An obvious assumption, often made while looking at energy consumption, is that certain industries use a greater amount of electricity when compared to others.
While textile manufacturing, agriculture, and food processing facilities, use tremendous amount of power; chemical and petrochemical plants, iron and steel manufacturing, non-metallic mineral excavation, and the production of pulp and paper consume the most.
Today, we will be looking at these industrial energy consumers. Due to our dependencies on their processes, there is no wonder why they are so energy hungry. Our roads are built with aggregate, I-beams provide structure to our buildings, and our lives move onwards and upwards from the manipulation of petrochemicals. In order to conserve energy and reap the benefits from modern power distribution systems, all while becoming more competitive, it is integral for these industries to design systems with optimal process and functionality in mind.
Chemical and Petrochemical Plants
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) monitor the motors to prevent surges in demand and redundant stress on the substations within these vast, intricate facilities. The compressors in these process lines are often the most energy-demanding component, and with the help of VFDs, really help for reducing max demand, protection against power fluctuation, speed accuracy and saving power.
The greatest impact of these drives is that they can reduce the wear and tear on the mechanical components, but specifically help in the processes like depressurization. By this, which traditionally an operator would be required, now the process can be monitored and controlled remotely, increasing safety and reducing operating costs. Basically, they help the efficacy of a chemical or petrochemical manufactory.
Iron and Steel Manufacturing
Energy costs account for large amounts of OPEX (operation expenses) within industry. This is no different in the production of steel, which stands at about 20% of their operating costs. So, through providing precise control of motor speeds, variable frequency drives (VFDs) can lower energy costs by 30%. Moreover, they help with the overall process control in the extrusion of metal and the conveying of iron ore, along with other applications within the operational stages of these facilities. These drives can be installed and connected to a plant’s PLC to be governed and optimized.
These connectivity possibilities reduce waste and spoilage during production and help to improve the quality of the finished, Canadian steel product.
Non-metallic mineral excavation
The use of drives around the production of limestone, gravel, crushed stone and aggregates are used to smoothly start up large motors and continuously control their speeds, depending on the needs of the on-site equipment. Used to control motors that drive grinding machines, fans, pumps or conveyors, VFDs provide significant energy and maintenance savings within installations.
With the implementation of these drives, this sector stands to create more reliable systems with improved power factor through their designs, thus limiting the stress on the motors while providing the operators more control and operational precision.
Pulp and Paper
The pulp and paper industry requires paper mill automation. This will not only reduce manual labor throughout the process, but also can mitigate the losses which are more prominent when motor speed controls are not utilized, or the electrical design is not synchronized to manage the operation effectively.
The use of VFDs across the complex pulp and paper manufacturing process leads to greater efficiency by mitigating unnecessary stress on pumps, screens, rollers, chippers, etc… which leads to a reduction of paper getting torn, and increases the quality of the manufactured paper. As control errors are eliminated, there are considerable increases in reliability and also the profitability of the facility.
As you can see, there is a world of mechanical equipment that enables us to live our modern and comfortable lives.
Even within these times of calamity, we notice that as automated as these systems have become, it takes the human drive to make things happen.
At T&T Power Group, we see areas within current operations that can be made more effective and streamlined. With your dream, and our passion, together we can generate, distribute, and apply modern energy designs to push us onward. Contact us today to learn more about how our team of experts can help.