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Utility management solutions: Steam systems and compressed air systems

When companies prioritize saving energy, they reduce their operating costs and therefore increase their competitiveness. But many companies are still highly unaware of how much energy they are actually using. This is where Endress+Hauser can help by implementing utility management solutions! There are so many potential areas to save in the five major utilities: steam, compressed air, heating, cooling and industrial gases.  

In this series of blog posts, we will cover the five utilities where companies can save energy and money, specifically within the heavy industries which include Chemical, Oil & Gas and Power & Energy. In this first post, we’ll dive into steam and compressed air. 

Steam- Monitoring steam systems efficiency and minimizing fuel consumption

In heavy industries, heating systems are used on a grand scale- for heating the process  or for power generation in turbines and for sterilization or for cleaning purposes. These days, steam system management covers a whole lot more than checking water level, conductivity, pH value, temperature, and pressure in the boiler. Steam boiler systems offer numerous options for saving, re-using and reclaiming energy – all along the steam process (Figure 1).  

steam system diagram
There are opportunities for energy optimization throughout the steam system process

Whether in generation, distribution, billing or in steam boiler efficiency, Endress+Hauser can provide all the measuring instruments required to optimize your utility management resulting in energy savings. This includes instruments for comprehensive water analysis, allowing you to:  

  • Monitor specific energy consumption and boiler efficiency  
  • Share generation costs among multiple cost centers  
  • Identify and monitor target values based on historic data 
  • Uncover leaks at valve bodies, connections, pressure regulators, pipe connections and defective steam traps  
  • Measure steam quality directly in the pipe (wet steam, saturated steam, superheated steam) 
  • Calculate the gains from energy optimizations 
  • Maintain control of boiler safety  

Steam/Water Analysis System

The quality of water is a matter of central importance in water and steam circuits and as mentioned above, comprehensive water analysis is one-way to improve the quality of your steam systems. Water of insufficient purity can cause corrosion or fouling in your industrial steam boilers and pipes resulting in expensive repairs and replacements. This is where Endress+Hauser’s SWAS solution (Steam/Water Analysis System) can help.  

The SWAS solution is for industrial steam generators and is a solution that efficiently monitors the water quality and fits neatly into your system, requiring very little space. It’s comprised of sample preparation, a cation exchanger and a Liquiline transmitter to which the sensors for measuring pH, conductivity and oxygen are connected.  

Learn how this power company used a SWAS panel to monitor its steam and water quality! 

Compressed air- Active reduction of energy loss and leakage  

Up to 10% of electricity consumption in industries is used to generate compressed air and 95% of this energy is lost as waste heat in the process. Additionally, up to 30% of the compressed air generated “disappears” due to leakages in the supply network. Nevertheless, financial losses due to inefficient compressed air systems continue to be underestimated, ignored or accepted as a given. This can be mitigated with energy management solutions, allowing you to reliably identify weaknesses and savings potential in your compressed air systems, and permanently monitor the specific energy consumption of compressors 

Energy saving opportunities such as minimizing leaks and monitoring filters to cut pressure can be implemented to ensure maximum efficiency in your compressed air systems. Compressed air should ideally be dry because moisture can eventually lead to failure of the compressed air system.  Utilizing instruments like the Prowirl F 200 to measure flow can ensure the safety of your airline compressors while monitoring the pressure  will keep your energy loss low. 

Product highlights for compressed air and steam systems

Take a look at the products we recommend for your steam systems and compressed air systems

RSG45 Advanced Data Manager

Data logging / evaluation

  • For precise monitoring of plants and distribution networks
  • Customized overview of the installation
  • Visualization and logging of performance data
  • Alarm management
  • Communication gateway

Prowirl F 200 Flowmeter

Flow measurement (steam quantity and quality)

  • Multivariable vortex meter (incl. flow computer) for direct mass and volume measurement of saturated or superheated steam with best-in-class accuracy
  • Optionally available with integrated pressure and temperature measurement for the calculation of delta heat and energy flow
  • Maximum accuracy thanks to “PremiumCal” calibration
  • Unique worldwide: steam quality measurement (dryness fraction)
  • Install upside-down to utilize the optional wet steam detection/measurement application package

Cerabar PMP51B pressure transmitter

Pressure measurement

  • Pressure measuring range: up to 400 bar (6000 psi)
  • Wireless control of the device in the process area with the SmartBlue App without process interruption
  • Reduce systematic failures – error free SIL commissioning and Proof testing
  • High accuracy (up to +/- 0.055%)

In this part one of our Utility Management Solutions series, we have highlighted ways to reduce energy consumption in your steam and compressed air systems utilizing a multitude of different products and solutions thereby saving you money as well.  Stay tuned for our next section in the Utility Management Solutions series: Heating and Cooling.  

To see our full list of recommended products, download our compressed air and steam product lists: