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Decision Support System for Sawmill Energy Management

Energy, wood waste and greenhouse gas emissions are important issues for the industry due to rising energy costs, costs of disposal of wood waste and a carbon "tax". The development of the Energy Efficiency decision support system tools covers issues that relate to energy and residue use for solid wood processors including: the development of appropriate models, tools & calculators, validation of the tools & building a web-based SWI Energy Efficiency Support Portal.

Figure 1 below shows the 10 areas that were ranked as high priority by SWI members.

Figure 1: Areas of highest priority for a decision support that would deliver value.

The ability of SWI shareholders to access examples of documents and tools, and to work through actual site specific calculations will play an important part in obtaining value from the site. Roll-out of this work is planned for Nov/Dec 2011 to demonstrate the functionality of the site and work through examples with specific site parameters used.

One case study around compressed air showed that by improving efficiency and reducing leaks led to a $55,000/yr saving in power and also an improvement in mill throughput, giving a payback in less than one year.