Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Water Conservation

New Britain, Connecticut-based Stanley Black & Decker has gained widespread recognition for its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability – and with good reason: The company has reduced CO2 emissions in 2018 by 8,840 metric tons and in 2019 it was on track to further reduce greenhouse CO2 emissions by another 4,000 metric tons.
In 2019, more than 230 Better Plants partners took advantage of the program to gain considerable ground in their sustainability efforts. In so doing, they cumulatively saved more than $6.7 billion in energy costs and more than 1.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs). These same companies have more than 3,200 facilities and represent approximately 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. In addition to energy, partners are excelling at projects to improve water efficiency.
As part of an energy reduction effort, a Canadian technical college hired a compressed air auditor to do a leakage audit of their large campus, which houses over 30 mixed use buildings, including laboratories, research facilities, shops and classrooms. The audit found very few leaks, the reduction of which would achieve minimal savings; however, a few surprising items of interest were noticed during the study that showed very good potential for operating cost savings of 64% with an estimated $45,000 per year in reduced energy and water costs. This article discusses some of the findings and how savings can be achieved on lightly loaded compressed air systems.
As the population continues to grow in the United States, industrial water use will need to continue to fall to help offset the increases in public-supply water use. Water-cooled compressed air systems provide an opportunity for sustainability managers to reduce associated cooling water consumption and costs. If switching to air-cooled air compressors is not possible, understanding the costs and the alternative types of liquid cooling systems is important.
Compressed air systems are present in almost all industrial processes and facilities. They have been correctly identified as an area of opportunity to reduce electrical (kW) energy costs through measures like reducing compressed air leaks and identifying artificial demand and inappropriate uses. Water-cooled air compressors can also be significant consumers of water and reducing these costs can represent a second area of opportunity.
The Focus on Energy Water and Wastewater Program was developed to support the industry because of the enormous potential to reduce energy use without compromising water quality standards. Through the program, numerous water and wastewater personnel have learned that energy use can be managed, with no adverse effects on water quality. Most locations that have saved energy have found improved control and treatment.
Growing operational costs and lower than average occupancy rates spurred Apple Farm Inn and Suites, San Luis Obispo, Ca., to explore economic and facility efficiency benefits obtained through the installation of an ozone laundry system. At the Apple Farm Inn laundry facility, an evaluation was conducted in late 2006 to early 2007, comparing the costs of laundering by traditional methods versus ozone laundering.
Industrial plants are major consumers of water. Water is used in many processes. Sustainability projects focus on reducing the consumption of water and the energy-costs associated with cooling water so it may be effectively used.
This major mill complex upgraded their compressed air system and thereby eliminated $500,000 in annual rental compressor costs, reduced annual cooling-water costs by $500,000, and reduced electrical energy costs by $135,000 per year.
A paper mill in Wisconsin reduced its’ yearly water consumption by 547.5 million gallons and reduced its’ yearly air compressor maintenance costs by $470,000.  
This article reviews two major processes in paper mills: compressed air quality and air compressor cooling.  The central air compressor room was expanded and relocated at the largest privately owned paper mill in Canada.  The compressor space was required by a plant expansion, which would occupy the original compressor space for increased production.