Volume 19 Issues 9 and 10
- Issue 9
- Catalyst’s wholistic sustainability approach yields results
- SaskPower industrial program promote energy projects implementation
- Tree Island Steel gears up for energy management
- Data mining can improve process efficiency
- Issue 10
- Selective fragmentation examines possible energy savings and more
- Waterloo Brewing Company opens state-of-the-art brewhouse
- FortisBC offers attractive funding for industrial sector energy efficiency
- ENERGY STAR guide for industry provides details on energy best practices
- Dollars to $ense Energy Management workshops – winter schedule
- Call for story ideas
Catalyst’s wholistic sustainability approach yields results
“We have a wholistic philosophy for our operations and this has led us to be one of the most sustainable and forward-thinking paper companies in North America,” says Graham Kissack, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Catalyst Paper Products.
Kissack explains that Catalyst’s sustainability philosophy reaches across its six North American facilities, four of which are in British Columbia – three pulp and paper mills and one warehouse. Two mills in the U.S. were acquired earlier this year.
As part of the company’s long-term sustainability philosophy, it has reduced its water use intensity by 23 percent since 2000 through greater conservation, recovery and treatment. The company’s scope 1 carbon emissions are down by 84 percent since the 1990s thanks to fuel switching and minimization. This has led to the development of paper products that use less fibre, less energy, less water and less wrap while at the same time providing a more printable surface.
For Catalyst, energy efficiency is an integral part of business from cost, consumption, and emissions perspectives. “We work hard to reduce emissions from our processes including those that indirectly affect energy consumption, such as water use; modifying the processes where we can to drive down our energy consumption,” notes Kissack.
Catalyst looks at the sustainability of its supply chain as well, consulting its partners that include Greenpeace and Canopy. Kissack says that the company has developed a “cooled supply chain” model, that resulted in its line of carbon-neutral Sage paper products. “For every tonne of Sage product sold, the company donates one dollar to its environmental partners.”
“We’ve had active energy management programs in our mills since the 1980s,” says Kissack, noting that at the Crofton mill, the program has resulted in ISO 50001 certification. In efforts to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel, Catalyst has invested heavily in low-carbon biomass combustion at its Canadian mills. Overall, the company’s energy mix at its Canadian mills consists of 66 percent from biomass fuels, 26 percent from electrical energy, and 8 percent from fossil fuels; so about 90 percent of energy use is from renewable sources.
Catalyst also uses efficient logistics management in its transportation of products and participates in NRCan’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program. With this program, the company uses intermodal shipping, full load planning, and pick-up and delivery scheduling to reduce its energy consumption and GHG emissions.
Kissack notes that the company is making continuous improvements that ensure its leadership role in the sector. “We aim to address long-term issues such as climate change and water conservation while being good neighbours in small communities.” The company is proud of its operational record, says Kissack. “At the end of the day it’s about results and we have been able to deliver.”
SaskPower industrial program promote energy projects implementation
“Our Industrial Energy Optimization Program aims to help move industry energy projects from the concept stage to implementation,” notes Dallas Munro, Industrial Program Consultant at SaskPower. She explains that the program provides significant incentives to help industry achieve energy savings and can be customized to meet specific needs.
Launched in 2012, the Industrial Energy Optimization Program (IEOP) consists of Capital Project and Energy Management tracks. To be eligible for either, the facility has to have an average annual peak monthly energy demand equal to or greater than 1.00 mega-volt ampere (MVA). Eligible projects should result in reduced energy intensity, enhanced energy management, and increased availability and communication of energy management information.
The Capital Project track includes general energy efficiency projects (e.g. heat recovery), lighting retrofits, peak demand management, fuel switching, and waste-to-energy conversion measures.
The Energy Management Track supports the development of energy management planning and systems, the planning and implementation of ISO 50001 certification, the integration of an energy management information system, and the installation of sub-metering systems.
Both tracks offer project identification incentives of up to $15,000 or 100 percent of eligible costs, whichever is less, and a maximum of $50,000 or 50 percent for project development projects. The cumulative maximum incentive, per facility per track, for project identification is $60,000 while it’s $200,000 for project planning and development.
