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View Subscription Details: Letter ( 11/20/2007 ) - HTML Format

Keep it simple

Last year I asked a chief engineer about his opinion of my newsletters. He had replied that they held valuable information. However, it would have been better if somebody would have been able to tell him how to use this information to improve the efficiency of his plant.

Energy savings in industrial refrigeration is pretty complicated, because of many variables. This is the reason that even if you have information about energy savings, it is not easy to apply this information into real life energy savings.

To help companies to implement known information about energy savings, I started the remote tuning up of refrigeration plants. After several years of extensive research in energy efficiency in industrial refrigeration I have obtained several models of refrigeration plant optimization. To apply these models to a particular plant, we should input the variables of this plant and optimum set points can be predicted. This approach does not require a visit to the refrigeration plant and tuning up can be done remotely.

It may look complicated but my goal is to keep it simple for end users. A similar approach could be seen in IT technologies (computers). It is a complicated task to create the software, but this software is user friendly and everybody can use it.

What is needed for successful remote tuning up?

1.     Knowledge of optimum set points of the refrigeration plant.

2.     Knowledge of adjustment of the refrigeration plant for these set points.

Based on the information about refrigeration plant provided by the end user, a consultant is able to determine the optimum set points for this refrigeration plant at current ambient conditions and gradual adjustment of the plant can be done.

For example. A refrigeration plant operates at 140 psig head pressure. The consultant determines that the optimum set point, at current ambient conditions, is 100 psig. Step by step head pressure will be reduced to 100 psig and the plant will be adjusted to this head pressure. Why should this tuning up be done step by step?

1.     Significant change in head pressure can compromise refrigeration plant operation (hot gas defrosting, liquid supply, oil cooling, etc.). Small steps (10 psig ) will allow us to avoid problems in plant operation, because the adjustment can be done in time.

2.     Significant change in head pressure can be shocking for operating engineers. Somebody who has operated this plant at 140 psig for many years could become confused if the head pressure dramatically changes.

In this tuning up, the consultant works as a guide for the chief engineer (supervisor). This guide will advice the direction and the pace of the tuning up. He will warn the chief engineer about road blocks ahead. The process of this tuning up is pretty simple, if the consultant and chief engineer work together as a team.

A major advantage of the remote tuning up is that everybody can test it without even investing a dollar, because the initial step of this tuning up is free. It is not often that somebody will be able to save you $10,000 - $40,000 of energy costs without any investments.

To maximize the efficiency of refrigeration plants, several approaches have to be tested and the best one should be chosen.


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