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Disturbance modelling through steady-state value deviations: The determination of suitable energy indicators and parameters for energy consumption monitoring in a typical sugar mill
- Mkwananzi, Thobeka, Mandegari, Mohsen, Görgens, Johann F.
- Energy 2019 v.176 pp. 211-223
- coproducts, crystallization, energy efficiency, heat transfer coefficient, imbibition, models, monitoring, prediction, recycling, steam, sugar industry, sugarcane, sugarcane bagasse, sugars, syrups
- The growing emphasis in alternative revenue streams, from the conversion of sugarcane bagasse into energy co-products has prompted a desire by the sugar factories to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency. This study presents a comprehensive overview of the parameters whose steady-state deviation leads to excess energy use in sugar mills. The effect of eight operating parameters on the defined energy indicators was investigated, using a MATLAB simulation of a 250-tonne per hour sugar mill. The captured energy trends were used to develop energy prediction models based on the parameters whose steady-state offsets resulted in excess energy use. High prediction accuracies of over 95% were obtained when the developed energy prediction models were validated for seasonal cane quality and evaporator heat transfer coefficient variations. Increased A-massecuite recycling had a more pronounced effect on the energy used per kilogramme of water in the evaporator unit as compared to the crystallisation unit. Of the eight parameters, elevated imbibition water use and A-massecuite recycling had a cumulative percentage effect of 79% on the overall steam used per tonne of cane and sugar produced. Hence increasing the syrup concentration, decreasing imbibition water use and massecuite recycling are preferred operational strategies for improved energy-efficiency in a sugar mill. Overall, this study strengthens the existing literature by illustrating an approach for developing suitable energy indicators for excess energy use monitoring in sugarcane mills.