Industrial Energy Savings    

Water Conservation

As the population continues to grow in the United States, industrial water use will need to continue to fall to help offset the increases in public-supply water use. Water-cooled compressed air systems provide an opportunity for sustainability managers to reduce associated cooling water consumption and costs. If switching to air-cooled air compressors is not possible, understanding the costs and the alternative types of liquid cooling systems is important.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the completion of two energy efficiency projects at the Indian Brook Water Treatment Facility and the John-Paul Rodrigues Ossining Operations Center that will save the Village of Ossining $123,000 a year in energy and water costs.
Compressed air systems are present in almost all industrial processes and facilities. They have been correctly identified as an area of opportunity to reduce electrical (kW) energy costs through measures like reducing compressed air leaks and identifying artificial demand and inappropriate uses. Water-cooled air compressors can also be significant consumers of water and reducing these costs can represent a second area of opportunity.
The Focus on Energy Water and Wastewater Program was developed to support the industry because of the enormous potential to reduce energy use without compromising water quality standards. Through the program, numerous water and wastewater personnel have learned that energy use can be managed, with no adverse effects on water quality. Most locations that have saved energy have found improved control and treatment.
Growing operational costs and lower than average occupancy rates spurred Apple Farm Inn and Suites, San Luis Obispo, Ca., to explore economic and facility efficiency benefits obtained through the installation of an ozone laundry system. At the Apple Farm Inn laundry facility, an evaluation was conducted in late 2006 to early 2007, comparing the costs of laundering by traditional methods versus ozone laundering.
Industrial plants are major consumers of water. Water is used in many processes. Sustainability projects focus on reducing the consumption of water and the energy-costs associated with cooling water so it may be effectively used.
This major mill complex upgraded their compressed air system and thereby eliminated $500,000 in annual rental compressor costs, reduced annual cooling-water costs by $500,000, and reduced electrical energy costs by $135,000 per year.
This article reviews two major processes in paper mills: compressed air quality and air compressor cooling.  The central air compressor room was expanded and relocated at the largest privately owned paper mill in Canada.  The compressor space was required by a plant expansion, which would occupy the original compressor space for increased production.
A paper mill in Wisconsin reduced its’ yearly water consumption by 547.5 million gallons and reduced its’ yearly air compressor maintenance costs by $470,000.  
This article reviews the 7th of the key elements for Low Cost – High Value energy savings.  Each of the previous articles reviewed types of projects which are applicable at many facilities.  The projects ranged from simple procedural actions such as turning off equipment when it is not making a product to more complex, like adding a water to air heat exchanger and extracting heat from the coolant loops to provide warmed make-up air.
Reducing energy costs and pollution emissions involves many areas within an industrial facility.  My studies have found seven (7) key (or common) areas where low cost practical projects can be implemented.  Combined, these projects provide savings exceeding 10% of the annual energy spend with an average payback of less than one year. This article will focus on the opportunities for using waste heat sources to supplement winter building heat.