Energy Assessment Helps Kaiser Aluminum Save Energy and Improve Productivity

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This case study describes how a DOE energy assessment at Kaiser Aluminum's extrusion plant in Sherman, Texas, identified significant potential energy savings in its process heating systems. Employees at the Sherman plant wasted no time moving forward with assessment recommendations. First, they adjusted burner controls on one of the main reverberatory melting furnaces to lower excess oxygen levels. They also made some repairs to the furnace’s door sill and jamb to prevent cold air from seeping into it. By implementing these measures the plant achieved annual energy savings of approximately 45,000 MMBtu and improved the furnace’s energy intensity by 11.1% between 2006 and 2007. With project costs of approximately $28,000 and energy cost savings of $360,000, the simple payback was under 1 month.