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Energy Use Assessment Identifies 28% Reduction Opportunity for Paper Manufacturer

Energy Use Assessment Identifies 28% Reduction Opportunity for Paper Manufacturer

Energy Use Assessment Identifies 28% Reduction for Paper Manufacturer

Services: , ,

Markets: Industrial, Commercial

Highlights

  • Evaluated boilers, motors, lighting, compressed air, and other individual energy use systems
  • Identified a potential 24% energy cost reduction and 28% energy reduction
  • Calculated $477,918 in saving opportunities with less than 1.5-year payback period

Overview

A Connecticut based paper manufacturer engaged Loureiro to perform an Energy Use Assessment (EUA) to help them identify the significant energy users in their 65,000 sq ft. facility. In order to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and decrease their carbon footprint, the client was ready to make a change.

The client chose Loureiro due to the company’s ability to perform a non-invasive yet extremely comprehensive analysis of their facility, as well as Loureiro’s partnership with the Connecticut Utility EUA Program. Because the facility is based in Connecticut, 50% of up-front costs were covered by this program with further incentives offered by their utility company. From the assessment, Loureiro identified a potential $477,918 in annual savings and a 28% decrease in energy use for the paper manufacturer.

Approach

Loureiro’s Energy division carried out an EUA and identified significant energy users over the course of 3 visits to the site. Together with the client, the team performed a  thorough analysis and evaluation of each individual electrical and gas system. Included in the audit and Loureiro’s detailed report were:

The boilers were found to consume a majority of the site’s natural gas. Considering the sites steam production and natural gas use data, the site’s calculated boiler system efficiency was running below average at approximately 75%. 

During the assessment, motor systems were addressed to understand their operations and impact on processes. The site was observed to have a number of large motors along with some smaller motor systems. Energy reduction for motors was recommended by reducing the hours of operation, reducing the load (work) of the motor, and increasing the efficiency of the motor.

During the time of the assessment, the entire facility was investigated for compressed air leaks along with inappropriate air uses. Pictures were taken of all air leaks and Loureiro was also provided with a plant layout in which air leaks were identified on the diagram along with being tagged at the location. Loureiro monitored compressors using data loggers to verify operation and assess generation efficiency throughout the facility.

Loureiro set out lighting data loggers and took light level readings of all indoor and outdoor lighting systems.  Loureiro found some lighting at the site falling into the category of Normal – Non-Value Add. Some of the lights were on without corresponding space occupancy. Loureiro also found many areas where the overall efficiency of the delivery systems can be improved.

Loureiro used the “inside out” approach, which is to review energy all the way from its end use, back towards its generation. This inside out approach means that Loureiro first looked at the uses of the energy, then the distribution of the energy, and then finally the generation. Every utility or energy generation process has inherent losses, sometimes very large. As a result, the energy usage is not needed in the first place, by controlling aspects of use, the generation or transmission losses will never incur. This approach assisted in identifying a wide array of energy reduction opportunities.

Loureiro then critically reviewed value-add energy use and non-value-add energy use. As described by lean principles, value-add (VA) is anything that changes the form, fit or function of the part. Everything else is non-value add (NVA). Once non-value add energy had been defined, Loureiro worked to eliminate it to the maximum degree possible. Then, Loureiro worked to make value-add energy use more efficient.

Taking weather and historical data into consideration,  Loureiro then provided a detailed report with the estimated energy and cost savings with utility incentives to the client.

Results

By performing an EUA, Loureiro and the client identified a potential 24% reduction in energy costs and a 28% reduction in energy usage for the facility. Potential savings of $477,918 per year consisted primarily of natural gas reduction opportunities for the client. Of the 28% energy reduction opportunities, 705,045 CCF (63,566,633 kWh) are from natural gas reduction, compared to 17,719,359 kWh from electrical reductions. For the facility’s carbon footprint, the results led to a 5,000 metric ton reduction in C02. Through an EUA, Loureiro was able to create the road map for a greener, more efficient future for the client.

The costs for the facility to implement these changes are offset by the EUA credits and incentives provided from their Utility provider, in partnership with Loureiro. With these incentives, the implementations have an estimated 1.2-year simple payback. The chart below describes the breakdown in payback times in relation to incentives and monetary EUA credit.

By performing an EUA, the client highlighted the potential to reduce energy by 28% and costs by over $475,000 per year.

Chart Highlighting The Total Energy Reduction Opportunities From And EUA

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