Industries, which are mainly responsible for high energy consumption, need to invest in research projects in order to develop new managing systems for rational energy use, and to tackle the devastating effects of climate change caused by human behavior. The study described in this paper concerns the forging industry, where the production processes generally start with the heating of steel in furnaces, and continue with other processes, such as heat treatments and different forms of machining. One of the most critical operations, in terms of energy loss, is the opening of the furnace doors for insertion and extraction operations. During this time, the temperature of the furnaces decreases by hundreds of degrees in a few minutes. Because the dispersed heat needs to be supplied again through the combustion of fuel, increasing the consumption of energy and the pollutant emissions, the evaluation of the amount of lost energy is crucial for the development of systems which can contain this loss. To perform this study, CFD simulation software was used. Results show that when the door opens, because of temperature and pressure differences between the furnace and the ambient air, turbulence is created. Results also show that the amount of energy lost for an opening of 10 min for radiation, convection and conduction is equal to 5606 MJ where convection is the main contributor, with 5020 MJ. The model created, after being validated, has been applied to perform other simulations, in order to improve the energy performance of the furnace. Results show that reducing the opening time of the door saves energy and limits pollutant emissions.
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