After conducting a benchmark analysis at a Texas steel foundry, which employs 300 people and produces a monthly average of 1,800 tons of ground-engaging tools and castings, Ally Energy Solutions collaborated with retail energy provider Engie to develop a strategy that would improve efficiency and lessen environmental impact without significant disruption to day-to-day operations or major modifications to existing equipment or processes.
Ally identified the compressed air system, lighting and controls, and dust collector system as the three improvement areas that would result in the highest return on investment.
By upgrading thermostat controls, ductwork, dampers and fans, the foundry can repurpose the rejected hot air from the compressed air system and use it to offset the approximately $80,700 per-year spent on natural gas heating costs.
Lighting and Controls
After evaluating the lighting system updates that were already completed, Ally identified a number of inefficient incandescent lamps and metal halide fixtures still in commission. Recommended efficiency updates included replacing these fixtures and lamps with LED and T5HO, as appropriate. In addition, the recommended retrofit included fixture-mounted and wall-mounted occupancy sensors to reduce wasted energy in unoccupied areas.
Dust Collector System
As the single largest electricity consuming pieces of equipment, outside of the foundry’s two five-ton electric arc furnaces, the dust collector systems offer the potential for significant energy reductions. Ally’s strategy included targeted retrofitting of certain fans for occupancy/process feedback systems with automated isolation gate valves and variable speed controls. Other fans within the foundry were identified as being candidates for on/off scheduled or process-based control implementation.