Co-Generation System at a Food Processing Facility

Grace Food 1

Our client’s overall objective was to reduce and control the cost of electricity across its Jamaican operations and facilities.

VIRTUAL was commissioned to perform an Electricity Cost Reduction Study for a food processing facility in Kingston 11, Jamaica, to identify major electricity cost reduction opportunities. The facility produces ketchup, canned beans, and bottled beverages.

VIRTUAL reviewed the existing facility wide energy usage and costs as per the utility bills, performed an analysis of the operating data to determine thermal and electrical load profiles, identified energy use patterns and determined the design basis for self generation.  VIRTUAL used energy and material balances to evaluate alternatives for co-generation and renewable energy systems and conducted a financial analysis of the alternatives.  In our analysis, VIRTUAL determined that the greatest heat sinks in the facility are the two Bunker C oil fired steam boilers with a combined capacity of 350 hp.

VIRTUAL identified and evaluated more than ten Co-Generation and self-generation alternatives to reduce the electricity cost and improve the energy efficiency of the facility, including:

  • Use of a high pressure steam boiler capable of switching between Bunker C oil and natural gas and a back pressure steam turbine (BPST) to provide 300 kW of electricity and process steam at 100 psig to reduce load on the existing Bunker C fired steam boilers. The remaining thermal energy from the BPST system would be used to produce hot water for the Clean in Place (CIP) process, and to produce chilled water using an absorption chiller.
  • Use of a 200 kW propane gas fired microturbine to provide electricity and chilled water using a 60 TR exhaust fired absorption chiller.
  • Use of a 1000 kW propane gas fired reciprocating engine to provide electricity to be wheeled to other of our client’s facilities, with hot water generated at the food processing facility used for CIP and boiler feedwater preheating.