Tuesday, November 25, 2008

University of California, San Diego Benefits From Compu-NOx

When the University of California, San Diego needed to meet the San Diego Air Pollution District's emission limit of 30 parts per million (ppm) NOx for three identical Erie City "O" type boilers equipped with Erie Ring Burners with 40 hp blowers, it received bids from seven companies.

Benz Air Engineering delivered a winning retrofit bid that was $750,000 less than all other bids, bids which would have required replacing those burners with less efficient Low NOx burners. By awarding the bid to Benz Air Engineering, the Compu-NOx solution reduced fuel consumption as well as NOx and CO emissions with a lower investment. Here's how the Compu-NOx retrofit solution stacked up:

Before Retrofit
Turndown: 3:1
NOx at Full Load: 80 ppm at 3 percent O2
CO at Full Load: 100 ppm at 3 percent O2
O2 at Full Load: 3.5 percent
Horsepower: 30hp

After Retrofit
Turndown: 20:1
NOx at Full Load: 16 ppm at 3 percent O2
CO at Full Load: 10 ppm at 3 percent O2
O2 at Full Load: 0.9 percent
Horsepower: 10hp

The Compu-NOx solution delivered an annual fuel savings of $58,000 per year and an annual electrical savings of $40,000 per year at the time of the retrofit. With the rising costs of fuel, the annual cost savings is now considerably more.

Since, the University of California, San Diego became the first campus on the West Coast to join the Chicago Climate Exchange to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. It was also the first university in California to have been recognized by the California Climate Action Registry as a "Climate Action Leader."

UC San Diego's goal is to become a living laboratory for climate solutions by being an early adopter of real-world tools and leading-edge technologies for San Diego and the global marketplace for successfully measuring, certifying and reporting its greenhouse gas emissions to the Registry and the public. For more information about its sustainability programs, visit here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

California AB 32 Scoping Plan Moves Forward

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will meet on Nov. 20 to discuss the AB 32 Scoping Plan as mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Nov. 20 meeting includes one of the first opportunities for public testimony.

The effort aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which equates to an approximate emission reduction of 30 percent, and then an 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in September 2006. Key elements include:

• Expanding and strengthening existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards;
• Obtaining 33 percent of California's electricity from renewables;
• Developing a California cap-and-trade program that links with other Western Climate Initiative partner programs to create a regional market system;
• Establishing targets for transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions for regions throughout California, and pursuing policies and incentives to achieve those targets;
• Adopting and implementing measures pursuant to existing state laws and policies, including California's clean car standards, goods movement measures, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and
• Creating targeted fees, including a public goods charge on water use, fees on high global warming potential gases, and a fee to fund the administrative costs of the state's long-term commitment to AB 32 implementation.

Additional strategies for making these reductions are outlined in the Climate Change Proposed Scoping Plan. The next public meeting will begin on Dec. 11. More information regarding the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board as it pertains to AB 32 can be found here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Benz Air Produces WEEC White Paper

On Nov. 4-5, at the same time Benz Air Engineering was developing The Bolier Room, Patricia Spiritus submitted a white paper for consideration at the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) in Washington D.C. The white paper, entitled "Optimize Boiler Efficiency and Reduce NOx, CO, and CO2 with ROI," was well received.

WEEC is attended each year by the nation's leading energy professionals in business, industry, and government who seek the best solutions for all aspects of today's energy cost and supply challenges.

The Overview

Industrial steam boilers are used in power-generating facilities, food processing plants, universities, refineries, and hospitals (among other facilities). In addition to being unmatched in design, engineering, and craftsmanship, they represent the foundation for the industrial revolution and hold a unique opportunity for companies that rely on the steam they produce.

The engineers who produced them achieved their mission to create a reliable steam system that not only produced energy, but also produced it effectively enough that it provides hot water to dorm rooms at universities, packs fruit cocktails for grocery stores, or gives a rug its bright blue color. Without question, steam boilers are responsible for much of what makes up our world today.

Unfortunately, they are also responsible for contributing to greenhouse gases (NOx & CO), carbon footprint (CO2), and consuming large quantities of electricity and other fuel.

The Solution

There are several methods and technologies currently used to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from steam boilers, many of which emerged after the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1990. However, by approaching reliable steam boilers from three approaches — mechanical engineering, combustion engineering, and programming — retrofitted steam boilers can dramatically increase efficiency (which reduces fuel consumption) while reducing emissions (which meets pending regulation).

How much? The white paper, using a real case study, estimates that retrofitting 15,000 steam boilers in the United States with all three approaches mentioned above would equate to the following emission reduction comparisons:

• The emissions generated by 7,725,000 passenger cars in one year
• The emissions produced by 4,590,000 households' electrical usage
• The emissions reduced by recycling 12,015,000 tons of waste put in landfills
• The prevention of 300,000 acres of natural areas preserved from deforestation

These retrofits would also reduce as much as 35,700,000 metric tons of CO2. Assuming natural gas systems account for 25 percent of such retrofits, that would account for a reduction of 5.5 percent of the total CO2 emissions in the United States.

The white paper is available upon request and will be posted as an informational resource in the near future.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Introduction To The Boiler Room

The Boiler Room is the Benz Air Engineering blog and information center, developed to help manufacturers, industrial plants, boiler operators, legislators, policy makers, and other interested parties stay ahead of the rapidly changing landscape. It is written and maintained by Robert Benz, Patricia Spiritus, Marcel Staedter, and support staff.

Benz Air Engineering matches the right solutions, systems, and technologies to improve the energy consumption of exiting steam, heat, and power systems. For more than 50 years, it has delivered the best available technology to save money, improve efficiency, and reduce emissions.

By evaluating existing steam, heat, and power systems, Benz Air Engineering can determine which solutions will deliver the maximum cost savings. Increasing boiler efficiency, retrofitting boilers, and installing new systems can save millions of dollars in fuel consumption and electrical usage. Many Benz Air solutions also qualify for rebates and incentives.