Gaurang Sethi evaluated supply-side energy efficiency opportunities at Caterpillar, a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel electric locomotives. His project modeled operational improvements to optimize economic and environmental performance of a tri-generation natural gas power plant Caterpillar recently acquired. The plant supplies electricity, steam and chilled water to Caterpillar’s facilities in Mossville, Ill.
The model, which utilized hourly data from the previous year, confirmed opportunities to improve inefficiencies in operations and economic dispatch. The analyses further confirmed that by installing a new steam condenser and rebuilding an existing steam turbine, Caterpillar could capture more thermal energy from the plant's exhaust stream. By running in an economically efficient manner the plant is expected to save, at a minimum, nearly $400,000 per year, provide a project IRR of 32%, an NPV of $1.5 million, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 12,000 metric tons per year.
By following Gaurang Sethi's recommendation to install a new steam condenser and rebuild an existing steam turbine at its facilities in Mossville, Ill., Caterpillar could save nearly $400,000 and 12,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.