Emerson launches industrial energy efficiency tech

'True BTU' technology to address interchangeable feedstock and fuels

Emerson says by making the true BTU cost more accurate, fuel costs can be more predictable. (GETTY IMAGES)
Emerson says by making the true BTU cost more accurate, fuel costs can be more predictable. (GETTY IMAGES)

Emerson Process Management has announced the launch of its Smart Energy Initiative, a global programme designed to combine industrial energy expertise with advanced energy management.

With feedstock accounting for some 30 per cent of a facility's overall operating cost, the company's initiative is centred around the need for refineries, manufacturers and other industrial entities to adopt lower-cost fuels. The increasing cost of fossil fuels and new global emissions mandates are encouraging a greater interest in waste fuels, biomass and other renewable sources of energy, and Emerson's latest initiative will focus on modernising and improving the performance of powerhouses; the onsite utilities which provide steam and electricity to industrial operations.

Speaking at the press conference at the company's Global User Exchange in Nashville, Tennessee, Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management, said: "With industrial manufacturers consuming an estimated 50 per cent 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."

The key technology in the new platform is 'True BTU', a patent pending innovation for calculating the actual BTU value of fuel sources, in order to make reliable energy production more efficient and predictable.

"The 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," says Chip Rennie, Emerson's Director of Industrial Energy. "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."

The software, when combined with field control technologies, will enable the powerhouse to interchangeably use the most available and affordable renewable or waste fuels.

Discussing the potential of the technology, Rennie says that there is a 'significant amount of opportunity' out there at the moment: "There are numerous opportunities. Take a typical refinery - if we increase the combustion efficiency in that refinery by two per cent, it's almost a million dollars year in savings," he says. "The bigger opportunity, going forward, is renewables and alternative fuels. If we use 20 per cent waste fuel in lieu of natural gas, we'll see a two, to two and a half million dollar saving per year. That's just for a medium size refinery."



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