The Energy Event 2009

At the Energy Event last week, Atlas Copco were able to present a TUV endorsement of the nett zero energy consumption of their latest air compressor system, under certain atmospheric conditions. As a component in an energy management system, the extra heat is recovered from the 55-750kW ZR range of compressors in terms of hot water supplies from the cooling systems used by the compressors, balancing the work done in compressing the air by liberating the latent heat of the moisture in the air supply, in hot humid conditions. So for industries that can benefit from hot water supplies, ie food and beverage, pulp and paper, chemicals and power plants, the incorporation of this style of energy recovery compressor in the overall energy management system can lead to more efficient plant operations (Link).

A similar process input of otherwise wasted heat energy was on offer from Thermal Energy International, the new owners of the GEM venturi steam trap company. The GEM stand showed the TEI Flu-Ace, which is a flue gas energy recovery and pollution control system. The heat energy in the hot flue gases from a typical boiler, plus the latent heat within the water vapour in these hot gases, is recovered within the Flu-Ace unit, and the resulting hot water output stream can be used for process water heating. GEM also claim that the particulate removal in flue gases is 98% of particles over 1 micron. A recent Flu-Ace installation at a hospital site in Northern Ireland not only provided the benefits of energy recovery, but would avoid the cost of installing a tall flue gas discharge chimney to disperse these particulates from the boiler plant effluent (Link).

Several simpler systems were on offer for energy savings in any typical UK company. Magnatech offer passive permanent magnet systems to attach externally, directly onto a gas or oil fuel line, near the burner. The result is a higher fuel burn temperature, leading to faster boiler heating and less fuel used. Fuel savings of a minimum of 6% have been verified by the EU Tritech project: plus, for the real skeptics, Magnatech offer a full refund if you are not convinced after monitoring the results (Link).

A different approach was presented by Active Energy and PowerPerfector. Simply put, the power supplies in the UK average 242Vac: but most equipment is designed to work at a voltage of 220Vac. Using a step down transformer on the incoming supply will shave off the extra 10%, and thereby lead to energy cost savings of around 10% on your bill, as well as reduce the stress on your equipment by not running it at the upper end of the rated voltage (Link).

Sentridge Control are a West Midlands based ABB Drives Alliance partner, and presented a really effective demonstration of the power wastage from the use of a damper in an air flow control system: use of a variable speed drive immediately showed the 50% energy saving available when the air flow was reduced. Several of the Sentridge application examples are now available on Processingtalk http://www.processingtalk.com/news/esj/esj000.html.

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