The Utilities Area does not always get the required attention in a refinery, except when it is not working properly or experiences an unscheduled shutdown. The utilities area (steam, condensate, instrument air, electricity, chemical additives, etc.) is one key area that can slowdown or shutdown the entire refinery, thus reliable operations in this area is a must.
Challenge: One key challenge is to efficiently and reliably distribute steam to all of the refinery process units, yet have the flexibility and responsive performance required to minimize disturbances as demand fluctuates. The best advanced process control (APC) for process units cannot perform up to its potential if the steam header pressure is cycling, causing additional process constraints.
For example, a distillation column reboiler cycles the process vapor up the column at the same frequency the steam header pressure cycles, causing inadequate separation.
Solution: One solution to minimizing the disturbances of steam demand changes is the use of advanced process control. Properly implemented automation solutions can manipulate several process variables at the same time to minimize the disturbance as steam demand changes throughout the refinery. The end result is a responsive steam header system that delivers consistent steam on-demand at the desired pressure.
• Boiler Optimization
Emerson's SmartProcess® Multi-Fuel Boiler solution optimizes boiler operations by minimizing steam header pressure deviations and maximizing the combustion of less expensive fuels. The solution increases boiler efficiency by reducing the level of combustion air while meeting all emission constraints. SmartProcess® Multi-Fuel Boiler also helps eliminate the need for manual operator interventions.
• Water and Wastewater
Emerson is the water treatment, and wastewater treatment industries’ premier source of proven control technology and application expertise. We combine technology, industry knowledge, and experience with a broad range of instrumentation, valves, actuators, and other products and services. Emerson’s automation solution capabilities offer our clients the most comprehensive, knowledge driven approach to improving performance.
• Process Improvement and Optimization
With automation technology changing dramatically over the past decade, some refiners are not fully aware of what automation options are available. In addition to helping select the right technology for the application, Emerson’s consultants provide sound advice on how to improve operation performance and reliability.