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Essential Asset Monitoring

Fired Heaters

Fired Heater Energy represents two-thirds of the cost of operating a modern refinery (not counting the cost of the raw material crude oil).  Of this, the largest component is furnace fuel.  Small savings in fired heater fuel usage will result in significant savings in cost.


Challenge

: Saving fuel without shortening the operational life of a heater is a challenge for process engineers.  Additional challenges may come into play with potential greenhouse gas regulations requiring reduction in emissions, thus operating efficiently will become even more important.

Solution

: The heater pass flow rates and temperature control scheme that operates optimally will minimize coke laydown on the tubes due to tube hot spots.  With coke laydown, the heat transfer efficiency will degrade which results in more fuel usage and shorter operation between turn-arounds. If the price of fuel gas is valued at $3.50/MMBTU, and a typical 100,000 bpd crude unit uses 5,000 MMBTU/day, a refiner spends approximately $17,500 per day on fuel alone (in excess of $5.7MM annually).

Heater Optimization
Emerson’s SmartProcess® Heater Optimizer delivers energy savings and more stable operation of fired process heaters.  This fast implementation solution combines advanced regulatory and combustion control modules to optimize operation of multi-pass process heaters. Combustion controls maintain safe operation while continuously operating closer to maximum efficiency.

Additional information to improve fired heater reliability, safety, measurements, and performance:

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