Funding for project implementation of up to $100,000 or 50 percent of eligible costs are offered through the Energy Management track while up to $500,000 is available through the Capital Project track. The cumulative maximum per facility is $400,000 for the implementation of energy management projects and $500,000 for capital projects.
To date, 30 customers have signed up to participate in IEOP, with several having more than one project underway. Munro notes that the majority of projects fall under the energy efficiency category within the Capital Projects track. “We are expecting to have 10 completed projects in 2015.”
Projects identified or already implemented include fan system retrofits, compressed air upgrades, rotor and impeller replacements, and a range of pump projects; qualifying for incentives from $10,000 to the maximum. Munro adds that all Saskatchewan’s industrial sectors have taken advantage of the IEOP.
Projects in the Energy Management track differ in that in that a full-scale energy management system requires more than upgrades, explains Munro. The implementation of energy management systems means changing the way information is shared and used within an organization and it necessitates engagement at all levels.
“The IEOP is designed to help industry make the business case for energy efficiency projects,” says Munro, adding industry appreciates the incentives as well as the technical assistance that SaskPower provides to move projects to implementation.
For more information, visit www.saskpower.com/efficiency-programs-and-tips/business-programs-and-offers/industrial-energy-optimization-program/.
Tree Island Steel gears up for energy management
“We’re looking at energy efficiency pro-actively rather than incidentally as a by-product of other projects,” says Graham Ballachey, Energy Manager at Tree Island Steel. The company, headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, is a new CIPEC Leader in the Steel sector.
Tree Island Steel is one of North America's largest producers of premium steel wire and wire products, supplying the industrial, commercial construction, retail, agricultural and specialty markets from ISO 9001 registered mills. Its Richmond, B.C. Corporate Headquarters employs over 300 staff in a 37,000 square metre production facility.
Ballachey explains that the company has environmental systems in place for air emissions and waste-water, and has recently focused on energy efficiency with the creation of his position in November 2014 through BC Hydro’s Strategic Energy Management Program.
Since that time, the company has conducted a BC Hydro-funded energy study that identified compressed air and lighting as potential energy savings opportunities. In addition, Fortis BC funded a natural gas study that identified opportunities to reduce natural gas consumption by replacing steam boilers with high efficiency steam generators and upgrades to burners on the galvanizing lines. Several projects based on these studies have been completed and others are underway. For example, by June 2015, 171 high-bay, high-pressure sodium and metal halide lighting fixtures (475 watts) were all replaced with 213-watt LED fixtures in the facility’s warehouse for 400,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in estimated annual savings.
The compressed air study identified potential annual savings of 1.6 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by replacing two low-efficiency modulating control compressors with two high-efficiency compressors, one of which would be equipped with a variable frequency drive. “We see a great opportunity in this and will be making a capital acquisition request to advance the project,” says Ballachey. Opportunities also lie in reducing compressed air use and replacing compressed air with low-pressure blower air where possible.
Ballachey explains that water consumption reduction will be a focus in 2016. Possible projects include the addition of a cooling tower to the wiredraw recirculation loop which is currently cooled by fresh water. “Instead of using fresh water, we are looking into how we can re-use it.”
In addition to the facility’s natural gas sub-meters, the company plans to install compressed air meters as well as 90 current transducers to monitor electricity consumption. All meters and sub-meters will be integrated into specialized energy management software that can provide facility managers with a better understanding of energy use.
The facility has established a cross functional energy team with rotating members who identify opportunities and work to implement feasible ones. “We are coming up with a good list of projects,” says Ballachey, noting that he also circulates a newsletter about energy and water efficiency regularly to raise awareness and generate interest among employees.
Data mining can improve process efficiency
“Data mining can turn your data into solutions that could lead to annual energy savings of up to 15 percent,” according to Mouloud Amazouz, Senior Project Manager, CanmetENERGY. He states that “data mining is a low-cost solution. The historical data is already there and paid for, and should be used.”
Data mining is the practice of automatically searching large stores of data to discover patterns and trends that go beyond simple analysis. It uses advanced mathematical algorithms to identify patterns and establish relationships, and is also known as Knowledge Discovery in Data (KDD).
