E-Modules – The foundation for greater industrial energy efficiency

A key aspect of industrial energy optimization is process understanding from an energetic perspective. “E-Modules” provide a platform to analyze process unit operations energetically with a focus on simplified models suitable for completing an energy optimization project in industry. The E-Modules provide a concise and compact overview of frequently used unit operations to help the user better understand the main energetic issues of a process and identifies the relevant process heating and cooling requirements. These requirements are key to completing a process integration project using methods such as pinch analysis which has the potential of achieving up to 40% energy savings depending on industry – a direct impact in helping achieve the ES2050 goals.

The Challenge

A good data base is crucial for an industrial energy efficiency analysis to model and decide upon the actual heating and cooling needs to be used in a pinch analysis. However, the effort involved in data collection, data extraction and energy modeling is typically on the order of 60-80% of the total project time. The reason for this considerable amount of time for data collection is due to the often incomplete information related to the specific industrial processes being analyzed. As a result, significant time is required during this stage of the project to gather and understand the available information followed by frequent consultation with the process operators together with possible on-site measurement programs. All of these steps require comprehensive process knowledge and system understanding that may still, depending on the experience of the engineer, have to be acquired.

The Solution

To help bridge the gap in process understanding and proper modelling of the heating and cooling requirements, E-Module have been developed to facilitate the task of energy integration in energy-intensive industrial processes. These tools are Excel based that can calculate process data using defined balance equations for specific industrial thermal operations. The E-modules support the user by providing a concise and compact model that requires a minimal number of process parameters to complete the mass and energy balances. Most importantly the tools guide the engineer in quickly determining how to model the heating and cooling requirements based on key data extraction heuristics. Each E-module represents a basic process engineering process. By linking these basic processes, entire industrial processes can be analyzed thermally making it possible to acquire the necessary process understanding quicker helping to complete a pinch analysis faster. The determined heating and cooling requirements in each E-Module can be easily imported directly into the PinCH software. Additional information is available at www.pinch-analysis.ch.