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Improving sustainability performance of heating facilities in a central boiler room by condition-based maintenance

Behzad, Masoud, Kim, Heetae, Behzad, Mehdi, Asghari Behambari, Hadi
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.206 pp. 713-723
case studies, cost effectiveness, energy, energy use and consumption, monitoring, steam, thermography, vibration
Executing a successful maintenance plan during the operation period is one of the essential parts to improve the performance of energy systems. The plan is conventionally regulated by periodic inspections and reactive repairs. In this study, we introduce the condition monitoring of major facilities in a central boiler room, steam boiler, by predictive maintenance techniques such as thermography and vibration analyses. We have diagnosed thermal and vibrational defects, and we used diagnosis results for quantitative estimation of the resource saving by courtesy of fault correction in the system. The probable troubleshooting program does not include only resource saving, but also the environmental, economic, technical, and social aspects. Such various impacts have been measured in the form of life cycle and sustainability assessments.The results revealed that the maintenance program with condition monitoring and probable troubleshooting is more sustainable than the periodic one. The new program can save 591312 kWh of gas and power consumption and 151795 Liter of water consumption in a boiler room in our case study. This is equivalent to the cost saving of 2330 US dollars in resource consumption and 35400 US dollars in maintenance cost. Moreover, the sustainability performance can be improved at least 28%. Such a decent performance improvement implies that the condition monitoring and the predictive maintenance can be a successful strategy in boiler rooms for better sustainability performance.