Real time monitoring and optimisation of utility systems offers scope to reduce energy costs by up to 5% without incurring capital investment.
Site utility systems often have numerous degrees of freedom within a wide operating window; typically, the systems experience frequent changes in energy demand due to the operation of the process and seasonal variation. Furthermore the commercial environment is very dynamic with power pricing changing on a minute by minute basis.
This variation and flexibility opens up substantial scope for optimisation, but makes effective operation a challenge. From a modelling perspective there are some key difficulties, such as requiring a mixed integer non-linear solver (which makes “general purpose” solvers unsuited to the task) and the sheer scale and complexity of the models with large numbers of inputs and variables. This makes site wide utility models difficult to construct, maintain, audit and manage, which often results in utility optimisers falling into dis-use.
Energy-SIM consolidates years of KBCs consulting expertise in model construction into a standardised database structure. This makes model building and modification a simple case of populating databases of users and equipment. The Energy-SIM structure contains ready built reporting, historian plug-ins and is formulated ready for the optimiser module. This allows full automation of the entire process from data capture and reconciliation, simulation of the equipment, optimisation and reporting delivered into the hands of frontline operators, along with performance monitoring, and continuous improvement support tools.
Developing and installing an optimiser results in substantial insights being gained into the operation such as the identification of constraints and opportunities for improvement of the utility system. Optimiser development is carried out in conjunction with our Energy Consulting team which helps keep the software tool focussed on the key improvement variables and links the optimiser algorithms to practical corrective actions to ensure the benefits are realised and sustained.
Standalone Excel add-in
Utility systems usually offer the largest opportunities to improve site energy consumption. Benchmarking and gap analysis frequently shows this is where the biggest performance gaps lie, and the fact that utilities are more peripheral means that changes can be made without compromising the core production processes.
Effective utility modelling poses many challenges, such as:
Distributed systems spanning entire sites and including potentially dozens of turbines, and hundreds of steam users.Complex balancing logic, often with multiple marginal mechanisms which frequently change.Highly interconnected constraints, often involving a need to simultaneously balance fuel, steam, power and hydrogen networks, as well as consider production process constraints.
These challenges have been addressed for over 20 years by KBC's ProSteam software, licensed to over 300 sites worldwide.
ProSteam provides a comprehensive toolkit to build powerful models for design, what-if studies and online performance monitoring, including the following major features:
A fully comprehensive set of unit operations and objects allows you to model every individual part of utility systems, in a variety of levels of detail.ProSteam has the ability to define Heuristic logic for header balances, making it easier to match the response of the real system, and avoiding the loss of insight that comes from using a "black box" optimiser to solve the network.Models for gas turbines and HRSGs allow you to build predictive cogen models.
The ProSteam toolkit gives you the flexibility to create any utility model you need, in an Excel environment.
ProSteam toolkit forms the foundation of the Energy Suite, which provides a number of pre-configured modules to simplify the construction and maintenance of complex utility models.
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