Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Oil & Gas

Atlas Copco has a long history serving the Houston-based energy and chemical industries with custom-engineered packages. The objective of this article is to show just a few examples of the custom applications typically engineered and manufactured in the Atlas Copco Houston operation. Opened in 2012, Atlas Copco Houston produces standard compressed air dryers as well as completely engineered air dryers for all markets. The air flow capacity of the dryers, produced at this location, vary from 5 to 12,750 scfm. This capacity range covers heatless, heated purge and blower purge air dryers.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is an alternative fuel source (to diesel and gasoline) with far-reaching benefits to North America. Strategically important benefits include energy independence, improved air quality, job creation, and lower and more stable fuel prices. This article discusses natural gas desiccant dryer requirements in Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) refueling stations, compares deliquescent to desiccant dryers and reviews two on-site field gas upgrading examples in displacing diesel fuel.
When the Environmental Protection Agency was formed, in1970, it used its congressional mandate to issue all sorts of regulations regarding the discharge of contaminants into the land, water and air of this country. Over the years, air pollution has been one of the key areas where the Agency has put in place stringent requirements to control the emission of VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. Today the mandates of this government agency require extensive steps be taken to curtail their release by all operators of tank farms, chemical plants, refineries, fermentation plants and landfill operations. As a result of these regulations the Bio-Mass utilization industry was born.
The purpose of the audit is to improve reliability throughout the facility. Reliability on the demand side can be defined by having adequate air pressure and air quality at all times throughout the facility. This outcome is a function of both the operation of the supply side in the operation of the demand side. If a demand problem occurs, such as a dust collector pulsejet failure, it can reduce the air pressure in a local sector. If a compressor fails, any backup compressor takes too long to start, the pressure would drop in this circumstance too
This chemical plant spent an estimated $3,153,022 annually on energy (steam and electricity) to operate the compressed air system at their facility. The plant staff established their energy costs as 5.3 cents per kWh and $9.00 /1,000 lbs of steam per hour. The set of projects implemented in this system assessment reduced energy costs by an estimated $2,794,598 or 88% of current use. In addition, these projects reduce demand on the boiler systems and add reliability and back-up to the compressed air system.
Keeping an open mind is critical in all system assessments. Each client has different priorities and circumstances. In this case, the elimination of the “close-scrapes” with insufficient pressure was the priority. The energy and rental/maintenance savings realized were just an added bonus. In this article, we have focused on the supply-side of the system and how the centrifugal compressors could be made to supply the system reliably – without the need for rental air compressors.
Compressed Air Best Practices® interviewed Mr. Sid Van der Meer and Mr. Terry Nickel from Northwest Equipment Ltd in Airdrie, Canada.
The Compressed Air Challenge® (CAC) is a voluntary collaboration of industrial users; manufacturers, distributors and their associations; consultants; state research and development agencies; energy efficiency organizations; and utilities. This group has one purpose in mind - helping you enjoy the benefits of improved performance of your compressed air system. The mission of the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC) is to provide resources that educate industrial users about optimizing their compressed air systems.
This refinery currently spends $735,757 annually on the electricity required to operate the compressed air system at its plant. The group of projects recommended in the system assessment will reduce these energy costs by an estimated $364,211 (49% of current use). Estimated costs for completing the recommended projects total $435,800. This figure represents a simple payback period of 14.4 months. The firm also reduced compressed air demand by 732 scfm allowing them to save $441,544 by down-sizing the back-up rental diesel air compressors.
There are many applications which require a low horsepower compressor built with the technology that has been proven in larger compressors. Often these situations are not addressed well by the general compressor industry.  
Compressed Air Best Practices Magazine interviewed Sid Van der Meer (President) and Terry Nickel (Office Manager) of the Northwest Equipment Company.