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Diamond Power, Dumbarton

Diamond Power, Dumbarton

In 2007, Diamond Power relocated to an upgraded facility after undertaking a major renovation project to modernise the newly purchased plant. Early in the design stage, the Carbon Trust provided Diamond Power with Low Carbon Building Design advice.

Overview

By integrating low carbon technologies into their new factory, Diamond Power have been able to reduce energy costs from the start of operation with minimum extra investment. In 2007, the company relocated to an upgraded facility in Dumbarton after undertaking major renovation work. Diamond Power produce sootblowers which are used to clean coal-fired boilers at power stations, pulp mills and large industrial sites.

The new facilities house manufacturing operations including, machining, fabrication, assembly and painting. There are also research and development activities and associated office accommodation.

Early in the design stage, Carbon Trust provided Diamond Power with Low Carbon Building Design advice, focusing on the production and warehouse areas, which offered the greatest energy saving potential. This advice was integrated into the procurement specifications for more energy efficient factory equipment and services (lighting, heating and compressed air).

Approach

Diamond Power wished to upgrade the services and plant of their new facility to reduce their energy consumption.

Lighting

The Carbon Trust assisted Diamond Power by assessing the lighting requirements for their new facility. In the workshop, the old lighting was replaced by modern fluorescent units, which were re-arranged to provide improved lighting levels. The new lights in this area reduced power consumption by around 45kW.

In the warehouse and dispatch areas, the current lighting was not sufficient, so high bay lamps were installed. In addition, skylights were installed to allow more natural light to be utilised. This was undertaken whilst the roof was being replaced.

Compressors

Two new variable speed compressors were installed to provide compressed air to the factory. These are installed in a duty/standby arrangement to allow them to operate efficiently with changing compressed air demands.

Variable speed compressors are more energy efficient than fixed speed units as they do not need to run continuously. An idling fixed speed compressor is wasteful, using as much as 70% of the full-load rating.

Fans

The warehouse and dispatch area have high bays where warmth from the gas-fired heaters rises to, away from ground level where it is required. The Carbon Trust advised Diamond Power to install destratification fans to re-circulate the warm air back down to floor level. The fans increase the efficiency of the heating system by 10-20%.

Heat Recovery

A mechanical ventilation system is adopted in the Diamond Power factory to remove waste heat from the compressor room. Up to 90% of electrical energy supplied to a compressor can be lost as waste heat.

The warm air, removed from the compressor room, is used as additional space heating in the workshop. This has the additional benefit of keeping the compressor room cool, reducing the intake air temperature to the compressor. This improves the compressors efficiency by approximately 1% for every 4°C reduction.

Performance

Specifying energy efficient services increased the initial outlay for Diamond Power, however cost savings are made during operation due to reduced energy consumption.

The table below depicts the measures adopted, the additional capital cost (compared to less efficient alternatives), cost savings and payback periods.

  Additional Capital Cost Reduction in Energy Consumption Estimated Cost Savings Payback Period
Re-lighting workshop £75,000 270 MWh/year £20,000 3.7 years
Variable speed compressors £14,000 33 MWh/year £2,500 5.6 years
Heat recovery system £5,000  - £1,500 3.3 years
Destratification fans £3,000 119MWh/year £3,000 < 1 year

Lessons

Diamond Power have reduced their on-going energy costs by considering energy efficiency at design stage. Expert advice from the Carbon Trust helped them select and procure the most appropriate services for their new factory facility.

For an initial extra investment, Diamond Power have reduced their exposure to future energy price increases. Additionally, loading on key equipment has been reduced, leading to longer life spans and reduced maintenance costs.

Also, the staff have a more comfortable and well-lit environment in which to work.

Savings

The best estimates for the energy, cost and CO2 savings accrued are:

  • Annual electricity savings of 304 MWh and gas savings of 171 MWh.
  • Cost savings of around £27,400 per year.
  • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 163 tonnes per annum.

Links

Diamond Power

Carbon Trust

 

Resource Efficient Scotland supported the preparation and presentation of this case study for the Retrofit Scotland website.

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