Engineering systems in manufacturing, industrial buildings: Energy efficiency

Manufacturing and industrial facilities have some unusual engineering requirements, and focus significant time on enhancing energy efficiency.

06/24/2013


Jonathan Eisenberg, PE, Associate Manager, Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., Boston. Courtesy: Rolf Jensen & AssociatesBrian P. Martin, PE, PDX Electrical Discipline Manager, CH2M Hill, Portland, Ore. Courtesy: CH2M HillPeter Pobjoy, PE, LEED AP, Chief Design Officer, Southland Industries, Los Angeles. Courtesy: Southland IndustriesPeter Zak, PE, Principal, GRAEF USA, Milwaukee. Courtesy: GRAEF USA

Participants

Jonathan Eisenberg, PE, Associate Manager, Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., Boston

Brian P. Martin, PE, PDX Electrical Discipline Manager, CH2M Hill, Portland, Ore.

Peter Pobjoy, PE, LEED AP, Chief Design Officer, Southland Industries, Los Angeles

Peter Zak, PE, Principal, GRAEF USA, Milwaukee  


CSE: What types of systems have you specified in manufacturing facilities to help make them more efficient? Discuss occupancy sensors, zoned control, etc. 

Zak: Natural daylighting and ventilating control are low-hanging fruit; more complex approaches involve efficient control and interlocks between facilities services and production equipment. 

Eisenberg: We consulted with a lab facility on an air sampling system that monitored CO and volatile organic compounds, among other properties. The intent of the system is to increase the ventilation rate to as high as 15 air changes per hour (ACH) in an upset condition, but to reduce the rate of air change in an unoccupied mode to as low as 2 ACH. Our role was to look at a worst-case flammable liquid spill and determine if the reductions in ventilation rates were acceptable from a fire protection standpoint.

Pobjoy: Those systems include:

  • Energy-efficient motors for both process-related equipment and building HVAC and plumbing equipment
  • Variable frequency drives on most pumps, fans, and compressors
  • Dynamic electrostatic filters with low pressure drop
  • Oversized ductwork to reduce static pressure and fan energy
  • Oversized piping to reduce pressure drop and pump energy.

Martin: There has been an emphasis on lighting systems for quite some time to increase energy efficiency. Some states no longer have an exemption of lighting power density for manufacturing spaces, so that has really driven the watts/sq ft down. T5 and LED lighting have made that possible. Additionally, we also see very few motors that are run across the line; nearly all of them are controlled via an adjustable speed drive. We are specifying higher efficiency drive systems as well as higher efficiency UPS systems. The data center market has helped drive the demand for increased efficiency in UPS and adjustable speed drive systems, with the industrial market receiving the benefit.

CSE: What types of renewable energy systems have you incorporated into manufacturing or industrial facilities? 

Martin: We have designed solar arrays and small-scale wind turbines, but quite often these are being added as a side project, after the initial build-out of the facility. Getting a large facility designed, built, and commissioned is so complex and expensive that we are asked to pre-facilitate for renewables so that they can be added after the bulk of the construction activity is done. The decision to defer is sometimes driven by project financials as well. If a project starts to overrun its original budget, owners typically look for low-hanging fruit to “value engineer.” Renewables sometimes are an easy target, especially since they are typically a low percentage of the overall facility demand.

Zak: The most common and cost-effective systems we have engaged are heat recovery systems from building exhaust and production equipment.

Pobjoy: Those renewable energy systems include solar thermal systems generating hot water, which is then stored in a tank for daily use. The hot water is used by absorption chillers to generate chilled water and by heat exchangers to generate heating hot water and domestic hot water. The solar system used evacuated tube technology. 

Eisenberg: While we do not design or specify such systems, we are seeing an increase in our project work on facilities such as hydrogen and liquid natural gas (LNG) fuel. Both of these fuels are more prevalent in the U.S. today as alternative energy sources.

CSE: Have you seen the demand for electric vehicle charging stations increase in facilities like this? 

Eisenberg: In our hydrogen fuel cell work, we see a move away from electric powered fork trucks in large central distribution warehouses. These facilities are using more hydrogen-powered vehicles to reduce the time needed for re-charging.



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me