A Structured Approach to Steam System Improvement through Utility System Design and Optimisation

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Courtesy of KBC Advanced Technologies plc.

Optimal operation of site utility systems is becoming an increasingly important part of any successful business strategy as environmental, legislative and commercial pressures grow. A reliable steam model allows a clear understanding of the system and of any operational constraints. It can also be used to determine the true cost of improvement projects, relating any changes in steam demand back to purchased utilities (fuel, power, and make-up water) at the site boundary. Example projects could include improved insulation, better condensate return, increased process integration, new steam turbines or even the installation of gas-turbine based cogeneration. This approach allows sites to develop a staged implementation plan for both operational and capital investment projects in the utility system. Steam system models can be taken one step further and linked to the site DCS data to provide real-time balances and improve the operation of the system, providing an inexpensive but very effective optimizer. Such a model ensures that the steam system is set in the optimum manner to react to current utility demands, emissions regulations, equipment availability, fuel and power costs, etc. This optimization approach typically

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