "good old days" data collection efforts were centered around identifying equipment operability and reliability problems. If a line suddenly jumped off the chart, hopefully someone would notice and react in just the right way to keep the plant operating. However, 99% of the time when things change slightly over days or when things seem normal, no one gets excited about anything. This is because action points or things to care about (TCA's) for energy savings are few and far between. This paper hopes to help you define lots of energy cost-related TCA's. This is all about data mining. It's all about finding gold buried in what you thought was waste. This paper can't give you specifics. It can however point you to appropriate TCA concepts. TCA's must be individually tailored to a particular boilerhouse's equipment, people, needs, utility costs, maintenance patterns, and a number of other critical factors. The goal of this paper is not to define new and expensive data acquisition or control system projects, It is instead to show you how to develop systems that only require paper, pencils, and people who are motivated and care. These people are probably already being paid by you to do most of this work. Our experience is that if these people are treated with respect and given some simple tools they will do amazing things beyond what you thought was possible. This is a low tech humanistic approach that has a fabulous rate of return. It's also something that can be immediately implemented.
Puskar, J. R. (1998). Saving Big Bucks with Your Log Sheets. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from