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Is there still room for considerable energy savings?

It’s time to look beyond traditional boundaries…

Over the past several years, companies have achieved significant energy savings through benchmarking covenants, sector agreements, and/or their own initiatives. As a result, there are no more quick wins. So what do companies now have to do to save significantly more energy? Answering this question requires the bird’s-eye view of experts in various sectors. Laborelec is currently helping chemical company Prayon identify new energy savings opportunities.

Last year, Prayon successfully implemented an energy savings project regarding steam production control that went far beyond the standard quick wins. Due to this success, Prayon wanted to look into even more high level energy savings opportunities, together with Laborelec.

It all starts with the energy balance

Laborelec’s experts started with a detailed mapping of Prayon’s energy balance. In this way, they gained insight into the various energy flows and energy consumers. The energy balance is then used as a basis to determine which energy flows and consumers are worth investigating for further improvement.

Avoiding or recuperating excess energy

Based on its thorough expertise in energy efficiency, Laborelec is able to ask the right questions and identify room for improvement. At Prayon, this approach revealed that some of the excess warmth and steam generated by exothermal processes is not used optimally. Laborelec is therefore investigating ways to optimize the heat and steam consumption. Choosing the optimal steam source for each application, as well as levelling off the consumption peaks of some consumers creates an optimal match between steam production and consumption. This will enable Prayon to minimize the blow-off of excess heat and minimize the overall steam cost.

Implementing best practices across sectors

Each sector has its best practices, and such practices can actually help improve other sectors’ efficiency. For instance, Laborelec is investigating whether the steam turbine performance monitoring tool that it developed for power plants can also be used at Prayon. If so, it could help significantly improve the local steam turbines’ efficiency.

“We know our processes best and have already achieved considerable cost savings in the past. If we want to save even more, we need to look at it the other way round. And this requires the assistance of external experts in energy efficiency.”

Bernard Flament, Prayon

Do you still have room for considerable energy savings?