Energy Considerations for New and Existing Paper Machine Vacuum Systems, 2006 Papermaker’s Conference
Paper machine vacuum systems can have from 500 to over 8000 installed horsepower. However, many of these systems are not well managed and their operation and contribution to the dewatering process are often misunderstood. Inefficiencies within the vacuum system can increase the operating power requirement for a few or all of the vacuum pumps within a system. Studies of over 80 vacuum systems over the past 5 years have revealed opportunities for energy savings in almost every system.
Energy reduction potential has varied from fifty to several hundred horsepower per system. Examples are presented and discussed to demonstrate where energy consumption can be reduced within the vacuum system. Vacuum system audits are the necessary tool used to uncover the often hidden problems. Solutions are usually cost effective and examples are presented within. Energy savings for all of the examples presented are based on a utility cost of $0.04 per kWh ($260/hp-year).