Steam Production Data
Today’s wood boiler performance at the UI Energy Plant is the result of several years of modifications and improvements to the various systems. 2003 brought a change in the management philosophy to the Energy Plant that employed continuous improvement to all the systems and operations. Highlights of those changes are; acid washing the boiler, implementation of VFDs (Variable Speed drives) on all boiler fans and pumps, decreasing the forced draft fans flow, increasing the condensate return and development of a feedback control automation system. Along with the mechanical changes, the operations have improved by an ongoing skills and knowledge development program for the plant staff. In 2010 the university started to see steam demand decreases due largely to the energy saving ESCO program and its numerous building upgrades. The reductions in energy waste and the increased mechanical and operational efficiencies are reflections of the stewardship standards strived for by the Energy Plant and the Utilities and Engineering Services group on campus.
Along with performance improvements, continuous improvement has included Pollution reduction. Since 2003 there has been a steady reduction in pollution from the Energy Plant. Most of the reductions in emissions have come from the decrease in fuel consumed to meet the load demands on campus. Additionally, adjustments and modifications have resulted in cleaner and more complete combustion. Some say that the most elegant engineering solutions are those that improve performance at the least cost. Since money is also a limited resource, improvements had to yield cost savings in order to be considered.
The following tables quantify these improvements, reductions and savings. The first table lists the emissions of the Energy Plant by year beginning with 2002. Using 2002 as the base comparison year, each year’s reduction has been calculated in percent terms and listed in the right three columns.
|Year||Tier I Emission (tons)||Reduction of Emission from base 2002 (%)|
As you can see from the table above; the particulate matter emissions (PM) have been reduced by more than half and the carbon emissions have reduced by 84 percent. These are significant reductions that help keep our impacts to environmental quality to a minimum. The next table quantifies the steam production in thousands of pounds of steam per year (KPS/Yr), wood fuel consumed in bone dry tons (BDT) and performance in pounds of steam produced per BDT of fuel (PS/BDT); for each year since 2002. Using 2002 as a base year for comparison, the performance increase is listed along with the changing fuel price and the resulting annual fuel costs. The last column uses 2002 as the base performance year and lists the annual cost savings realized as a direct result of the improvements made.
|Year||Steam from wood
|Savings from improvements
As you can see from the above table, the campus steam demands have increased until 2009, receded due to energy saving projects, and continued to increase to today. Additionally; the boiler is now able to make more than twice the amount of steam from the combustion of the same amount of fuel, as compared to 2003. Notice that the fuel price has also changed over time. The price change as well as the changing load and performance result in the fuel cost annually. The last column is the savings in money for each year realized due to the improvements made at the Energy Plant independent of the savings due to the energy saving escrow projects completed on the campus buildings.
This is a truly remarkable example of how improvements can be made to energy systems. In this case the U of I was able to significantly reduce the fuel it consumed while reducing pollution emissions, all while saving money.