Software Tools

Process Heating Efficiency Improvement

(Download this Flyer[pdf])


Introduction: The challenges for the near future are the need for the development of new solutions for sustainable energy supply and increasing energy prices. The general tendency with increasing energy prices will continue because of an expected increase in energy consumption by 50% during the next 25 years.


Within this context the importance of rational use of energy is increasing from day to day. According to the actual energy prices the payback time for the implementation of the latest energy saving technologies has been cut by 50% during the last 3 years in many applications. One of the best options for energy recovery from flue gas is preheating of the combustion air. In special applications the energy saving potential is between 30 and 70% compared to the current situation.


Potential for energy saving in industry: By using the flue gas enthalpy for preheating of the combustion air and by a reduction of excess air ratio an improvement of energy efficiency of 15 to 30% in case of air preheating and 5 to 25% in case of excess air reduction could be achieved at process heating equipment according a study of the US Department of Energy. The target of the European Commission is a 20% reduction of energy consumption until 2020 by an improvement of energy efficiency!


Software tool for the calculation of the energy saving potential: In order to estimate energy saving potentials in process industry FlammeConsulting has developed a software tool which compares the current situation with an optimized situation of the process heating equipment.

























The energy saving potential will be calculated based on a reduction of excess air and a recycling of the heat from the flue gas for air preheating. Based on the actual fuel costs the annual cost reduction will be given. The calculations can be carried out for different kinds of fuel and different flue gas temperatures of the process.



The example calculation shows for a flue gas temperature of 1200 °C that with an reduction of the excess air from 30% down to 10% and with a relative air preheating from 0,75 a total fuel saving of 58,7% is possible compared to cold combustion air. The relative air preheating is calculated by


ε = (T air – T ambient) / (T flue gas – T ambient).


That leads in the actual example to an air preheating temperature of 904 °C. Relative air preheating in that range is state of the art with modern burner systems like ceramic recuperative burners or regenerative burners or central regenerative systems. The fuel can be selected in a pull down menu. The calculations have been carried out for methane. The results are comparable with natural gas as fuel. The air ratio of the current situation can be filled in directly or can be calculated via the measured oxygen concentration in the dry flue gas. In order to optimize the excess air ratio the appropriate oxygen concentrations in the dry flue gas will be given.


The “Economy” button opens the second window which is more related to the improvement of the economy. For a given installed capacity in kW and with the daily operating hours, the annual operating days and the fuel costs the annual fuel consumption for the base situation (high excess air and cold combustion air) and for the optimized situation (reduced excess air and air preheating) will be given. Additionally the energy consumption per ton of product will be compared. Finally the fuel costs saving capability are given. The savings are given for one year, two years and three years. With this figures the payback time can be estimated very easy based on the investment in excess air reduction and air preheating technologies.


The software tool is dedicated to people who are the decision makers in industry and politics, plant managers, engineers and technicians from plant operating companies as well from engineering and consulting companies.


Please contact FlammeConsulting, if you want to have more information about the software tool and its possible applications. The cost for the software tool is 1395 Euro plus VAT.



Download:  Presentation for this software tool:

Process Heating Efficiency Improvement_Presentation.pdf



Energy and Combustion Technology

Dr. Michael Flamme

Kunstwerkerstraße 161

45136 Essen, Germany




Phone: +49-(0)201-8159265

Mobile: +49-(0)173-5171172