Energy Efficiency through Waste Heat Recovery in Automotive Manufacturing Related Industries 2011-01-0327
Heat treatment is a vital process in the manufacturing of automotive parts. Heat treatment is needed to alter the physical properties of the materials used for manufacturing the parts. The need for altering the physical properties of the materials is governed by some specific processes such as cutting, machining, drawing, and properties needed during service.
Heat treatment ovens/furnaces use a large amount of energy. An improvement in the energy efficiency of these ovens/furnaces can result in significant energy savings. There are several proven technologies which are available for improving the energy efficiency of these ovens/furnaces including but are not limited to: combustion efficiency improvements, minimizing flue gas losses, change of furnace/oven indoor atmosphere, oxygen enrichment, plugging of unwanted openings, and minimizing wall losses. Supply chain industries to support the implementation of these energy efficient technologies in some cases can be very energy intensive themselves. For example, minimization of wall losses requires improving the integrity of the oven/furnace shell. This in turn requires the installation of good high temperature refractories. Manufacturing of high temperature refractories itself is a very energy inefficient process because a lot of waste heat is generated during this process and is not recovered.
The current paper describes a case study involving waste heat recovery in a high temperature refractories manufacturing plant. The study was based upon the applications of Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST). The objective of the study was to make the manufacturing process of high temperature refractory energy efficient so that the cost of refurbishing the ovens/furnaces used in the automotive industries can become more affordable and ultimately result in reducing the energy costs making automotive industries more competitive.