Collaborative Initiative to Show Real-Time Energy Use Management

You may have seen the news release from the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), Smart Manufacturing Coalition-led Project Wins DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing Contract. If not, it highlighted:

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) today announced that it won a 2013 Clean Energy Manufacturing contract to start developing the nation’s first open smart manufacturing technology platform for collaborative industrial networked information applications. The innovative $10 million project, led by the SMLC, will receive $7.8 million in funding from the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Program.

The overall objectives of the initial SMLC project are to design and demonstrate this common platform that enables data modeling and simulation technologies to actively manage energy use in conjunction with plant production systems. The platform will show how real-time management of energy use as a key driver in business decisions can be applied across many small, medium and large U.S. manufacturing companies.

The project is a collaborative effort among The University of Texas at Austin, Emerson Process Management, Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, Invensys, Rockwell Automation, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, University of California Los Angeles and Nimbis Services.

The development process includes industrial test beds with actual manufacturing data:

The first two test beds funded by the DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing contract will be at a General Dynamics Army Munitions plant to optimize heat treating furnaces and at a Praxair Hydrogen Processing plant to optimize steam methane reforming furnaces.

The release also shared the news that the principal investigator for this project is Professor Thomas Edgar, Director of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute and Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Source: Praxair

Source: Praxair

I turned to Emerson’s Pete Sharpe to be able to share more about this project. Pete explained that for the Praxair test bed, the team was planning to apply novel Emerson temperature and gas analytical techniques on a steam methane reformer. These units are very large furnaces, the size of a small, 3-story house with temperatures that are extremely harsh (~2000 Deg F) on the inside of the furnace.

The team will be researching various temperature technologies including Rosemount high-temperature sapphire sensors, Infrared (IR), and others. Emerson will supply additional O2 and combustible sensors in various locations around the furnace to provide sufficient measurements to solve a high-fidelity model on the Smart Manufacturing (SM) platform.

These new sensors will be brought in over on an IEC 62591 wireless network and made available to the DeltaV control system and the SM platform applications. A high-fidelity model in the cloud will be exercised to populate a reduced order model, which can be used to optimize the furnace combustion process.

The optimizer results and targets will be written back from the SM Platform to the DeltaV control system, which will make the adjustments to the process. The project also includes plans for adding a number of Emerson devices to measure and control fuel and air flows to different zones in the furnace to maximize heater efficiency. The team will be using DeltaV PredictPro model predictive control to adjust the fuel and air in a safe, stable manner in a fast, redundant control platform.

The desired results of the collaborative project are to show how “…real-time management of energy use as a key driver in business decisions can be applied across many small, medium, and large U.S. manufacturing companies.”

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