It Is Possible To Reduce CO2 Emissions and Gas Consumption More Quickly Despite The Current Global Conflicts
10 January 2021
When people talk about climate targets, the focus is often on the geopolitical situation. Meanwhile, simple technological innovations for industry are all too often neglected. This is unfortunate, because a company like Tata Steel has achieved huge reductions in costs, gas and CO2 emissions by simply installing non-contact magnetic couplings.
Overtaken by current events
On the one hand, we do not want to reduce our energy consumption, but on the other hand we want to achieve climate targets. Especially in the (industrial) economy, these two sides of the coin conflict with each other. So energy consumption in industry remains high.
Meanwhile, industrial consumers are being overtaken by current events from all directions. The sanctions against Russia have shown how much energy is consumed there and how dependent we are on international parties.
For large industrial consumers, the use of energy gas has always been relatively cheap thanks to European subsidies; the consumer pays 0.25 EUR/kWh and industry only 0.05 EUR/kWh. Because of this arrangement, industrial consumers don’t need to pay much attention to energy saving solutions. But lately it seems that these low energy prices are a thing of the past. In addition, of course, there is the global focus on reaching climate agreements. The urgency to substantially reduce CO2 emissions and gas consumption is growing in the area of large industrial consumers.
There are indeed short-term solutions
It seems that industrial users are suddenly faced with huge challenges. Many consultants are trying to provide insight into the big picture, and project groups around the world are planning approaches. However, the actual implementation of these plans and ideas is often years away.
But there are short-term opportunities. Increasing the efficiency of production processes can save a lot of energy very quickly. Some innovative technologies with immediate impact haven’t received the attention they deserve. Until now!
Quick win: the non-contact magnetic coupling
One of the quick wins for industry is to reduce the exorbitant energy consumption of pump and fan systems. This can be achieved by using adaptable, non-contact magnetic couplings. As a general rule, most pumps are designed a few sizes too large due to many (technical) safety measures. In the higher power range, above 7.5 kW, 75% of all pumps are fitted with a throttle valve or bypass to vent the pump’s excess output. Without a choke, too much water comes out of the pump that isn’t needed for the process.
Choking is a waste of energy. The system is only pumping against a choked valve. By implementing a non-contact magnetic coupling in a pump system, this process can be controlled much better and much easier.
Tata Steel: Energy Savings Equivalent to 340 Households Per Year
Zytec Nieuwegein’s variable magnetic couplings were installed on four pumps at Tata Steel’s cold rolling mills in just two days. During the installation, the pumps were directly adjusted to the best efficiency point and the choke valves were fully opened. This installation will result in a direct energy saving of 600 tonnes of CO2 and 1.1 million kWh of electricity per year. This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 340 households or 300,000 m3 of gas. The payback period for this investment was less than one and a half years. One of the reasons for this short payback period is that most industrial pumps are in continuous operation 365 days and nights a year. This shows that the impact of an energy saving solution is huge for these large power systems.
Dutch industry imports three billion m3 of gas from Russia every year. Imagine that in the Netherlands alone, if we implement 3,000 of these optimisation projects, for example in the production plant of Tata Steel, we will save one billion m3 of gas that we don’t have to buy or import.
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