Amazouz says that with data mining, industry engineers “can use the extracted knowledge to better operate processes, analyze data to identify patterns, understand process variability causes, and determine optimal operational regimes with the highest energy efficiency and product quality. They can also develop key performance indicators, prediction models, monitor process performance, and detect and diagnose faults.”
CanmetENERGY has developed the user-friendly EXPLORE software to help users carry out data mining projects. EXPLORE can connect to any OPC or SQL data source. Users can clean and filter their raw data, perform global analysis to understand and explain variability, find patterns, and develop a predictive model using neural networks and regressions. The models created by EXPLORE can then be implemented online for continuous optimization, monitoring and fault detection purposes. EXPLORE can also be used to create ‘soft sensors’ that replace regular, time-consuming sampling of quality-control parameters and are as equally sensitive to anomalies.
One of CanmetENERGY’s goals is to promote data mining and its benefits widely in industry, and therefore offers data mining training sessions for industry engineers, researchers and consultants so that they can become familiar with data mining methods and become proficient with EXPLORE. Since 2010, seven data mining workshops have been delivered to a total of 81 participants representing engineers from the oil refinery, forest products, mining, steel, and other large industry sectors as well as government researchers.
Amazouz adds that “CanmetENERGY’s goal is to develop and deliver a national data mining training program in order to train even more people.” He notes that training will also be targeted at industry consultants so that they can gain a deeper understanding of EXPLORE’s more advanced modules and be able to deliver courses to plant engineers and respond to the future demand of industry in this area .
EXPLORE user experience: ArcelorMittal and Cariboo Pulp & Paper benefit from data mining
Data mining with the EXPLORE software, has become a standard practice at some ArcelorMittal facilities. Steve Beaudin, Director of Metallurgy and Research at the Port Cartier facility in Quebec, explains that with the increased automation of processes in the plant, “we have been able to capture and analyze a vast amount of data; determine deviations from normal process patterns and address them.”
Beaudin explains that the statistical tools available in EXPLORE are also much more sophisticated, and are adapted for large, complex databases. The software is a good fit for processes that continuously generate large quantities of data. He notes that analysis with EXPLORE saves a lot of time. “Resolving a product quality issue that might have taken two days to solve in the past, takes five minutes with EXPLORE.”
All four modules are useful for the plant’s purposes, says Beaudin, noting that the modules for data pre-treatment and the modelling modules are particularly important. ArcelorMittal is currently looking to implement EXPLORE as an online application for monitoring the performance of the facility’s ovens. With EXPLORE, operators would be able to check and set oven operating parameters at optimal levels. This would reduce energy use and allow detection of unusual energy use patterns immediately.
Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company has also been using EXPLORE regularly after an introductory webinar in 2013 and a subsequent, on-site workshop for nine engineers from the mill’s process and process control group. Don Olson, Process Engineering Superintendent & Energy Manager, Cariboo Pulp and Paper Company, explains that “the most important benefit from the first course was to use the EXPLORE software to filter and eliminate outliers from process datasets.”
Selective fragmentation examines possible energy savings and more
The milling process at mine sites, involves primary crushing and grinding that renders the mineral-bearing rock into a fine powder, thus liberating the valuable minerals. The crushing and grinding represent about 40 percent of a mine’s annual energy costs. “If companies can save 10 percent on milling, they will have made significant energy gains and reduced GHG emissions at the same time,” says Dr. Marc Bétournay, Senior Division Scientist, CanmetMINING. An innovative commercial process developed by the SELFRAG AG company is being investigated by CanmetMINING researchers and has the potential to replace milling components as a more energy-efficient process for precious mineral liberation.
The researchers are leading a project that aims to demonstrate the energy and fragmentation advantages of the SELFRAG (selective fragmentation) process on primary crushed rock fragments by using high-voltage electrical discharges of up to 200 kilovolts (kV).
Besides its potential as a more energy-efficient comminution technology, SELFRAG can also liberate minerals with a high degree of selectivity, produce mineral fragments with clean surfaces, preserve the natural grain size distribution of the sample, and does not produce toxic by-products.
In Phase I of the CanmetMINING project, completed in March 2015, the energy efficiency of primary fragmentation processes was investigated. Specifically, thermal fragmentation of non-gold-bearing quartz veins was compared to conventional drill-and-blast fragmentation with and without SELFRAG. Calculations of the different components of the rock fragmentation process showed that applying the SELFRAG process on poorly-fissured, thermally fragmented rock was less efficient than using conventional fragmentation (drill-and-blast). However, thermal fragmentation is a selective mining method that yields less waste rock. Thus together, thermal selective mining and SELFRAG require less energy than conventional methods.
Phase II, underway and to be completed by February 2016, will test the SELFRAG process on increasing volumes of rock samples with comparisons to be made with conventional secondary crushing and energy savings in the subsequent grinding comminution. “We are going to quantify secondary crushing gains with SELFRAG on larger volumes,” confirms Bétournay.
He adds that SELFRAG breaks down rock very quickly with its high voltage discharge. Significant energy is used for these high-voltage pulses and researchers are looking at energy consumption at different stages of the whole comminution process.
To date the SELFRAG project has been conducted using a lab-scale unit at CanmetMINING. Positive Phase II results would see larger primary crushed and gold-bearing samples processed in significantly larger SELFRAG units (2 tonnes per hour) for Phase III of the project. Also during Phase III, CanmentMINING researchers will be breaking down the energy use of the process and quantifying the potential improved gold liberation of the samples. Bétournay states that, “We believe that gold can also be liberated more effectively-perhaps a two-fold increase-using the SELFRAG process.”
The major Canadian gold producers, IAMGold Corporation, Barrick Gold Corporation and Goldcorp Incorporated are interested in the SELFRAG project, says Bétournay. “They all see the advantages of being energy-efficient and liberating even more gold at lower cost.”
Waterloo Brewing Company opens state-of-the-art brewhouse
“Here at Waterloo Brewing, we’re committed to running an environmentally conscious and sustainable business,” says Luigi Fantin, Director of Engineering and Maintenance at Brick Brewing Company Limited. He notes that the company’s choices in designing its new brewhouse in Kitchener, Ontario were influenced by energy efficiency, improved material utilization and water usage considerations and an obvious opportunity to benefit from cutting-edge technology and processes and processes while still allowing for a craft touch.
The new brewhouse offers best in class brewing material efficiency at 98.3 percent compared to around 80 percent efficiency in the company’s older brewhouse. Fantin notes the new technology has also increased productivity by 60 percent, while significantly reducing resource consumption.
Many innovative features have contributed to the brewhouse’s superior performance. For example, a wet milling process is used rather than the traditional dry milling process, reducing both water and energy use. Fantin explains that large gains in productivity and efficiency were made when wet milling was coupled with a Krones Pegasus lautering vessel, which separates the brewing liquids from the grains.
Fantin says the brewhouse also features the latest Krones energy recovery technology, Equitherm 2. The system includes a 10-metre tall hot water tank with temperature-stratified water layers. The 96oC water at the top is heated to 110oC for the brewing liquid boiler while at the bottom, 80oC water is used to heat the brewing liquid and grains. Steam from the boiler circulates through a vapour condensing loop to heat water in the Equitherm system. This heat recovery has reduced natural gas consumption by more than 50 percent compared to their older brewhouse.
New high-efficiency dual heat exchangers (coolers) were installed to cool the brewing liquid en route to the new fermenting cellar. The new coolers reduced the electricity required for chilling by one-third. In addition, Waterloo Brewing decided to change all lighting in the brewhouse, tank cellar and company offices from fluorescent to LED.
Water conservation and waste-water reduction were also important considerations in the brewhouse design. With state-of-the-art equipment and new processes, the new brewhouse generates 50 percent less waste-water.
“We expect a natural gas consumption reduction of over 160,000 cubic metres (m3) over last year, with an associated reduction in GHG emissions of over 330 tonnes,” says Fantin.
Moreover, process automation in the new brewhouse means faster trouble shooting and significant data collection from the electrical and steam meters. This will allow the company to benchmark its performance, set energy baselines and targets, and identify opportunities for continued improvement.
FortisBC offers attractive funding for industrial sector energy efficiency
FortisBC’s Industrial Optimization Program offers incentives to its large industrial natural gas and electricity customers for a broad range of energy efficiency improvement projects. The program is designed to help customers reach their energy efficiency goals, from the identification of energy saving opportunities through to the implementation of energy conservation measures, explains Andrew Luke, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Industrial Program Manager at FortisBC.
