Industrial Water efficiency Virtual Trainings

Water is a scare resource which, depending on the facility, can be a significant portion of the overall utility budget. With stricter water quality standards, scarcer water supplies, and growing water demand, it has become increasingly important for manufacturing sites to understand their water use and manage it deliberately. The Better Plants program has developed a special series of INPLTs for this purpose. 

The Better Plants program will deliver virtual trainings for Industrial Water Efficiency (Industrial Water VTs) from May 21 to July 9, 2024. The Industrial Water VTs will be performed online by industrial water experts and energy efficiency experts. The Industrial Water VTs comprise eight (8) 2.5-hour online training sessions (2-hours formal training and optional 0.5-hour Q&A) that will be delivered every Tuesday 10:00 AM–12:30 PM ET for eight (8) consecutive weeks. Note: Session 4 will be held Thursday June 13th and will skip the week of June 16th. Participating in the VTs is free and open to all Better Plants partners.  

Participants will be trained on water system fundamentals and undertake a facility-level water assessment, including hands-on training on the Plant Water Profiler (PWP) tool. To maximize the benefits from attending VINPLTs,
homework assignments will be given to the participants at the end of each session and will be due by the next session. These homework assignments are designed to enhance participants’ understanding of industrial water systems, as well as to identify and quantify water savings opportunities. For the last session of the VINPLT, participants are expected to create a summary presentation based on the assessment of their facility, present findings, and share the scrubbed version with DOE. 

At the completion of the VT, Professional Development Hours (PDHs) Certificates will be prepared for the attendees upon request. Participants are expected to collect measurements/data from water using systems in their own facilities perform a water assessment and identify water efficiency opportunities with help from the instructors. To collect the assessment data, diagnostic equipment can be arranged and shipped to the partner’s facility. The Better Plants diagnostic equipment is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Industrial Water Efficiency Virtual Training Agenda

May 21 to July 9, 2024; every Tuesday* 10:00 AM–12:30 PM ET (2-hour formal training + optional 0.5-hour Q&A)
*Session 4 will be held Thursday June 13th and will skip the week of June 16th

Week 1 – Introduction to Industrial Water Assessment; May 21, 2024 

The session will lay out the fundamentals of an industrial water assessment, water baselining and the true cost of water. Participants will learn to identify their facility’s water risk, chart out facility-level water flows, and be introduced to the Plant Water Profiler Tool (PWP). 

Week 2 – Understanding System Level Water Use; May 28, 2024 

This session will focus on system-level water use. Participants will be briefed on typical water using systems (industrial processes, cooling towers, boilers) and learn about the measurements needed to quantify its consumption. The software/hardware tools available through DOE to measure water consumption at a system level will be discussed. 

Week 3 – True Cost of Water; June 4, 2024 

Training experts will complete all remaining aspects of the water baselining activity and discuss the true cost of water in detail.  Data collection challenges along with an overview of the measurements needed to determine the true cost of water through the PWP tool will be discussed. 

Week 4 – PWP Tool: Working Session; June 11, 2024* 

Participants will work with the trainers to complete the water baseline and determine the true cost of water for their facility using the PWP tool. Nuances associated with the facility’s water flows will be discussed and the water imbalances will be ironed out for the facility.   

Week 5 – Identifying Water Savings Opportunity; June 13, 2024 

Training experts will discuss typical water savings opportunities in an industrial facility along with an in-depth look at the pumping, which plays an integral part in a facility’s water system. The checklists available through the PWP tool that helps users identify water savings opportunities will be reviewed. The water treasure hunt will be introduced. 

Week 6 – Virtual Water Treasure Hunt; June 25, 2024 

This session will equip the participants with the know-how to run a successful treasure hunt. Participants will perform a water treasure hunt of the facility with the help of on-site personnel and virtual guidance from the trainers.  

Week 7 – Estimating Water Savings Opportunities; July 2, 2024 

The water savings opportunities identified from the treasure hunt activity are discussed with the group. Participants will learn to quantify the savings associated with the identified opportunities using the appropriate calculators available through DOE. 

Week 8 – Industrial Water System VINPLT Wrap-up Presentations; July 9, 2024 

Over the past seven weeks, VINPLT attendees have been provided homework that focused on building their water assessment model in PWP and then quantify applicable water efficiency opportunities. Attendees will discuss the results from their virtual water system assessment and are encouraged to invite their upper management to attend the wrap-up session. Once completed, VINPLT attendees are given a Certification of Completion from US DOE. 

Get to Know the Presenter

   Kiran Thirumaran

Kiran Thirumaran is a research staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with a focus on industrial energy and water efficiency. Kiran holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and has more than 8 years of professional experience. He has led the development of numerous tools and resources used by DOE’s Better Buildings/Better Plants program and has held several local and international training workshops on energy and water efficiency.