CI Connects- Wastewater Operations Connect IRT5

Canadian Institute’s CI Connect’s Wastewater Operations Connect

January 25th 2017 at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel

Wastewater Operations Connect

Notes for Session IRT 5 Cost-Saving Strategies

  1. Best practices in energy savings- Key Components of an Energy Management Plan
  • Create a system to track energy usage and costs
  • Perform energy audits of major systems
  • Upgrade equipment, systems and controls to improve efficiency
  • Review and develop electrical supply purchasing strategies
  • Optimize load profiles through shifting operations
  • Provide energy management training to staff

2 Cost-benefit analysis to stretch each dollar- Six Flaws of CBA

Pricing the Priceless- How to put a value to soft benefits such as people and environment

Equity of Tradeoffs- Once monetized, can soft benefits be traded without considering non-monetary differences

Uncertainty and Precaution- How safe is safe and how certain is the outcome?

Distorting the Future- Low discount rate favours the future, high discount rate favours the present. Intergenerational priorities conflict

Unpredictable Technological Advance- New solutions disrupt long term analysis

Unintended Consequences- Biases in selecting alternatives and interpretation of data

3 Creating operational efficiency- A Balanced Approach 4 Maximizing plant capacity

  • Optimizing individual processes vs overall process
  • Output restrictions drive capacity limitations
  • Minimize variability to maximize capacity
  • Redundancy vs reactivity vs risk
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Ideas from first session: -importance of having both senior and junior staff sharing ideas and working together in understanding energy issuse - working with the local energy supplier is very important as they offer many incentive programs as part of provincial targets in energy management. This can result in free technical support grants and other cost savings incentives. - variability of flow creates need to build in redundancy and surplus capacity which goes against the goals of lean operations. Risk of non-compliance vs energy savings needs to be balanced - learn from other agencies on what works and what does not work. Equipment performance, operational settings can be transferable. - Risk was a big topic and the need to balance reliable operational control and factor of safety with energy efficiency -need to look at all aspects of operation, staff knowledge, process needs and sensitivities and operational goals. -need to be aware of objectives of various departments and management levels, energy group wants to save energy, environmental stakeholders want best effluent, operators want to meet regulations.
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Ideas from Second Session: -focus is on blowers as one of the largest energy consumers -toronto looking at ammonia based instead of DO based aeration control. -Toronto has completed an energy management strategy for all water and wastewater facilities -one of most effective strategies is training staff on where and how energy is used. Recommended that staff are trained annually to keep this in the forefront. -There are issues with turbo blowers with some participates -when making decisions every persons bias will influence the decisions -there is risk in new technology and benefit in seeing how it works -to adopt new technology consider small scale pilots, low risk "pull the plug" control gates, seek performance guarantees (transfer risk to supplier/consultant) -"design to work as intended" in design build projects can be problematic when small sub-contractor is held liable for the ultimate performance. Municipality always foots the final bill -there is a struggle with capital projects that don't necessarily meet the objectives resulting in no accountability of the contractor. -opportunity to improve this is to include all the right people during design (these are the front line staff that understand the equipment and controls) to make sure what we are asking for makes sense. -maintenance and operating staff reviewing the engineering and design proposal is very important -make sure the procurement process supports the desired outcome (issue with procurement not aligning with engineering need) -not being able to pre-select or name preferred supplier -there is an acceptance that there will always be something to change or fix after the construction contract is completed. -look at "phasing" as a way to have the final "project clean up project" knowing that we will never get everything we need in the first project. -energy load balancing can be used to -co-gen is a viable option when gas production is sufficient. Example of use of gas for other applications (fleet etc) -Changes from mechanical to blower aeration does save energy -idea of shutting down operations (water site) to peak shave energy) (this is done as part of manual decision making) -chemical savings opportunities can be significant (Toronto piloting chemical dosing for P control) -there is a challenge with monitoring energy in some cases. variability in flows makes energy savings challenging. VFD -idea of controlling at the source (better sewer use by-laws and better I/I control and maintenance) -a metric for energy monitoring based on BOD is a good baseline -consideration of how you run plant (diurnal patterns vs stable control) all depends on your individual plant dynamics. -Toronto trying ATP testing as a predictor for biomass health. But does not seem repeatable. -There is benefit in research and trying new ways to advance technology and application is important.
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Ideas from Third Session: -example of energy manager program that tracks SCADA info and turns it into knowledge that can be used to make better decisions. In this case there are 6 areas that have their own energy targets and monitoring program (ash bridges bay) -Peel region has their own energy group that is partly dedicated to process and energy optimization focusing on optimizing DO control systems. 