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The VisualMesa Energy Management System (VM-EMS) is an online solution that facilitates cost-effective operation of an industrial site's utility system, including production and use of steam, fuel, power, and water and consideration of emissions. It facilitates the management and operation of those systems, by reducing cost by solving daily operating inefficiencies, and providing all the necessary information for targeted monitoring and optimization of site-wide operations from a single interface. The following examples show how VM-EMS improves daily management of a site's utility system operations and maintenance:
The VisualMesa Energy Management System offers two products to model, monitor, and optimize of energy systems:
• VisualMesa Energy Real-Time Optimizer (ERTO)
• VisualMesa Energy Monitor (EM)
VisualMesa Energy Management System products have been successfully implemented in various types of energy systems including steam, fuel, electricity, hydrogen, emissions, water and district cooling. The products are built on the same VisualMesa Energy Management System core functions that were in continuous development for over 30 years. The products share the same user interface providing the user a uniform platform to work with. VisualMesa Energy Management System products are easy to use and maintain as the site changes over time.
• Utility Operators will be able to:
o Deliver optimized production and consumption of steam, fuel, power, and water, while, in parallel, tracking emissions at individual equipment, unit, and site-wide levels to ensure regulatory compliance.
o Identify and solve problems quickly through user interface alerting and automatically updated recommendations for improving operation.
• Engineers will be able to:
o Evaluate changes to the utility system operations and reduce the operating cost.
o Evaluate the cost and benefit of new or modified equipment or utility supply and purchase contracts to justify capital investment.
o Evaluate the effects of a plant shutdown in terms of cost, reliability, and emissions, in order to plan for optimized operation of the utility system in advance.
o To detect, track and determine the cause of imbalances in the utility system.
• Maintenance personnel will be able to:
o Identify failing meters in need of replacement or calibration
o Reduce time spent seeking the source of imbalances in the utility system.
VM-EMS solution provides increased value in the following seven ways:
2. Real Time Optimization
3. Accounting and Imbalance Detection
4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
5. KPI Operator Alerts
6. Engineering Case Studies - "What If?" Analysis
ERTO performs a rigorous balance of all the energy producers and consumers, calculating the imbalances using real-time data. The imbalances are graphically represented in blocks called "balloons," which are added anywhere metering allows a mass balance to be calculated. Balloons graphically indicate where mass balances are large or small based upon size and color, and imbalances are typically saved to the historian with every automatic run of the model. ERTO’s capability to more precisely monitor where metering error is large or is changing over time is the first step toward proactive energy loss minimization.
Using the ERTO graphical capabilities, the users can quickly discern size of the imbalance in each header. The following figure indicates the imbalance calculated by ERTO in the fuel system for both the natural gas and the refinery gas headers in the balloons on the right side of the diagram. The balloon is indicating that the refinery gas imbalance is significant and may require investigation, based upon its larger size and change in background color.
By clicking on any balloon, the mass balance report is displayed, indicating the specific measurements contributing to the balance, as well as the total balance error, on a mass and percentage basis. This provides an easy way to track and correct or replace failing measurements in the system, which reduces loss and increases production capacity. The figure below shows the mass balance report for a 150 psig header, for example.
Engineering Case Studies – What If? Analysis
On the basis of the same model used for optimization, monitoring, and KPI and operator alert generation, Engineering Case Studies can be executed for such important functions as planning for shutdowns and turnarounds, determining cost and benefit of capital investment, and seasonal operation planning. The following examples illustrate such use:
Planning for an upcoming equipment shutdown by simulating the expected operation in a case study to determine the most economic, reliable and environmentally safe operation of the site-wide utilities under the new condition.
Evaluating the cost and benefit for replacing a turbine driven pump with an electric motor.
Evaluating the benefit for adding a steam turbine generator against the capital investment.
Evaluation of a steam, power or fuel supply contract under negotiation, given expected seasonal operation of the utilities.
Improved investment and planning provided by ERTO’s Case Study capability can easily double the value ERTO provides through optimization and monitoring alone.