Overreliance on energy from fossil fuels is unsustainable because of their regional depletion
and associated environmental impacts. The British industrial sector accounts for around one
fifth of final energy demand and one third of carbon emissions nationally. This thesis attempts
to quantify the potential for industrial energy efficiency from the current baseline, by adopting
thermodynamic and economic perspectives.
The methodology involves a top-down analysis of energy trends within the manufacturing
sector to determine the baseline against which changes are measured, leading to bottom-up case
studies which explicitly consider the detailed mechanisms affecting energy demand. Top-down
analysis highlights the diversity between industrial sectors, for which a sectoral classification
based on process homogeneity is proposed. It also enables the long term, systemic potential for
efficiency improvements to be estimated and identifies the barriers to uptake.
Bottom-up case studies are better suited to identifying the sectoral potential in the short to
medium term. Firstly, the technical potential for heat recovery from industrial sectors is
quantified by recourse to thermodynamic quality and spatial considerations. Secondly, an
energy and exergy analysis of a glass furnace enables a distinction between avoidable and
unavoidable losses, leading to the identification of economic savings. Thirdly, a process
integration study at a pulp and paper mill based on a pinch analysis and optimisation of a heat
exchanger network highlights economic efficiency improvements.
This thesis demonstrates that realising the full industrial energy efficiency potential requires
improvements to public policy intended to overcome market-related barriers, especially the EU
Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Trust, with additional scope for a mandatory
efficiency standard relating to motors. Energy efficiency has to part of a company’s overall
strategy to be effective. Future work should focus on heterogeneous sectors and the broader
effects on industrial energy efficiency of globalisation and the shift towards services.
|Date of Award||1 Mar 2009|
|Supervisor||Geoff Hammond (Supervisor) & Adrian Winnett (Supervisor)|
- energy efficiency