Energy will remain a vital topic throughout 2012 and beyond. In production, work is proceeding at full speed on economising on energy in the form of fuels (thermal) and in drive systems (electrical). A number of plants have already succeeded in raising the substitution rate for fuels significantly: Target 100 %. Alternative fuels are becoming more attractive all over the world, especially in view of the rising prices for traditional, in many cases fossil, fuels. Technically mature solutions are now waiting for global implementation. Efficient burners for alternative fuels and suitable for continuous operation are now a reality, for example, but the corresponding fuels are in many cases available only in inadequate quantities and/or qualities – if at all. In this issue, we present a range of articles highlighting these topics. An overview provides information on the current status of combustion technology. How to operate a furnace with model predictive control, using secondary fuels, among others, following model-based process optimisation, is also demonstrated in another article. Modern plant technology can take over certain tasks, and shorten reaction times. Energy-efficiency and competitiveness are also the focus of an article on system modernisation achieved by replacing a satellite cooler with a modern grate cooler. This article shows how a system can be modernised and simultaneously prepared for waste-heat recovery and utilisation. Finally, the update of our special feature on fans at www.zkg.de/special tells our readers how up-to-date plant technology generates savings. The underlying principle is unmistakable: the optimum saving is the energy that is not consumed!
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