518 MLD plant (up to 800 peak). Blower control is challenging based on flow and BOD variability. however, increased control is saving money. Critical aspect is making sure operators understand control plan and does not randomly turn on blower. -When peak demand days are predicted, Peel monitors demand and will reduce DO or blower operation. However operational need always takes precedent to make sure plant operation is not overly impacted. -Peak shaving beneficial for larger plants. Smaller plants can be more challenging due to limited technology or operational variability and the fact that the size may not result in a sizable savings. -chemical cost savings are also an opportunity. Can't discount experience of more senior staff and know the practical aspects of operations. This experience is valuable in optimizing an existing plant. However, there still is value in investigating new opportunities (idea that this is the best we can run the plant but what if we run the plant a different way). -energy savings starts with "the guy that turns on the light switch" the operator needs to be part of the process, needs to know why things are being changed, that their input is considered, have to achieve buy-in, the operator begins to OWN the process. Give the operators recognition of what they achieved and how their care and contribution has created the success. These helps with support of the next project -when young operators take an interest in "owning" a problem or a program encourage it to allow the new perspective to grow. -important that senior staff act as mentors for younger staff to build relationship and learn from each other -use of effluent water for plant process water can save significant cost and energy -by doing detailed review you can avoid misguided plant expansion by focusing in on each process and making sure each process is operating properly. ie make sure every part is optimized as part of the overall target. -plant optimization studies should be a living process. -relationship with Council is important. if you can show savings hopefully you can get support for deferred costs that continue to be supported. -often however it is the bottom line at the end of the day. -A perspective of long term asset management and the need for continuous investment (for energy or other needs) is important to maintain and is moving in the right direction. -an obstacle to moving to efficiency can be procurement and finance. Policy may not always align with efficiency or reliability objectives when specific equipment is requested. -supplier participant commented that there are better solutions that are often not the best price and can get lost if packaged as part of the general contract. Better approach is to pre-select. -vendor relationship vs procurement is an important balance and there needs to be a willingness to look for the best "corporate" decision when buying product that has an influence on the overall energy use. -equipment supplier support and training is very important to make sure the equipment is operated as efficiently as possible
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Ideas from fourth session: -most plants have energy monitoring in place for the larger plants or plans that benefit from energy incentive programs. - compliance is the primary focus with energy efficiency being a secondary target. -discussion on automatic operation vs manual operation based on experience. - operational adjustments that minimize energy use can often increase operational risks. -cultural issues around focus (is operator focused on compliance or energy savings). what is most important? -consider operational efficiency at design stage. what is the operational strategy that balances energy consumption with regulatory compliance -can technology and process control help save money. Run a plant as tight as possible (but at what risk). -changes in energy consumer classification limits may result in direct cost saving operations based on strategic peak shaving (global adjustment). Some strategies to manage this are either shut down of a blower or operate a generator. - This program is provided through the energy providers and OPA -IESO manages demand response program where there is a payment for making standby generators available during peak demands -is there a concern with "build in" redundancy ie, if there is a real savings, then I will have to give up some of my budget (or give up some of my staff) -operator mindset can be that approved funding can be lost through cost savings ie spend what is approved. Change in thinking needs to go from "if you dont spend it you lose it" to "if you don't spend it, it just goes back to reserves for future needs" -savings need to be returned to future plant efficiency rather than returned to council for other priorities. -are there different ways of looking at "efficiency" based on costs such as historic cost per resident adjusted for inflation -there may be a knowledge gap at the senior staff/council level to understand what is happening at the front line and how the operation efficiencies can plan into the funding decision. -there is a need to engage the public on how the business works and why the costs are what they are. in light of increasing cost pressures.
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Ideas from fifth Session: -chemical changes in Sarnia (flow pacing of alum) resulted in $30,000 annual savings. -VFD's are valuable change for blower control. - updating in new equipment (advances in technology) are proven to create real savings ie example of UV system upgrades. -power monitoring is a critical aspect of understanding your energy profile -there needs to be a strong link between Council policy and front line activities -discussion on "efficiency by accident" ie fix a small problem which leads to discovery of another problem with triggers another problem...but in the end the overall system becomes better -look for low hanging fruit. -in some cases there can be a disconnect between who manages the energy bills and how the information is disseminated through the organization -Toronto staff provided further information on "global adjustment program" http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Ontario's-Power-System/Electricity-Pricing-in-Ontario/Global-Adjustment.aspx -compliance is paramount over energy savings -there is also the "Demand Response Program" to assist with peak shaving. -had a similar discussion on expansion recommendations that ended up only requiring better understanding of process needs, control and detailed process capacity issues. Conclusion...A clearly defined problem is 80% of the solution. -A clear understanding of the issues being presented and what the broad solution could be is important to finding the right solution. Increasing costs in one area of the process can easily result in savings on other areas of the process. -engage staff by including them in development of multiyear plans, capital plans
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Ideas from Sixth sessions. -when investigating initiatives the focus is for a less than 5 year pay pack for the most part. -description of a solar wall used to pre-heat make up air. -goal is to run pumps during low energy demand period -share information and reports with staff so everyone understands what the operation is doing. - asset management is an important aspect of cost saving strategies but everyone is at different levels of maturity -optimization of chemical processes is an easy area to tackle. -LED lighting and motion censors were identified as low hanging fruit, Use of VFD is quick savings. -operator starting blowers can peak demand -communication with staff is important -keeping operators informed through "bulletins" that let staff know what is going one. issued through email. -idea that email usage does take power so do not use email during peak energy period... -