Adding sensors and analytical capabilities can help plants get a handle on early fouling or loss of heat transfer in heat exchangers. Wireless sensors gather data that can be used to improve performance, cut costs and reduce energy consumption.
Aside from simple blending processes, most chemical processes involve a temperature change in one way or another. For example, products may need to be heated to facilitate a reaction, or cooled to control reaction rate. Many of these applications involve using a heat exchanger to add or remove heat from the process fluid.
One characteristic common to many electric utility companies is the mix of sizes and technologies at the utility’s various plants. This means efforts to improve performance and reduce costs can vary from plant to plant.
It’s a point of pride that I have every issue of Process Heating ever published cataloged in a small library in my home office. Admittedly, it’s not as tidy as you might find at your local library. I tend to stack issues that I “check out” on the floor in front of the library until it’s time to clean my office. And, while my lazy filing means a career as a bibliophilic cataloger is doubtful, it also provides opportunities for rediscovery.
Rapid growth and innovation in the past decade have enabled companies to implement key technologies to monitor, analyze, control and automate their assets. Wireless resistance temperature detectors, or wireless RTDs, have bridged the gap from decades of hardware to remotely connected devices.
The importance of cold storage for certain chemical products, particularly organic peroxides, hit the headlines in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. When a plant outside Houston was flooded and lost power, it also lost its cold storage for the organic peroxide products produced at the site. As they warmed up, the surrounding area was evacuated in anticipation of the resulting explosions and toxic releases.
When heat must be dissipated from a process fluid — either liquid or gas — it is usually transferred to another fluid — either liquid or gas — using a heat exchanger. The two most common types of heat exchangers are liquid-to-liquid and liquid-to-air.
Wireless technologies that serve as the backbone of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are gaining wider use in the global food manufacturing industry. The goal of IIoT technologies is to automate the collection of data across operations and improve processes within a processing plant. An enterprise that uses more advanced analysis of its data will see operational improvements and cost savings.