Clothing Manufacturer Carbon Reduction
BEM Services were contacted by David Nieper Ltd to assist them with their aim of reducing their Carbon Footprint and energy bills. The Managing Director had already instigated some energy saving measures but was unsure how to further reduce his companies energy usage across his three sites.
The company mass produced clothes for retail and this involves printing, washing and staining of various fabrics, which involves different techniques using hot and cold water plus quick drying machines. This meant that the factory used a large amount of gas and electrical power. One machine in particular struggled to heat water sufficiently whilst wastewater was being pumped from the building at around 40 Deg C (an obvious waste of energy). Some buildings had also been fitted with solar panels.
The Client was also keen to use Government grants where possible and we managed to find and apply for funding for this project. This meant that half of our fees were covered by this.
Our first steps were to ascertain the existing energy usage of the main building which was difficult as it had only been open a year and they had used different shift patterns over this time. This was further complicated by the shut down when Covid-19 hit. We also monitored the temperature of the wastewater to find how much energy could be extracted from it.
From this we liaised with heat pump manufacturers to find a way to extract heat from the wastewater and from the hot gas flue (which had a surface temperature of 80 Deg C). We looked at air to air and water to air heat pumps before drawing up some provisional schematics and options for discussion with the Client. This included options such as more solar panels and using the excess heat to heat the office and meeting spaces.
At this stage we calculated the possible energy savings and carbon reductions for each option, and to this we added the financial costs of each along with pay back periods. Through a series of around 10 meetings with the client we worked through all of the options. Each month we were briefing the Government grant administrators so that they knew where the project was going.
In the end the idea of extracting heat from the gas flue was rejected as the capital cost was too high. We did however progress a detailed design for the extraction of heat from the wastewater through an air source heat pump which then pre-heated the process water for the factory. This was fully costed and supported with installation specifications and an equipment schedule. The final design reduced the carbon footprint by 50% under current shift patterns and this would be further improved if additional shift patterns were added. The energy costs reductions were over 40% giving a pay back period of around 7 years. Before we completed the project solar panels on the main building were already installed and providing electrical energy for the building.
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