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Modern Energy LLC

Intelligent answers to your energy questions.

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Ronald F. Amberger PE
John DeFrees PE
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PROJECT:    Enhanced Steam Condensation
SPONSOR:    Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation

Participated in two major research projects investigating enhancement of steam condensation in utility condensers.  Designed and managed construction of dedicated test facility for testing modular condenser bundles.  Devised operating strategies, programmed automated data collection and control system and directed test program following commissioning activities.  Provided project sponsors with final reports and documentation on results for member-client dissemination.

PROJECT:    Boiler Model Development
SPONSOR:    Rochester District Heating Cooperative

Reviewed and selected boiler modeling techniques for use in the development of a generic computer model for simulating plant performance in support of marketing effort by a district heating cooperative.  Assisted and advised marketing staff on alternative methods of integrating steam service in existing building heating plants.

PROJECT:    Boiler Tube Failure Investigation
SPONSOR:    Rochester District Heating Cooperative

Investigated superheater tube failures in large commercial boiler used for district heating steam service.  Provided simulation of heat transfer processes using commercial and custom software.

PROJECT:    High Pressure Deionized Water System for Desuperheating Station
SPONSOR:    Sithe Energies, Oatka Energy Partners

Designed two high-pressure deionized water systems for use in desuperheating stations operating at 600 and 1,200 psi.  The 600 psi system used a 20 stage centrifugal pump to supply water to the station controlling the temperature of steam being supplied to the cogeneration plant’s thermal host.  The 1,200 psi system used piston pumps to furnish water to a high-pressure desuperheating station used to control the temperature of steam delivered to the 25 MW turbine-generator.

PROJECT:    Steam meter calibration facility
SPONSOR:    Rochester District Heating Cooperative

Designed a calibration facility for steam meters. This facility was used to calibrate customer steam meters. Training of technicians in the use of this equipment was also a part of this project.

PROJECT:    Boiler Plant SCADA system
SPONSOR:    Rochester District Heating Cooperative

Designed a SCADA system for this district steam producing station. The system was designed using extensive input from operators and the chief engineer. A distributed instrumentation system was created and installed to monitor, record and control all of the plant parameters. Daily plant logs were recorded digitally and used for trouble shooting, performance analysis and maintenance purposes.

PROJECT:    Steam Metering
SPONSOR:    Rochester District Heating Cooperative

Worked with suppliers to determine new generation of customer steam meters to be used by the cooperative. Old fashioned mechanical steam meters could no longer be maintained, were inaccurate at low flows or did not register at all. Modern vortex-shedding meters with digital read outs were selected. As a part of this project steam pressure reducing and metering stations were designed for installation at locations of new customers buildings.

PROJECT:    Steam Distribution Stand-By Loss Study
SPONSOR:    Rochester District Heating Cooperative

Determined the heat transfer losses in the steam distribution system. This study combined customer use data, steam generation data and field measurements of enthalpy and trapped out condensate rates to accurately determine the system stand-by losses. This resulted in using reduced pressure in summer months to reduce thermal heat transfer losses in the system.

PROJECT:    PC Fryer Waste Heat Recovery
SPONSOR:    New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Frito-Lay

Investigated options for recovering heat from a potato chip fryer exhaust stack, the primary effluent being water vapor driven off the food product.  Hot water derived from this source would be used to offset plant steam produced in a high pressure boiler.  Potential heat sinks including process and HVAC loads were located and characterized in time series with the source availability.  Recommendations on heat exchanger technologies, sizing and the dependent energy and monetary savings were provided.

PROJECT:    Feedwater Pump Analysis
SPONSOR:    New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Carrier Corporation

This project provided an analysis of the existing motor and turbine driven feedwater pumps to determine what mode of operation was most economical.  A performance map was developed to optimize the pump selection as a function of the plant load, operating pressures and cost of fuel and electricity.

PROJECT:    Steam Plant Requirements
SPONSOR:    New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Granny’s Kitchen

Projected future steam consumption and plant modifications required to support a proposed plant expansion.  Evaluated various strategies to meet the expected demand while minimizing the disruption to the remaining facilities and maximizing use of the existing plant equipment.  Recommended expansion of the boiler plant and other modifications intended to conserve the use of plant steam.

PROJECT:    Steam Plant Performance
SPONSOR:    New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Buffalo Color

Provided an energy analysis of a multiple pressure steam distribution system and boiler plant.  The boiler plant was comprised of several units operating at pressures and loads determined by process requirements.  Devised operating schemes to maximize the overall boiler plant efficiency based on the characteristics of the individual boilers, use of let down turbines and other strategies.  Recommended improvements to the steam distribution system and produced specifications for a new boiler house energy managements system.

PROJECT:    Application of a Condensing Economizer
SPONSOR:    New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Confidential

Conducted and audit of a dairy processing plant that recommended use of a condensing economizer to recover heat an existing boiler flue stack to heat hot water for cleaning and production end-uses.  Provided grant writing assistance that resulted in site securing a $250,000 award for project implementation.  Subsequent installation and monitoring demonstrated boiler efficiency was increased by 10 percent.  Flue gas temperatures for the boiler were reduced by approximately 200°F.  Project results were highlighted in the November 2007 issue of the ASHRAE Journal and other publications of the Association of Energy Engineers.

PROJECT:    Steam metering and economics
SPONSOR:    Buffalo Color Corp

This project involved the steam distribution system in a chemical manufacturing complex.  The goal was to accurately assess monthly steam charges based upon steam meters,  and fuel consumption. Two fuels were routinely used. A complex Excel spread sheet and data input system were created for the monthly calculation of each departments energy cost.