June 2014

HPI Focus: Energy Efficiency

Automate furnace controls to improve safety and energy efficiency

Furnace firing is the biggest single operating expense in any refinery. Consider a medium-size refinery (250,000 bpd) that consumes 2,000 MMBtu/h. At a cost of $5/MMBtu, that’s $87.6 MM/yr being ..

Mickity, D., Phillips 66

Furnace firing is the biggest single operating expense in any refinery. Consider a medium-size refinery (250,000 bpd) that consumes 2,000 MMBtu/h. At a cost of $5/MMBtu, that’s $87.6 MM/yr being spent on fuel. A meager improvement of 1% in firing efficiency would yield $0.876MM/yr in savings and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 91,600 mtpy. Given these economic incentives, one would think that automatic controls on furnaces are the norm. This, however, is far from the truth. Oftentimes, furnaces are left to operate with combustion controls in manual, wastefully taking in more air than needed, heating up that excess air to stack temperature and throwing it away. One of the reasons basic

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