Process Heating

Industrial process heating systems are ubiquitous in the industrial sector as they are essential in the manufacture of most consumer and industrial products, including products made out of metal, plastic, rubber, concrete, glass, and ceramics. Within the United States, fuel-based process heating (excluding electricity and steam generation) consumes 4.8 quadrillion Btu of energy annually, which equals roughly 24% of total industrial primary energy consumption[1].

Energy performance improvements in process heating systems differ between fuel- and electric-based, but are most effective when accomplished by combining a systems approach with an awareness of efficiency and performance improvement opportunities that are common to systems with similar operations and equipment.  

Top Ten Energy Efficiency Measures for Process Heating Systems

  1. Check Burner Air-to-Fuel Ratios
  2. Use Oxygen-Enriched Air for Combustion
  3. Check Heat Transfer Surfaces
  4. Reduce Air Infiltration in Furnaces
  5. Furnace Pressure Controllers
  6. Reduce Radiation Losses from Heating Equipment
  7. Install Waste Heat Recovery Systems for Fuel-Fired Furnaces
  8. Pre-heat Combustion Air
  9. Pre-heat Loads Using Flue Gases from a Fuel-Fired Heating System
  10. Using Waste Heat for External Processes

You can read related TIP SHEETS AND PUBLICATIONS to improve performance and save energy, accumulated over time by the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Learn more with the PROCESS HEATING SYSTEM INFO CARD, explore additional resources specific to Better Plants partners, and connect with the process heating-subject matter expert below.


[1] U.S. DOE’s Manufacturing Energy and Carbon Footprints (2014 MECS) - https://www.energy.gov/eere/amo/manufacturing-energy-and-carbon-footprints-2014-mecs

Sourcebook


The process heating sourcebook was developed for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). AMO undertook this project as a series of sourcebook publications. Other topics in this series include: compressed air systems, steam, fan systems, pumping, and motor and drive systems.

Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry (Third Edition)

This sourcebook describes basic process heating applications and equipment and outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements. It also discusses the merits of using a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. It is not intended to be a comprehensive technical text on improving process heating systems, but serves to raise awareness of potential performance improvement opportunities, provides practical guidelines, and offers suggestions on where to find additional help.

Technology Assessments


These technology assessments are available as an appendix to the U.S. Department of Energy's 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review

Technology Assessments: Process Heating

Process Heating is one of fourteen manufacturing-focused technology assessments prepared in support of Chapter 6: Innovating Clean Energy Technologies in Advanced Manufacturing.

Technology Assessments: Waste Heat Recovery Systems

Waste Heat Recovery Systems is one of fourteen manufacturing-focused technology assessments prepared in support of Chapter 6: Innovating Clean Energy Technologies in Advanced Manufacturing.

Tools


Access free software tools to help assess your process heating system.

U.S. DOE’s Manufacturing Energy Assessment Software for Utility Reduction (MEASUR) Tool

Process Heating Assessment part of DOE’s Manufacturing Energy Assessment Software for Utility Reduction (MEASUR) Tool Suite is an upgraded version of The Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST). PHAST is designed to improve energy efficiency and save energy for industrial heating systems. The upgraded PHAST is specifically designed to be used where it is necessary to consider multi-component charge-load and account for a number of different areas of energy losses. The new tool includes a comprehensive flue gas calculator that quantifies available heat and heat loss for various gaseous, liquid, and solid fuels by summing up heat content of components of flue gas. The new tool also includes few additional heat loss calculators such as ‘Hot Gas Leakage’. The tool generates a report and dynamic Sankey diagram to show various areas of energy use and the amount of energy used for each of these areas.

Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHASTEx)

PHASTEx v1.01 is a modified Excel format version of The Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST). The software tool is designed to improve energy efficiency and save energy for industrial heating systems.

Dynamic Manufacturing Energy Sankey Tool

AMO’s interactive Dynamic Manufacturing Energy Sankey Tool displays the Manufacturing Energy Footprint data as dynamic Sankey diagrams. Line widths indicate the volume of energy that flows to major energy end uses in manufacturing, including process heating, and line colors indicate fuel, steam, electricity, and applied or lost energy. Users can pan, zoom, and customize the display to explore the flow of energy use at the macro scale or compare energy consumption across manufacturing subsectors. Selected images can be saved for export.


Subject Matter Expert - Sachin Nimbalkar

Sachin has more than eight years of professional experience which includes working as an R&D Staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Sachin provides technical support to Better Buildings, Better Plants partners (mainly industrial and wastewater treatment partners) through energy road map development, baselining analysis, In-Plant Trainings, and field visits to investigate feasible measures to reduce process energy requirements. Sachin has conducted several training and demonstration workshops throughout the U.S., India, China, Ukraine, Costa Rica, and Turkey covering energy efficiency in process heat systems, system-specific and cross-cutting energy audits, and ISO 50001 implementation steps and tools. Sachin has also contributed to the development of several U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) software tools, including the process heating tools (PHAST and PHMT) and the EnPI tool. Sachin has achieved the “Qualified Specialist” recognition in using three key DOE energy efficiency software tools – PHAST, SSAT, and PSAT. He received a B.E. degree in mechanical engineering from Government College of Engineering, Pune, India, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees again in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University, New Jersey.

You can reach Sachin with process heating-related questions at nimbalkarsu@ornl.gov