By Denna Bowman
The Michelin tyres plant in Dundee has slashed its annual energy consumption after installing a new cooling tower to process water.
According to the tyres company, it is has cut 1,500 MWh from the Scottish factory’s annual energy consumption with the help of the new AC drives.
The equipment, supplied by Emerson Industrial Automation company Control Techniques, controls the speed of fans and pumps and match supply with demand.
When the cooling plant is idling, its energy consumption is now the equivalent to that needed to boil your cup of tea, according to Emerson.
Mike Barklie, Control Techniques project manager, said: “I measured actual cooling requirements and realised that there were further potential savings to be made by putting in variable-speed drives to match the supply of cooling water to demand.
“It was a major investment, but we have achieved a tremendously successful result that has a return on investment of less than three years.”
The fans in the cooling tower are designated as main and standby, the drive for the standby only starting when the demand on the main fan drive exceeds 60 per cent.
On minimum speed, which is one fan at 40 per cent of full speed, the power demand is just 2.5 kW – described by Barklie as “the same as an electric kettle” – some 87.5 kW less than the old cooling tower.