The payback on industrial conversion from oil to propane gas (LPG)

No matter how you slice it, the potential energy savings of an industrial oil-to-propane conversion are exceptional. If we assume oil to be priced at roughly $3.50 per gallon, and propane at roughly $2.00 per gallon, propane offers approximately 45% more heat per dollar!

That's just the fuel cost. In addition, it's easier to place propane heaters closer to the point of use in a facility, thereby eliminating long runs of piping to deliver heat. Many oil-fired faciliites also utilize electric hot water heaters; converting these to propane can reduce water heater energy costs by 70%!

Many rural industrial facilities perceive themselves to be solely reliant on oil because of their location, where natural gas is unavailable. An energy-saving alternative that is growing in use is the installation of liquid propane (LPG) tank farms that offer all the benefits of natural gas. Typically, a rural facility can realize 30-40% energy savings through such an installation, but the installation costs can vary widely depending on the site location and logistics. A professional engineering cost analysis will determine whether the payback is worth the cost of the mechanical conversion.

Another factor in cutting oil costs is the dramatically reduced maintenance costs of using propane. Oil burners encounter more problems and require more maintenance.

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What do you think about oil to propane conversation for industrial use? We invite your comments! You may also e-mail questions or potential blog topics to blogfeedback@imec-us.com.