Cova Products cuts energy use

15 October 2008

Cova Products slashed its steam consumption by 35 per cent as part of an energy-saving drive that involved Spirax Sarco expertise. The decorative surface film manufacturer called in Spirax Sarco to advise on its Northumberland, UK site.

Cova cut energy use and saved money with Spirax Sarco
Cova cut energy use and saved money with Spirax Sarco

Philip Bell, Engineering and Systems manager at Cova, said the company had reduced their costs and helped the environment.

‘Spirax Sarco has provided valuable advice and highlighted a number of energy-saving opportunities. The expertise of the engineer has been of great value to Cova Products.’

Spirax Sarco started off installing a flash steam recovery system. Previously, condensate from around the site was fed back to the boiler house but any flash steam was vented to the atmosphere. The new system includes a flash steam separation vessel to capture the steam before passing it through two plate heat exchangers to preheat the feed to the boiler.

This project was followed by a Spirax Sarco survey of the site’s entire steam system, which found that maintenance work could provide Cova with potential savings of £90,000 (€115,000) a year.

The review also found that the site was not always using the most appropriate type of steam trap for each job. For example, balanced pressure traps were being used on the steam mains, where the constraints of the pipe work meant that their use could result in a build up of condensate and, possibly, water hammer. These were replaced with thermodynamic steam traps.

Bell said checks and surveys had improved system maintenance.

'We’ve also upgraded our SCADA system to monitor the steam to each process; this provides an immediate indication of any problems,' he said.

Other initiatives include a programme of replacing and upgrading the insulation on all the steam and hot water pipes. Heat losses have been further reduced by rationalising the pipe work across the 40-year-old site, isolating and removing any pipe runs that are no longer needed.

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