Emerson announces Smart Energy Initiative

21 November 2011

Emerson Process Management has announced the ‘Smart Energy Initiative’, a global programme designed to combine its industrial energy expertise with advanced energy management technologies.

Emerson’s new Industrial Energy Group is being headed up by Chip Rennie, a 25-plus-year powerhouse operations expert.
Emerson’s new Industrial Energy Group is being headed up by Chip Rennie, a 25-plus-year powerhouse operations expert.

The aim  of the Initiative is to help customers to leverage more renewable fuels, lower energy costs and reduce emissions.

Energy can now comprise 30% or more of a facility’s overall operating costs – combined with higher prices for fossil fuels and new global emissions mandates – industrial customers are increasingly looking to waste fuels, biomass, and other renewable sources as a solution to these challenges.

Emerson’s Industrial Energy Group will focus on modernising and improving the performance of powerhouses, the onsite utilities that provide steam and electricity to power industrial operations, while also improving how the manufacturing process consumes energy. A holistic approach will ensure the greatest efficiency in production of energy, plus reduced waste and inefficiencies where energy is used.

“With industrial manufacturers consuming an estimated 50% of the world’s energy, combined with rising fossil fuel prices and global mandates for reduced emissions, our customers need more than incremental efficiencies in energy management,” explained Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “With our Smart Energy Initiative, Emerson is introducing a new platform that can change energy economics globally.”

At the heart of Emerson’s integrated technology platform is its ‘True Energy’ technology, a patent-pending innovation for calculating the actual calorific values of fuel sources, which makes reliable energy production predictable and repeatable.

“Our True Energy Combustion Control platform reinvents the current model of combustion management, which has been around since the 1920s and is still in practice today,” said Chip Rennie, director of Industrial Energy for Emerson. “This brings about nothing short of a reinvention of combustion models, which will make the prevalent use of low-cost fuels like biomass achievable and sustainable.”

For the first time, Emerson’s proprietary suite of software, combined with field control technologies, enables the powerhouse to interchangeably use the most available and affordable renewable or waste fuels – wood waste, food by-products, animal waste, or manufacturing by-products like petroleum coke or off-gases – to consistently create steam to power their operations. It also delivers 21st century combustion solutions for greater efficiency and reliability when using waste and other renewable fuels, which burn and deliver energy at variable and unpredictable rates.

“We have seen tremendous growth for certain projects, such as biomass-to-energy conversion, where we have many customers running on renewable fuels 95% of the time,” Sonnenberg added. “Given our track record and energy management leadership, we anticipate 25% to 35% growth in industrial energy projects over the next five years.”

Emerson’s innovative SmartProcess Boiler technology delivers a real-time combustion control solution to address the inconsistent nature of renewable and waste fuel sources, automating and simplifying management of sudden changes in calorific value or the availability of those fuels.

SmartProcess Energy Management is another sophisticated software application that runs in real-time, closed-loop control to balance steam systems, manage electrical demand swings and upsets, identify opportunities to buy and sell power, improve efficiency, and run an entire industrial utility at the lowest cost automatically.

“Improving energy efficiency at a customer site by just 1 or 2% can translate into hundreds of thousands of euros in savings, and substituting a waste fuel for a purchased fuel can save millions of euros annually,” Rennie said. “Opportunities like these are now too big to ignore. We look forward to helping our customers bring their powerhouse facilities up to 21st century performance standards.”

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