The Sleeman Brewery located in Guelph, Ontario, had already carried out several traditional energy audits in the past, but was intrigued by the global approach used in process integration. The process integration method goes indeed well beyond traditional energy audits by taking a systematic look at all the ways in which energy is used throughout a facility and how its various systems interact with one another.
Based on a thorough understanding of the plant’s water and energy use, the process integration study allowed identifying 10 opportunities for energy-saving measures, resulting in:
- Annual savings of approximately $1 million
- CO2 emission reductions of 3,500 tonnes/year
These projects consisted of simple ideas, such as better monitoring the consumption of water used by the bottle washer, but also of more complex ideas, like increasing hot water production through heat recovery from the refrigeration system and wort kettle vapour. It should be noted that several of the 10 measures proposed had never been identified through traditional energy audits previously carried out at the plant.
A 2-Phase Study
The process integration study began with a detailed water and energy consumption analysis to identify the specific points where water, steam and glycol were used in the process. In fact, plant employees had noticed that steam and glycol usage was much higher than expected in certain areas while being lower in others, but they were unsure of the reason why it was so.
Following the detailed water and energy assessment, which allowed identifying operation improvement projects, a Pinch analysis was performed in order to identify other energy-saving opportunities, particularly through heat recovery. Pinch analysis is a key component of process integration as it evaluates the quality and quantity of process energy flows and identifies heat recovery strategies. Pinch analysis presents a systematic and comprehensive approach to challenges such as reducing operating costs, improving energy efficiency, and planning capital energy investments in the context of complex industrial processes.
The study was conducted jointly, in 2004, by CanmetENERGY and Pragmathic Inc., a Quebec firm specializing in Pinch analysis. Financial assistance for the process integration study was provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE).
For additional information about process integration and Pinch analysis, see the:
CanmetENERGY experts also conducted process integration studies in other Canadian food and drink plants. For more information, see the list of success stories for that industrial sector.
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