Total energy efficiency of paper and pulp mills is characterized by dividing the produced tons by total energy used. It is used for comparing efficiencies of different mills. The common output from these comparisons is that new mills are more efficient than the old ones.
The other, somewhat more detailed way of energy efficiency estimation is to look at the equipment efficiencies by using the equipment supplier specifications. This method paves way to efficiency improvements through replacing old equipments by new ones with better specifications.
Is the energy efficiency of the process determined by process planning and the choice of equipments? Does the improvement of the existing plant’s energy efficiency shrink to replacements of old equipments by new ones with better specifications?
No. It is not determined and it does not shrink.
Variation in energy efficiency
Except process design and equipment specifications the energy efficiency also depends on equipment conditions and on the way the process is operated.
How big is their share in total efficiency? I cannot say any percentages - yet. Based on my preliminary data it is significant. An important fact is that it is the moving and most profitable part of the spare potential. OK - but what is needed to realize that potential?
The equipment conditions and the operational practices are certainly characteristic to each mill. They may cause changes in energy efficiency going down to hour level in time scale. Hence also energy efficiency has to be analyzed at least in the hour scale. How do you do that?
“Waste energy” is the key. By waste energy I mean the energy that is dumped into the environment after it has done it’s job in the process and has no more value there. The dumping takes place as water vapour through stacks and ventilation outputs and as warm waste water. The mills collect measurement data on waste energies from many process points. The data contains detailed information about the energy efficiency of the process.
When combining the waste energy measurement data with process data gives a detailed understanding about process efficiency is created and identifies the most profitable improvement possibilities. The continuous analysis further assists in managing the change maintaining the new personnel behavior. The data to be analyzed is large and requires therefore the use of efficient digitalization analysis methods.
We invite mills with pioneering mind-sets to join in co-operational pilot projects with us.
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