Since the first giant, concave, cooling tower rose into the sky some 100 years ago, the structures have become synonymous with heavy industry. But the huge towers take time to power up and down, and their performance is dependent on rapidly fluctuating weather conditions.
With our partner XERVON, we brought new functionality to an iconic technology.
If we combined integrated machine sensors with predictive technology, could we make industrial cooling smart?
Mark Albrecht, our Head of Innovation, explains how something as simple as temperature, when incorporated with the right technology, can change the way we do business.
When multiple cooling towers are in use, a change in temperature and humidity could be the difference between running at full capacity or powering one tower down – an opportunity to save energy and perform maintenance.
At XERVON's industrial site, electricity costs accounted for around 70 percent of its operating costs. That's a huge amount! By crunching temperature data and helping forecast for their specific site, we estimate cost savings approaching 10 percent.
XERVON’s site has multiple cooling towers. We equipped each with temperature and vibration sensors. Using SAP Leonardo and cloud resources, we analyze that sensor data along with data about a plant’s cooling needs and weather forecasts. The result is a system that can regulate a cooling tower’s pump and fan speeds, optimizing energy use. When usage is so low that XERVON can shut down a tower completely, the vibration sensors, which indicate potential mechanical trouble, allow for informed preventative maintenance.
Seventy percent of XERVON’s operating costs are related to energy use. Much of the information that could help XERVON become more efficient, like weather forecast data, was publicly available. We had the experience and expertise to take that data – and more – to fit it to XERVON’s needs. Our predictive operations resulted in an energy saving of 6-8 percent, and we expect maintenance costs to decrease by 15 percent.
Our smart cooling towers are examples of how we can build a more efficient future right now.
That is innovation to the point.
We are constantly creating more Innovation to the Point. See what is possible with itelligence.
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XERVON’s smart cooling towers are only one example of how we transfer our experiences with machine learning and IoT technology into new endeavors. We are constantly on the lookout for projects where our experience might make the difference between good idea and great product.
Get in touch with us today, and let us discuss where your pain points lie, what you want to achieve, and how we can help you do that. To the point.
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