Energy saving

Industrial process heating & PINCH analysis

Production processes are usually very energy-intensive. This is particularly true for production processes that require process heating. It is precisely during the production and use of this process heating that there is usually a significant potential for savings.

Why work with Encon?

Due to our many years of experience in analysing and optimising thermal processes, Encon has developed a step-by-step plan for performing waste heat analyses and heat recovery projects. This enables us to develop interesting energy-saving projects that will reduce costs for companies.

Step 1: Estimating the savings potential and budgeting

The first step in our energy optimisation plan is to analyse the existing installation. In order to find potential energy savings, Encon will pay you a visit and perform a free scan of the savings potential. If you subsequently receive a quotation from us, this not only means that savings are possible, but also that they will be large enough to pay for the investment thanks to the quick cost savings.

Encon has gained unique experience in various applications such as drying processes, baking processes, pasteurisation and sterilisation processes, CIP (cleaning in place), washing processes, etc.

Step 2: Maximum cost savings by performing a Pinch analysis

A Pinch analysis is a method for determining the theoretical potential for heat recovery. Based on the heat and cold flows and the process requirements, a specific solution will be calculated that makes optimal use of the available residual heat.

The data required to carry out this analysis are the input and output temperatures of the flows, their mass flow rates, their specific heat capacity and the acceptable minimum temperature difference between cold and hot flows in a heat exchanger. Our solution provides the minimum external demand for heat and cold, the total capacity for heat recovery and the Pinch temperature. The latter refers to the temperature of the flows when the specified acceptable minimum temperature difference in the heat exchangers is reached.

This solution reduces energy consumption, but offers no information about the practical feasibility, the simultaneity of the heat consumers and the user, or its financial feasibility.

Please click here to view a sample report of a Pinch analysis.

The practical added value of pinch analysis

By comparing the current situation with the result of the Pinch analysis, you can get a good idea of how much of the heat recovery potential is being used. In addition, by applying the Pinch solution and a few simple guidelines, the existing system can be retrofitted. These measures enable us to approach the results of the Pinch solution without major investments.

This retrofit basically involves mapping the current heating system according to the Pinch method, while taking into account the Pinch temperature from the optimal solution. Subsequently, we will check whether the existing system meets the following requirements:

  1. Only heat transfer between flows that both have a temperature above or below the Pinch temperature;
  2. Never external cooling above the Pinch temperature;
  3. Never external heating below the Pinch temperature.

Heat exchanges that do not meet these requirements will have to be modified.

If a completely new heat network is installed, this Pinch analysis provides the basis for the most cost-effective solution. This solution allows for minimal energy consumption and often requires a limited number of heat exchangers because external heat or cold sources are avoided, which reduces investment costs.

When designing a new heat network, additional requirements may be included: e.g. flows that are not available due to their location, toxicity or corrosive character can be omitted from the Pinch analysis. In addition, the potential added value of cogeneration and heat pumps can also be estimated.

Another practical added value of the Pinch analysis is the insights that this method offers thanks to its well-structured and transparent approach. All heat users and heat sources are systematically mapped, and the heat network as well is represented using a schematic approach based on temperature levels. The numerous graphic representations developed in conjunction with Pinch provide new insights and are a good starting point for practical measures.

This approach has proved to be very effective over time. The inventory of the existing installations and of the different heating requirements provides companies with an overview of their (heating) installations that was not previously available. As soon as heat production has been matched to Encon's design, this approach not only results in significant savings, but also greatly increases operational reliability.

Step 3: Designing the ideal, customised system - Engineering

After the Pinch analysis, a design study will be carried out including the dimensioning of the thermal installation. During the preliminary design, the installation will be dimensioned and drawn on the existing technical plans. In addition, all parameters will be mapped to ensure that the new installation works properly. Based on previous projects and our extensive knowledge of the market, we will be able to give you a first and realistic idea of the required budget as early as the design phase. An installation will then be designed which meets heating requirements in the best possible way, while also taking into account the most efficient recovery of residual heat. In addition, Encon can not only provide you with a tailor-made solution and select the most suitable supplier, but can also closely monitor the implementation of your project.

During the engineering phase, all possible imprecisions will be dealt with and the budget that will serve as the basis for the measurement statements during the tendering procedure will be accurately calculated.

Step 4: A good scope statement and a correct comparison of tenders

Being an independent party, Encon not only designs installations, but can also monitor both the tendering procedure and the final installation. A scope statement will be drafted based on the selected concept. After tendering, a comparative study will be made of the investment costs, operating costs, maintenance costs and the technical set-up of the installation. This allows us to create reliable models to predict the final cost of the various options. The scope statement also specifies the main preconditions. Subsequently, the tenders submitted by the various suppliers will be compared in detail. For each aspect, Encon will check whether the tender meets the requirements of the scope statement and prices will be compared. In a second phase, the three best tenderers will have the opportunity to improve their tenders in those areas where they did not score as well as the competition. At the end of this procedure, a final candidate will be selected.

Step 5: Installation follow-up: what you pay is what you get

Once the contract has been awarded, the project managers can also monitor the implementation of the project for you. This will result in less stress for the customer, but, most of all, it offers you the assurance that the work will be carried out according to the scope statement. This type of monitoring ensures that you get what you are paying for.

This type of monitoring ensures that you get what you are paying for: a reliable high-quality installation that will yield at least the savings that have been calculated.