Fortis BC has supported industrial sector energy efficiency for over two decades; however, 2011 marked the first year that a rebate program was specifically designed for and offered to industrial customers. Since then, as Luke explains, approximately 35 facilities have completed or are in the process of completing a study to identify and investigate energy conservation measures with nine companies having already moved to the project implementation stage with project incentives ranging from $30,000 to one million dollars. “The potential for energy savings in the province is significant,” says Luke, noting that “one of our participating companies is saving 70,000 gigajoules (GJ) a year in one project alone.”
Participating industry sectors include, but are not limited to, pulp and paper, food and beverage, manufacturing, wood products, and mining. FortisBC has supported a wide range of projects including compressed air system improvements, heat recovery systems and boiler upgrades whereby customers move from standard efficiency models to high-efficiency ones.
The program provides incentives for FortisBC natural gas customers who operate eligible industrial facilities consuming more than 10,000 GJ of natural gas annually to conduct plant-wide energy audits, feasibility studies and to install new, energy-efficient equipment. FortisBC electric and municipal wholesale customers in the Okanagan and Kootenays who operate eligible industrial facilities consuming more than 3 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually are also eligible for the program.
Plant-wide energy audit incentives help fund professional engineering consultant costs for high-level, whole facility audits that identify opportunities for energy gas savings. A final report summarizes these opportunities, and outlines cost and savings estimates at a 50 percent margin of error. Funding for detailed feasibility studies target specific processes or systems and determine costs and savings estimates at a 90 percent margin of error.
Once companies have identified opportunities and determined the feasibility of implementing them, the program also provides funding for the installation of cost-effective, high-efficiency equipment.
“The aim of the Industrial Optimization Program is to encourage and support energy efficiency within the industrial sector in B.C.,” says Luke. “Through incentives, we help our customers’ industrial processes become more energy efficient, reducing their operational costs, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.”
ENERGY STAR guide for industry provides details on energy best practices
Managing Your Energy: An ENERGY STAR Guide for Identifying Energy Savings in Manufacturing Plants, a publication that supports the U.S. ENERGY STAR program, details many energy-efficient practices and technologies applicable to a wide range of industries. By adopting such practices and implementing technologies, companies could save up to 10 percent on annual energy costs.
The ENERGY STAR program, a voluntary initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact within U.S. industry.
The bulk of the guide discusses opportunities to reduce energy use for specific equipment. In reviewing energy-efficient options for lighting for example, performance comparisons of lighting sources are provided as well as information on establishing lighting level standards, lighting controls, daylighting and the advantages of retrofitting lights and ballasts. The guide also includes details on HVAC commissioning and recommissioning control systems, set-backs, heat recovery systems, solar air heating and low-emittance windows.
Developing a motor management plan, strategic motor selection, motor maintenance, adjustable speed drives, and power factor correction are among the topics covered under motors. A section on compressed air discusses air use monitoring, leak repair, compressed air management, alternative forms of compressed air and controls. Similar detailed information is provided for pumps, hot water and steam systems with a focus on efficient boiler systems. Energy-efficient practices for furnaces for process heating are also discussed with information on flue gas heat recovery and air-to-fuel control.
One section describes energy use in U.S. industries that point to high-value opportunities for different types of facilities while another outlines successful general practices that support energy management programs based on ENERGY STAR guidelines. For instance, energy audits, the implementation of energy teams and employee awareness programs are detailed. Guide authors also underline the importance of energy monitoring systems.
Summary tables on energy-efficient measures, an ENERGY STAR facility energy management assessment matrix, basic energy efficiency actions for plant personnel, advice on creating energy teams and case studies are also featured.
Dollars to $ense Energy Management workshops – winter schedule
Workshops offered in collaboration with Langara College
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
To register, call the Langara College’s Continuing Studies Registration Office at 604-323-5322
Energy Management Planning
Date: January 15
Spot the Energy Savings Opportunities
Date: January 29
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Date: February 26
Recommissioning for Buildings
Date: March 11
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Energy Efficiency Financing
Date: March 25
Notice: Please allow eight to 10 weeks from the planning to the delivery of a customized Dollars to $ense workshop.
Call for story ideas
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