Penn State Student Engagement — Energy Assessments for Pennsylvania Manufacturers

The Need

For more than 150 years, Anvil has worked to build strong pipe-to-pipe connections, providing pipe products and services at all levels. Anvil provides expertise and product solutions for a wide range of applications — plumbing, mechanical, industrial, fire protection, mining, oil, and gas. Anvil wanted to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of their production operations.

The PennTAP Connection

PennTAP received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) for the delivery of energy assessments for small to mid-sized manufacturers and local government buildings projects in Pennsylvania. PennTAP, in conjunction with the Penn State Energy and Mineral Engineering Department’s EGEE 494A Energy Research class offered by professor Sarma Pisupati, was designed in part by both PennTAP and Pisupati to provide energy assessments to manufacturers. The energy assessments performed helped the manufacturers to reduce costs through energy reduction while increasing energy efficiency, and the Penn State students benefited by obtaining a great opportunity to get out into the real world, apply the principles they learned in class, and put their theories into practice.

The Project

The PennTAP/Penn State students/Anvil facility sustainability team decided that the energy assessment project would focus on two distinct sub-projects:

  1. Compressed Air
  2. Water Conservation

The compressed air and water conservation projects were performed in support of the sustainability team efforts.

The Outcome

Compressed Air System Energy Efficiency Assessment
Five Penn State students conducted a facility-wide compressed air system demand-side assessment. The assessment included a survey to identify compressed air system leaks, inappropriate uses, and recommendations to improve compressed air management. We proceeded by first surveying each operation that uses compressed air energy to determine how it is used, the characteristics of the processes and equipment that use compressed air, how it is currently managed, and its costs. During the assessment the students observed facility operations and conducted brief discussions with facility operating personnel. From the data collected and analysis performed, the students prepared a report on recommendations for compressed air system energy conservation options. During the assessment the students identified 42 leaks, 38 of which can be repaired at a cost of $9,500 for an electric energy cost savings of $25,000 per year, giving a payback of less than five months. Repairing these leaks will result in electric energy savings of 400,000 kWh per year, which is 33% of all electric energy currently consumed by the facility’s compressors.

Water Conservation in the Production Process Cooling Water System
Students conducted an assessment to identify water conservation opportunities in the facility’s process cooling water system that provides cooling for the three raw material melting furnaces and two hot metal holding furnaces. Under the direction of a PennTAP senior technical advisor, the students installed ultrasonic transit-time clamp-on liquid flow meters on the make-up supply lines for four of the facility’s cooling water systems, and analyzed the data generated by the meters. The analysis identified opportunities to save as much as 25 million gallons per year for a cost savings of more than $40,000 per year.

Energy Assessment Results

  • 33% electricity reduction/compressor use
  • $65,000 per year cost savings
  • 400,000 kWh annual savings
  • 25 million gallons in water reduction

About the Company

Anvil International
1411 Lancaster Avenue
Columbia PA 17512
Mark Camlin, Environmental Engineer