The DOE’s Plant Water Profiler Tool (PWP), developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is a comprehensive tool designed to help conduct a facility level water assessment of a manufacturing plant. The tool, based on water mass balance analysis, helps identify and account for water procurement and use in manufacturing operations, recognize the true cost of water, and identify potential areas for water and associated cost savings. Water-consuming systems in industrial manufacturing plants include processes, cooling and condensing systems for processes, power generation, air conditioning, steam boilers for power generation and facility needs, kitchens and restrooms, and landscaping and irrigation. PWP helps break down the total plant water intake, wastewater disposal, and true cost of water by individual systems in the plant. Thus, it helps the user identify systems that contribute the most to source water intake versus true cost and enables efforts to prioritize water efficiency measures. Results can also be used to establish a baseline and track water use during subsequent years. Further, PWP assesses the water efficiency status of a plant and its individual systems and provides a tailored list of water efficiency measures and opportunities specific to the plant. Thus, PWP is a first step that industrial manufacturing plants can take to identify opportunities for minimizing water use and reducing cost. Additionally, governments or private organizations can use this tool as a survey to help build a database of industrial water use.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kiran Thirumaran is an R&D staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and has been working on industrial efficiency since 2012. Kiran is a Technical Account Manager for the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program where he works closely with over 15 major companies to assist them in implementing energy and water management strategies and optimizing facilities. Through the Better Plants program, Kiran has supported the development of numerous tools and resources for industries including the Plant-Water Profiler (PWP) tool and associated in-plant training. Kiran also leads ORNL’s support activities for the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) which seeks to address water security issues in the United States. Kiran holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University where he was heavily involved with his university’s Industrial Assessment Center.