Case Studies in Systems Optimisation to Improve Energy Productivity

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
September 2010

The purpose of these case studies is to demonstrate how systems optimisation can be used to improve energy efficiency and productivity in a wide range of industrial applications. They were developed through companies' participation in the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program. Examples from three companies highlight different aspect of systems optimisation:

 - Simplot optimised its refrigeration systems by upgrading motors to variable-speed drives, which enabled a much finer level of control, and applied new control algorithms to their programmable logic controllers (PLCs), to optimise the power consumption of their refrigeration plant. The ability to access real-time data also allowed the company to respond quickly and avoid lost production during an electrical failure.

- AngloGold Ashanti found that significant productivity improvements could be achieved by modifying the software logic and control algorithms of their PLCs, without the need for new hardware. This has allowed the company to increase throughput and reduce downtime at its crushing mill.

- Worsley Alumina first optimised several individual processes within the refinery, and then implemented multi-variable, predictive real-time optimisation to improve efficiency and productivity at an overall system level.