According to the International Energy Agency, global carbon emissions reached an all-time high in 2012*. The figure? 31.6 billion tons! The environmental ramifications alone necessitate action among companies worldwide. The operating costs associated with such consumption should pique even more attention.
Recognizing the impact of these escalating emissions, Schneider Electric™ has walked the proverbial talk to model how manufacturing plants can achieve real energy efficiency gains and, in turn, savings. Specifically, the Schneider Electric manufacturing plant in Písek, Czech Republic, set an energy-savings goal of 30 per cent over five years as part of the Green Písek program.
Ways to improve energy efficiency
The Green Písek team took a holistic approach to energy management to achieve its 30 per cent goal in May 2013. At the building level, it implemented StruxureWare™ Building Operation software, which enables intelligent energy management of the full HVAC system. Variable speed controls on HVAC ventilator motors, for example, can adjust speed based on ambient conditions to reduce electric consumption, and the system also can kick in free cooling using outside air.
Similarly, a Schneider Electric Lubio system supports smart control of warehouse lighting for significantly reduced consumption when full lighting is unnecessary. The team recognized as well that perhaps the best way to manage energy is to see it. It deployed StruxureWare Power Monitoring Expert software to collect, organize, and present data about the plant’s electrical network for visibility needed for reduced energy use.
Achieve long-term sustainability
Energy efficiency efforts go hand in hand with sustainability drivers. Accordingly, in February, the Písek team started tapping the green energy of a new bio station, which uses Schneider Electric electrical equipment. The Písek plant now uses water heated by this nearby station to heat its facility at large, instead of relying on water heated by a gas boiler. Each GJ (or kWh) from this bio station is 20 per cent cheaper, prompting a project
*CO₂ Emissions from Fuel Combustion Highlights (2012 Edition), March 2013