by Michelle Segrest
December 17, 2011

Pumps & Systems, May 2008

With a national goal to drive a 25 percent reduction in industrial energy intensity by 2017, energy efficiency organizations like the U.S. Department of Energy's Save Energy Now Program and the Hydraulic Institute's Pump Systems Matter are providing companies a broad range of resources to identify and implement cost-effective energy saving measures. While the intentions to improve energy efficiency are pure, the costs and effort required to achieve the goal is daunting. That's why many corporations are working with these organizations to maximize efforts.

"I'm trying to put myself out of business," says DOE's Douglas E. Kaempf who is the program manager for the Industrial Technologies Program, Energy Efficiency & Renewable  Resources. "We have a huge database of assessments. When improvements exist, we need to tap into that database and use the information. I want to secure an ANSI standard. I also want an ISO standard that will ensure the United States has a fair shake in being the supplier to the most competitive four countries-U.S., Brazil, China and Great Britain."

In an effort to promote energy efficiency standards, Kaempf outlined these DOE initiatives and then several executives presented proven energy saving strategies at the Hydraulic Institute Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla., in February. Here are just a few of the actions currently implemented by each of these corporations.

International Paper (Corporate Technology)

Ken Manley, maintenance and reliability staff engineer for International Paper (IP), emphasizes the role of maintenance in energy efficiency and says that at IP, the focus is on reliability. "Reliable pumps are energy efficient pumps," Manley says.

In 1996, a Finnish Technical Research Center report titled Expert Systems for Diagnosis and Performance of Centrifugal Pumps revealed that the average pumping efficiency across the 20 plants and 1,690 pumps studied was less than 40 percent, with 10 percent of the pumps operating below 10 percent efficiency. Also, the average motor efficiency was 81 percent, with pump seal leakage causing the highest downtime and cost.

International Paper, working with the Energy Performance Services group of ITT Industrial Process, has performed in-depth pump system assessments at several of their integrated mills. The results of those studies have provided cross validation of the Finnish Technical Research Center findings and shown a nexus between excess energy and lower reliability, i.e., the excess energy "pumped" into mid-sized systems turns into vibration, heat and noise.

IP's findings clearly demonstrated that the major factors affecting pump system efficiency were over-sizing and throttled valves. The corporate reliability group further discovered that there were a total of 101 pump reliability incidents, which resulted in downtime, from February 2007 through February 2008. While a high bar had been set on what constituted a reliability incident, the combined financial impact of these events was in the range of $5 million.

While establishing the tremendous cost involved in maintenance and reliability issues, IP has undertaken several actions to correct the problems:

IP addressed a key issue in the pump selection and sizing process by creating a more disciplined approach to precision maintenance by requiring that new pump system installations must operate between 70 to 100 percent of the Best Efficiency Point flow (BEP). To meet these stringent allowable operating range requirements, IP's pump specification now requires variable speed operation as the default design approach for multiple operating point applications when the total static head is 50 percent or less of the total dynamic head (TDH) required for the system.
IP determined that Life Cycle Cost (LCC) provides the optimum pump selection and is part of the IP Project Delivery Process (PDP).
Greatest LCC for pumps is energy. Energy consumption depends on proper sizing and operation.
IP Mills and the Regional Engineering Organizations need to provide good process data (minimum, BEP and Maximum Flow and Head data) to optimize pump selection and sizing.
Pump controls need to accommodate system curve.

Kodak Park (Rochester, N.Y.)

Kodak Rochester Energy Manager Raul Santiago, P.E., implemented and led a program in 2005 with two key initiatives:

Reduce plant heat yearly output from 16 trillion BTUs to less than 12 trillion BTUs by April 1, 2007
Reduce Kodak Park East steam peaks from 700-klb/hr to < 400-klb/hr
The expected benefits from these two initiatives included positioning the utilities for permanent shutdown of one of two power plants and a $27 million-plus/yr savings in fuel and plant operating expenses by year end 2007.

Kodak achieved its initiatives using a few key strategies:

Aggressive energy conservation
Kodak Park footprint reduction
Aggressively marketing and selling surplus buildings
Demolishing old high-maintenance buildings
Power Plant Upgrade of Building 321
De-mineralizing water, cyclone boiler and electrical grid upgrades
Integrated purchase power strategy
Kodak Park implemented its initiatives with real-time online monitoring, better management and heightened awareness throughout its facilities via monthly scorecards and newsletters (which included tips on saving energy at home). Kodak encouraged its managers to observe abnormalities and immediately correct problems by actually going onto the plant floor to see firsthand what was happening rather than relying on perceptions. "This allows management to question the status quo with an energy conservation mindset," Santiago says. They then determine the root cause of the problem, eliminate it and create standards to prevent recurrence.