This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Energy Efficient "Super Boiler" Reaches its First Anniversary
An industrial boiler that delivers 94% thermal efficiency and produces fewer emissions than conventional boilers has operated successfully for a full year, producing high-pressure steam for a rubber parts manufacturer. DOE helped to celebrate the first anniversary of the "Super Boiler" on November 30th at Specification Rubber Products, Inc., in Alabaster, Alabama, where the new boiler has consistently produced a fuel-to-steam efficiency of 93% to 94% and has reduced the annual consumption of natural gas by 13%. The Super Boiler was produced through the DOE-sponsored research and development of the Gas Technology Institute and its partner, Cleaver-Brooks, Inc. By 2020, DOE estimates that this technology could save more than 185 trillion Btu of natural gas, which is enough to fuel more than two million households. See the DOE press release.
The U.S. industrial sector accounts for more than 32% of the nation's energy use, and boilers account for approximately one-third of this energy. DOE regularly works with manufacturers through its Save Energy Now assessments, a part of the DOE Industrial Technologies Program in which energy experts assess, analyze, and identify energy-saving opportunities at some of the nation's most energy-intensive facilities. Since 2005, DOE has conducted more than 300 industrial energy assessments and identified more than $645 million in potential energy savings. For more information, or to apply for an energy assessment, see the Save Energy Now Web site.
While the Industrial Technologies Program has funded the development of specific technologies, like the Super Boiler, and has worked with a large number of industrial manufacturers through its Save Energy Now initiative, the program is now expanding its Save Energy Now activities to the state level. To begin this transition, the program has awarded $950,000 the State Energy Offices in 19 states, or about $50,000 per state. Those offices will pay subcontractors to perform a total of 96 energy audits at industrial facilities. DOE has also formed a voluntary partnership with the State of Wisconsin, which will train and certify 20 industrial energy assessors within the state to perform 100 energy assessments at Wisconsin industries over the next three years. DOE and Wisconsin will share the cost of six energy assessments at dry-mill ethanol plants, which typically use large amounts of natural gas. The Wisconsin partnership could serve as a model for other state-level efforts. See the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Progress Alerts on the state funding and the Wisconsin partnership.