SUNConferences, Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering 2014

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A CONTROL ALGORITHM APPROACH FOR OPTIMIZING ENERGY RESOURCES THROUGH POWER GENERATION FOR A SOUTH AFRICAN STEEL WORKS PLANT
Philip van Zyl Venter, J. H. Wichers, M. van Eldik

Last modified: 2014-06-26

Abstract


Numerous engineering plants have varieties of processes, where individual process flows are dependent on previous processes and operated by default or manual settings. Initial raw material feeds may fluctuate over time, possibly resulting in inefficient use of energy resources. This paper describes a study on power generation capabilities of such a plant. Off-gasses from various steel production processes are utilized in boilers; producing steam for the Works. Excess steam is used for power generation. The Works experienced unstable power generation, due to fluctuations in available steam. This resulted in regular turbine trips, causing power generation losses, additional gas flaring and reducing machine life expectancy.To address this problem; off-gas and steam production data were analyzed over three months. A control approach was set up, where the algorithm’s objective was optimum power generation, for a 5MW and 30 MW turbine. Results showed potential power generation increase over 26% was possible, still not eliminating trips. The algorithm incorporated the possibility of burning natural gas in a boiler, when needed. This scenario could have led to no trips and an increased generation capacity of over 48%. Additional power generation’s financial impact  overcame the high cost of utilizing natural gas for power generation purposes.


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