Energy Saving Tips

Forecasting energy prices is right in the same area as forecasting the stock market, weather, and most other future events. The important issue is that current forecasts are not pointing at any major changes other than normal seasonal adjustments.

All of the following are equal to one million BTU's (MMBTU):

1 MCF, 1 Decatherm and 10 therms of natural gas

7.29 gallons of number 2 oil

10.93 gallons of propane

293.1 KWH of electricity

For operating boilers, be a fuel shopper and buy fuel when prices are down for storable fuels like #2 oil and propane. If you have only one fuel source to operate your boilers, consider adding alternates to your boiler operations. Contact us for options and prices.

Reduce waste and loss points in your facility. A 30 day month has 720 hours. Each dollar saved in energy use per hour is $ 8640 per year. Some major areas to attack include:

Boilers: Do any of these issues apply; 15 years or older, operating at load factors of less than 50%, operating without a lead lag system, using only one fuel source, tuned up once per year, and in poor condition? You can reduce your fuel bill by 10-25%. For most of these issues, payback is one year or less.

Steam Systems: At current and forecasted fuel prices, steam costs range from .00 to .00 per 1,000 pounds. A steam leak of 100 lb/hr is the same flow rate as .2 GPM. A typical kitchen faucet will flow about 2-3 GPM so 100 lb/hr is a very small flow of steam. A steam loss of 100 lb/hr at a cost of $ 15.00 per 1,000 lbs amounts to ,960 per year. Some examples include one blowing steam trap, a steam leak from a 1/8" hole, and .25 GPM of condensate being dumped. Virtually any loss in a steam system can be fixed with a payback of well under one year. Contact us for information on steam system audits.

Compressed Air: Operating a 100 HP Compressor at 100% load will cost you $ 7.50 ($.10 per KWH) per hour or $ 65,700 per year. A fully unloaded compressor will still consume 30% of that amount or $ 19,710 per year. Reducing air consumption can be accomplished by eliminating timer drains, fix air leaks, eliminate all manual blow downs of receivers and dryers, reduce air pressures when possible, add lead lag systems to control operations of multiple air compressors, and increase air storage to avoid operating unloaded air compressors. Need help with specifics? Give us a call.

Vacuum Systems: Vacuum pumps consume electricity at the same rate as air compressors. A careful determination of your required vacuum level can reduce costs substantially if you are operating your pumps at deeper than required levels. Central vacuum systems with PLC based controls can provide major savings. If you are currently operating multiple single pumps scattered about in your facility, a central system will save you significant amounts off your power bill. OEM equipment which requires vacuum in many cases is supplied with compressed air vacuum jets which are very expensive to operate. If a regenerative or other type of blower will meet your vacuum level requirement, use it instead of a vane type pump. Also blowers and vane pumps can be combined in series to accelerate the production of vacuum while reducing operating costs. Call for application information.

Water: Water and sewer costs are also rising with $ 10.00 per 1,000 gallons now the norm in many areas. Cutting water consumption by 100 gallons ( two almost full 55 gallon drums) per hour will save you $ 8760 per year. Look at your water make up in a steam system, cooling water being dumped to waste, cooling tower operations, and leaks as prime areas for big savings.

In many steam system audits done, added energy costs in many plants represents the difference between hitting profit goals and in some plants the difference between profit and loss.