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Abstract

Energy and facility operational costs are a large part of the overheads of Irish manufacturing and distribution companies. This paper deals with the design and implementation of low-carbon technologies and engineering innovations which have evolved over recent years, including integration of network-based programmable logic controllers (PLC), to enhance interconnectivity and control. Recording of the energy consumption of production plant and associated services, including heating and ventilation (HVAC) systems, compressed air systems, water usage/ recovery, power systems, information technology support systems and facilities were undertaken prior to commencing upgrade works. The paper describes how upgrade and retrofit works were identified following research into the latest equipment and controls, and these were undertaken as part of three separate projects on a phased basis. The initial project concentrated on simple achievable savings in common services for the complete facility, and included compressed air, exterior lighting, water heating and control of the main incoming water and gas services. Completion of the initial phase brought about an ongoing annual saving of 146,600kWh in energy consumption within the facility, reducing direct costs. The reduced energy consumption savings achieved from the first phase were used to part finance capital expenditure on the other two project phases, and combined with the timing of equipment upgrades and periodic maintenance, as in the case of lighting, over a three-year period. The second phase incorporated changes to the main heating and ventilation systems, along with IT infrastructure and centralised control of production processing machines. A major lighting upgrade to LED of the production and warehouse lighting fittings was undertaken as part of the third phase project, with occupancy controls integrated into zoned areas. Continuous monitoring and evaluation over the three years has enabled adjustments to systems, ensuring optimisation of savings and a further annual reduction of over 450,000kWh in energy. The savings have been achieved in a period of expansion in facilities and production, combined with a reduction in the maximum import capacity (MIC).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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