Energy Savings with Smart Industrial Boilers
Industrial boilers are crucial equipment in many manufacturing industries, such as textiles, food, paper, sugar, chemicals, and more. Boilers use fuel to heat water and generate high-pressure and high-temperature steam, serving various processes like drying, dyeing, cooking, running turbines, and power generation. However, boilers are also energy-intensive and contribute to environmental pollution. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's statistics, boilers account for approximately 40% of the total energy consumption in industrial enterprises. Therefore, energy conservation and emissions reduction from boilers are essential solutions to enhance production efficiency and protect the environment.
One of the ways to save energy and reduce emissions from boilers is to apply smart technology to their management and operation. Smart technology combines sensors, controls, communication networks, and application software to automatically and optimally collect, process, and control the boiler's operational parameters. Smart technology can help save energy and reduce boiler emissions through the following methods:
- Continuously monitor and adjust the boiler's operating parameters, such as pressure, temperature, flow rate, water level, air/fuel ratio, to maintain the highest efficiency and the lowest energy consumption.
- Analyze and forecast the steam demand for production processes, enabling adjustments in capacity or the number of operating boilers accordingly.
- Automatically turn on/off or switch to standby/ignite mode when steam is not needed.
- Automatically report and alert boiler malfunctions or errors, such as leaks, overpressure, overload, for timely troubleshooting and prevention of damage.
- Integrate and interact with other devices in the production system, such as steam storage tanks, turbines, power generators, to create a smart production chain.
Smart technology has been successfully applied to the management and operation of industrial boilers in many countries worldwide, including the United States, Japan, Germany, South Korea, among others, with positive results. According to a study by the U.S. National Energy Institute, the application of smart technology to boiler management and operation can save between 10% to 15% of energy and reduce CO2 emissions by 20% to 30% compared to traditional boilers. In Vietnam, smart technology is also gradually gaining attention and implementation by industrial enterprises. A notable example is Bien Hoa Sugar Joint Stock Company, one of the leading sugar producers in Vietnam, which has applied smart technology to the management and operation of its boilers and achieved significant results. According to the company's report, the application of smart technology has saved 7.5% of energy, reduced 8.5% of CO2 emissions, and increased production efficiency by 10% compared to before implementation.
Therefore, it is evident that saving energy and reducing emissions from industrial boilers are crucial solutions to improve production efficiency and protect the environment. Smart technology is an effective tool for this purpose. However, to apply smart technology to the management and operation of industrial boilers, investments in equipment, software, manpower, and processes are required. Therefore, industrial enterprises need to carefully consider economic, technical, and legal factors to make the most suitable choice for their production activities.