Facility security and safety have taken on a more pressing aspect since 2001. Kelli Gibson of Marking Services Inc., Milwaukee, wrote “System ID” to explain to ammonia users how marking their refrigeration and plant systems can pay dividends in overall plant safety. Such systems provide rapid access to accurate piping and equipment layouts as well as emergency shutoff procedures, which are important to employees, first responders and local emergency personnel during an ammonia release.

While plant security is top of mind, so is the high cost of energy. Looking at the long-term effects of energy costs, industrial facilities are looking hard at system efficiency and performance. The oft-heard corporate demand to cut costs and then cut some more prompted consulting firm Cascade Energy Engineering Inc.'s authors to offer up methods to improve industrial refrigeration systems' operation and demonstrate them with a case history. In “Optimizing Efficiency with a Kaizen Blitz,” Cascade's president Marcus Wilcox and vice president Robert Morton, both based at the company's headquarters in Walla Walla, Wash., describe how the strategy allowed a food processor to reach its goal quickly.

Due to their extremely cold temperatures, cryogenic systems offer multiple opportunities to reduce operating costs. Read “Don't Overlook the Ice Balls” by Jim Weiler, business manager of the Engineered Systems Group, Distribution & Storage Division of Chart Industries Inc., New Prague, Minn., for some areas to check. Even a slight oversight in a system's design or installation -- for example, at the interfaces of various portions of the system -- can create operation inefficiency.

System components make their own contribution to saving energy or absorbing too much of it. “Material Matters” looks at cooling tower fill and drift eliminators. Choose the wrong material and a tower's operating efficiency drops or corrosion increases, resulting in excess energy use, say Jim Wallis, international director of Brentwood Industries Inc., Reading, Pa., and managing director of Brentwood Asia Ltd., Bangkok; and Rich Aull, engineering manager of Brentwood Industries Inc.

In general, the bottom line will benefit from a properly designed system, no matter the process. Manufacturers of cooling equipment work closely with their customers to give them new technology for production improvements. In “Counterflow Series Solutions,” by Jackson L. Ball, director of business and technology at ArctiChill and Freeze Co. Systems in Brampton, Ont., and Susanna Hanson, senior product support engineer at Trane Commercial Systems in LaCrosse, Wis., discuss how chilled-water production, delivery and usage systems should be evaluated together, along with flow rates, pipe sizes, pressure drops, compressor type, end-point coils, heat exchangers and overall system “lift.”

Water treatment also plays a crucial role in keeping costs in check. In “Water Treatment: The Right Dose,” Ernie Applerhans, cooling water product manager at Garratt-Callahan Co., Burlingame, Calif., notes that far too many cooling towers are under-dosed due to improper assumptions about system volume. He explains three methods to help you eliminate guesswork when determining tower volume.

Anne Armel
Group Publisher