Energy optimisation project leads to €2.5m savings potential in alumina industry – Ireland
About the company
Rusal Aughinish Alumina is the largest alumina refinery in Europe and the largest facility operated by UC RUSAL. Aughinish Alumina (AAL) is also one of the most technologically advanced and energy efficient facilities globally.
The plant was built between 1978 and 1983 and had an initial rated capacity of 800,000 tonnes a year. The current annual capacity of the refinery is in excess of 1.9 million tonnes of alumina. Rusal Aughinish has always been at the forefront of technology in the industry. Year after year it implements the most modern technologies available to ensure it remains one of the top alumina producers in the world.
The facility also produces most of its own electricity requirements using two GE gas turbine sets with associated waste heat boiler. When Rusal decided to improve the efficiency of its cogeneration system, it turned to Maximpact energy expert Gerard for assistance.
What Maximpact did
The project involved using the latest in advanced computational techniques and artificial intelligence to uncover energy savings opportunities in the cogeneration systems.
In order to investigate the energy saving potential, a site survey was completed. Time-stamp data of over 32 process variables linked to the running of the cogeneration systems were collected and analysed, using statistical techniques and artificial neural networks. The purpose of the analysis was to uncover key operational patterns associated with good and bad operational practices.
Findings of the energy audit
The analysis uncovered a savings potential of over €2.5 million with an overall payback period of fewer than 3 years.
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