Emerson Announces Smart Energy Initiative to Help Optimize Industrial Energy Production and Use
Emerson Process Management announced the "Smart Energy Initiative," a global program designed to combine what it describes as its unmatched industrial energy expertise with advanced energy management technologies to enable customers to leverage more renewable fuels, lower energy costs, and reduce emissions.
Emerson is focused on an estimated $2 billion market that is poised for strong growth as refineries, manufacturers, and other industrial customers face increased pressure to adopt lower-cost fuels. With energy comprising 30 percent or more of a facility’s overall operating costs – combined with higher prices for fossil fuels and new global emissions mandates – industrial customers are increasingly looking to waste fuels, biomass, and other renewable sources as a solution to these challenges.
Emerson’s new Industrial Energy Group will specifically focus on modernizing and improving the performance of powerhouses, the onsite utilities that provide steam and electricity to power industrial operations, while also improving how the manufacturing process consumes energy. This holistic approach ensures the greatest efficiency in production of energy, plus reduced waste and inefficiencies where energy is used. Emerson technologies and expertise provide the industry’s only turn-key energy optimization program to help refiners, chemical producers, and other manufacturers significantly reduce energy costs and emissions.
"With industrial manufacturers consuming an estimated 50 percent of the world’s energy, combined with rising fossil fuel prices and global mandates for reduced emissions, our customers need more than incremental efficiencies in energy management," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. "With our Smart Energy Initiative, Emerson is introducing a fundamentally new platform that can change energy economics globally."
At the heart of Emerson’s integrated technology platform is its "True BTU" technology, a patent-pending innovation for calculating the actual BTU values of fuel sources, which makes reliable energy production predictable and repeatable.
"Our True BTU Combustion Control platform reinvents the current model of combustion management, which has been around since the 1920s and is still in practice today," said Chip Rennie, director of Industrial Energy for Emerson. "This brings about nothing short of a reinvention of combustion models, which will make the prevalent use of low-cost fuels like biomass achievable and sustainable."
For the first time, Emerson’s proprietary suite of software, combined with field control technologies, enables the powerhouse to interchangeably use the most available and affordable renewable or waste fuels – wood waste, food byproducts, animal waste, or manufacturing byproducts like petcoke or off-gases – to consistently create steam to power their operations. It also delivers 21st century combustion solutions for greater efficiency and reliability when using waste and other renewable fuels, which burn and deliver energy at variable and unpredictable rates.
"We have seen tremendous growth for certain projects, such as biomass-to-energy conversion, where we have many customers running on renewable fuels 95 percent of the time," Sonnenberg added. "Given our track record and energy management leadership, we anticipate 25 percent to 35 percent growth in industrial energy projects over the next five years."
Recent applications of Emerson’s industrial energy solutions include increased steam production from scrap wood at a commercial power facility, more stable operation of a university’s utility boilers, and more stable and efficient consumption of byproduct gases at a steel mill.
"Emerson’s work at our Port Talbot (U.K.) steel mill is helping us make better use of ’indigenous’ fuels – such as blast furnace gas and coke oven gas – that are byproducts of our manufacturing process," said Andrew Rees, manager of a boiler upgrade project for Tata Steel. "The improved controls are part of a comprehensive energy management project that’s expected to reduce powerhouse energy consumption by 3 percent to 5 percent and help Tata Steel achieve its vision of becoming energy self-sufficient."
Emerson’s innovative SmartProcess Boiler technology delivers a new and unique real-time combustion control solution to address the inconsistent nature of renewable and waste fuel sources, automating and simplifying management of sudden changes in BTU content or the availability of those fuels.
SmartProcess Energy Management is another sophisticated software application that runs in real-time, closed-loop control to balance steam systems, manage electrical demand swings and upsets, identify opportunities to buy and sell power, improve efficiency, and run an entire industrial utilty at the lowest cost automatically.
More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.