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INDUSTRY NEWS Continued from page 9

can offer. These include reducing process variability, debottlenecking, faster start- up, mill balance and production stability. Examples include soft-sensor based projects (this means no additional hardware/equipment has to be installed), such as reducing maintenance shutdowns due to flow problems. Another solution to reduce chemical usage and ensure product quality has been developed by analysing the pulp every 30 minutes, for example, along with the performance of brightness controllers. Here the output brightness is estimated an hour in advance by the soft sensor, which allows corrections that result in meeting pulp specifications and saving on chemicals at the same time.

Success story

The Andritz team has come up with an OPP solution to maximise the surplus energy sold by a power plant at a client’s pulp and paper mill in Brazil. This burns the organic material extracted from the wood, which takes place in a recovery boiler plant, producing a high quantity of steam in the process. This steam generates electrical energy for the mill and is also used in the process after passing the turbine, for example, in the dryer machine plant and the evaporation plant.

Alongside the electrical energy consumed by the mill, the plant has the option of selling surplus electrical energy to the municipalities, under a contract that specifies the maximum limits on selling extra power. The challenge was that the extra power sold by the plant was being manually-controlled. This meant that a low quantity of energy was being sold by the mill because the manual operation was falling far short of the maximum limits. On the other hand, if the energy supplied by the mill exceeded the limit, expensive penalties would need to be paid.

OPP: A no-risk product

• No need to install new hardware or equipment

• Full use of equipment – hidden capacity before upgrade

• Positive cash flow during the whole contract – payment from savings provided

• Continuous measurement of savings

• Ongoing R&D to provide the latest state-of-the-art technology

• Field model proven in many different countries

• Knowledge database continuously incremented – accelerating the implementation of

improvements in contracts (weeks not years)

The OPP team used data analysis tools – data mining, simulation in decision-making, expert system and advanced control strategies – to monitor the steam generated by the mill and stimulate the turbines to sell the maximum amount of energy automatically. This strategy means that when there is good steam generation, the control generates the maximum capacity of electrical energy.

This avoids the two main problems hampering productivity – the dead time between good steam generation and the moment when the operator starts to manually increase the energy, as well as the fact that, otherwise, the operator has to work within a margin far less than the limit on sales. The result has been that, with good steam production, an increment of 6 MW/h of generation is achieved. The next steps in the project will use OPP tools to achieve the scenario of improved steam generation. More information from automation

Forest Bioenergy Review acts as a platform for producers to promote the benefits of carbon neutral renewable energy from forest biomass whilst also acting as a shop window for new equipment and techniques being developed for the efficient harvesting and conversion of wood into energy

● Four printed issues per year ● Four E-Newsletters per year ● Website updated hourly ● Focus on forests as energy source ● High quality readership ● Economic advertisement rates


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