In this issue ofProcess Heating, we bring you a lineup of articles intended to help you minimize costs, maximize efficiency and optimize operations.

In “Reduce Utility Cost by Improving Power Factor,” Stanley Kintigh, a cofounder of Control Concepts Inc., Chanhassen, Minn., notes that because the cost of electrical energy can be dependent on power factor, judicious selection of the techniques used to control electrical power can result in significant savings. One way to eliminate power factor deficits, suggests the author, is to split the process heating load so that it is controlled by multiple controllers. He asserts that the amount of savings that can be obtained by using multiple loads is dependent on the power factor and the power factor penalty.

Infrared technology also can help improve performance and cut energy costs. Natasha Narang, marketing manager for Radiant Energy, Hawthorne, N.J., explains how in “Infrared: The Cure for Your Converting Process?” Infrared heaters offer several benefits, including the ability to increase line speeds, reduce overall energy costs, minimize the amount of plant floor space consumed by the curing system, and reduce the process heating system’s carbon footprint.

According to Kelly Paffel, technical manager at Swagelok Energy Advisors Inc., a company of Swagelok Co., Solon, Ohio, one of the most critical devices in a steam system is the safety valve. In “Steam Team Know-How,” Paffel explains how to develop a database containing all of the relevant information for the safety devices in a facility.

In “4 Steps to Optimizing Chiller Performance,” Cliff C. Johnson, senior project engineer at PolyScience, Niles, Ill., describes how periodically performing just a few simple preventive maintenance tasks can help ensure that your chiller will provide years of dependable service. Portable chillers provide heat removal and temperature control for industrial lasers, EDM machines, CNC lathes, and other temperature-sensitive equipment and processes. However, if the chillers are not maintained properly, their performance can degrade gradually, resulting in temperature variations that adversely affect productivity and product quality.

“Managing Emissions” delivers a case history from Nationwide Boiler Inc., Fremont, Calif., that describes an emission control system for boilers that provides “back-end” reductions in NOX. Low NOXburners are effective at controlling NOXcreation at the front end, and the selective catalytic reduction system can be retrofit onto packaged boilers to cut NOXemissions to less than 5 ppm.

Also in this issue, the Equipment Overview on Burners points you to suppliers of low NOX, infrared, line, premix and other burners. Use the grid in print, or visit the Equipment Overview page on our web site to compare burner manufacturers. In addition to the Equipment Overview on Burners, the web site includes all of our Equipment Overview grids -- on topics such as ovens, dryers, heat exchangers, temperature sensors, temperature controls, heat transfer fluids, heaters (separated into infrared and convection/conduction charts), and boilers -- as well as the newly updated, online-only Equipment Overview on Power Controls.

Linda Becker
Associate Publisher & Editor