Optimizing your industrial furnaces’ energy efficiency is a matter of vital importance for two main reasons:
If certain aspects of the combustion process are not carefully attended to, increased expense will be incurred because more fuel will be required to reach the desired temperature. Every company seeks to reduce its costs and to do more with less.
2.- Environmental impact
A company’s carbon footprint is linked to the energy efficiency of its processes, so it is important to reduce consumption of natural gas (or other fuel) in order to be environmentally responsible.
In this article we will consider the factors that may be affecting your energy efficiency, and how you can optimize the process.
Factors that may be affecting your energy efficiency
Some elements that can cause reductions in energy efficiency are:
- Heat losses in the furnace process
These may be due to structural damage to the insulation or incorrect gas flow distribution inside the furnace.
- Inefficient combustion processes
Caused by incorrect air/fuel ratio (operation with excess gas or excess air), or poor mixture due to internal burner damage.
Key steps to improve your furnaces’ energy efficiency
Here are some tips to help you optimize your combustion processes:
1.- Monitor the temperature on the cold side of the furnace, carefully checking that there are no hot spots.
2.- Periodically analyze the composition of the furnace combustion gases, making sure that it continues to deliver the anticipated levels of oxygen and CO.
3.- Periodically check that the combustion air and fuel flows are in a stoichiometric ratio.
4.- Check at least twice a year that the burners are in good condition and are undamaged.
5.- Carry out periodic maintenance to the combustion system.
6.- Avoid ingress of cold air into the furnace that could affect process efficiency.
7.- Keep the temperature control loops tuned. If you do not have a temperature control loop, integrate one into the operation.
8.- Periodically monitor consumption, either manually or automatically.
At Nutec Bickley we can assist you
Some of our products and services that can help you optimize your energy efficiency are:
- Installation of fuel and air flow meters in your combustion system.
- Energy Audit Services with diagnosis and recommendations from our experts.
- Updating the combustion and control systems of your furnaces, incorporating the latest technology for more efficient temperature control.
- Optimization of your control system.
At Nutec Bickley we are specialists in industrial furnaces and their diverse components. Contact our expert advisers so they can let you know about all the solutions that we have for you.
Author: Arturo Ramírez, VP Combustion Controls and Services