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Friday, May 27, 2016

Remote Capabilities Improve Efficiency for Ethanol Plant in Competitive Thai Alternative Energy Market


  • The Thai Roong Ruang Energy Co., Ltd.’s bio-ethanol plant provides sugar production, namely molasses and bagasse, as feedstocks for the production of fuel ethanol.  This will help Thailand reduce its dependence on imported oil and fossil fuels

  • InduSoft Web Studio was chosen for this project for the flexibility of communication options, as well as the ease of configuring applications for smartphones and tablets.

  • The Plant’s Production capacity rose to over 120,000 liters per day, and current plans include an expansion to 300,000 liters. Maintenance costs have been greatly reduced.

Figure 1: The Thai Roong Ruang Energy Co., Ltd.’s bio-ethanol plant at Wangmuang District, Saraburi Province in Thailand. The ethanol plant has a production capacity of 120,000 liters/day.


 

Thailand remains committed to renewable energy initiatives, with a target of 25% of energy coming from renewable sources like biofuels by 2021. The target for ethanol biofuel production is 9 ML/day, and the country is well situated to supply ethanol, with E10, E20, and E85 stations spread across most areas of the country. 

In 2008, Thailand’s former Deputy Prime Minster and the Chairman of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) joined together in a ceremony to inaugurate Thai Roong Ruang Energy Co., Ltd.’s bio-ethanol plant in Thailand as a part of a cooperative effort between Thailand’s Office of the Cane and Sugar Board (OCSB), Ministry of Industry, and NEDO. The project’s aims included the promotion of efficient energy use and environmental protection, and the project was supported by the Japanese government with machinery, equipment and technology for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

The Thai Roong Ruang Energy Co., Ltd.’s bio-ethanol plant at Wangmuang District, Saraburi Province operates the TRR group’s ethanol plant, leveraging over 60 years in the sugar cane industry. The new project expands the ethanol business by using by-products from sugar production, namely molasses and bagasse, as feedstocks for the production of fuel ethanol.
  
This will help Thailand reduce its dependence on imported oil and fossil fuels, which are a contributor to greenhouse gas. By reducing carbon emissions, Thailand hopes to help combat the effect of global climate change, while improving the country’s energy security, and reducing the costs of ethanol production.

In order to accomplish these goals, the engineers of Thai Roong Ruang Energy decided to develop a new system to visualize the plant and alert plant managers and operators to potential problems throughout the facility. The increased efficiency and reduced downtime offered huge potential savings for ethanol production.



Figure 2: This screen allows users monitor the CCTV in real-time.

The Challenge

Before the installation of the new system, the ethanol plant relied on a DCS, with closed circuit television and database connectivity. However, with the new equipment provided by the Japanese government, Thai Roong Ruang Energy required a SCADA software capable of connecting to hardware from multiple manufacturers easily.

It was also decided early on that remote visualization and management of the plant was important to the success of the project. Thai Roong Ruang Energy was soon drawn to InduSoft Web Studio as a solution, thanks to the flexibility of communication options for databases and equipment from multiple manufacturers, as well as the ease of configuring applications for smartphones and tablets.

Secure remote access was very important, with information required by multiple levels of users within the plant. The goal was to offer operators the ability to visualize and control vital plant processes in real time, allow engineers and other technical workers to detect and troubleshoot problems in their processes, and give managers contextual information that would allow them to take quick action when required. 

InduSoft Web Studio offered the perfect solution for flexible SCADA software that could incorporate the new hardware, communicate with existing systems, and offer secure remote capabilities that would allow every level of user within the plant access to the information necessary to make plant and machine operations more efficient.

 

The Solution

The SCADA solution created with InduSoft Web Studio monitors and controls the production of ethanol from molasses. The application monitors every stage in the material preparation process, including yeast propagation, fermentation, yeast/mud treatment, distillation, dehydration, boilers, generators, and utilities throughout the plant.

 

Figure 3: This screen allows users monitor the power meter in real-time.

The full solution allows Thai Roong Ruang Energy to access and manipulate centralized data and to configure, change/update, or monitor their equipment, projects, and systems all over the world using a standard web browser. In addition, all engineering functions, such as database configuration, graphics drawing, system management and troubleshooting can be managed remotely. Security for the application leverages the tools in InduSoft Web Studio, such as the Secure Viewer thin client, and a distributed server to manage access. 

With OPC and InduSoft Web Studio’s open-platform flexibility, Thai Roong Ruang Energy was able to easily integrate the existing DCS, Equipment Efficiency system, CCTV, and databases into the SCADA solution.

 

The Results

After installing the new system, Thai Roong Ruang Energy was able to realize the benefits almost immediately. Production capacity rose to over 120,000 liters per day, and current plans include an expansion to 300,000 liters in the near future. TRR Energy hopes to expand the current SCADA solution to include additional plant processes. 

A direct result of the remote capabilities has been a remarkable decrease in maintenance costs throughout the plant. Operators and maintenance engineers can respond to issues from any location worldwide, and the result has been a sharp increase in machine efficiency coupled with reduced costs. In the competitive field of alternative and sustainable energy, this improved efficiency offers Thai Roong Ruang Energy a substantial edge over competitors.



Figure 4: InduSoft Web Studio is used to monitor the ethanol process in real-time, via web browser from anywhere in the world.


For more information contact your local distributor or InduSoft directly at info@indusoft.com or 877-INDUSOFT (877-463-8763) or 512-349-0334.


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