Jacobs & Thompson heat reclamation and retrofit projects save energy
January 26, 2012 - In 2010, Jacobs & Thompson completed a series of heat reclamation and retrofit projects at its Toronto facility which it said resulted in annual energy savings of about 3000 gigajoules (GJ).
By Alyssa Dalton
For the first heat reclamation measure, Jacobs & Thompson redirected the warm exhaust air on its 50-horsepower compressor back into the facility using an in-line fan, which it said reduced the amount of space heating required during the heating season. Natural gas use decreased by 440 GJ annually, and factoring in the measure’s 14 GJ increase in annual electricity use, the net annual energy savings total 426 GJ (or $3576 per year). According to Jacobs & Thompson, the project’s cost of $12,700 results in a payback period of about 3.5 years– the cost was also reduced with the help of an incentive from Enbridge Gas.
The second measure involved replacing a 10-tonne chiller with a 20-tonne, three-pump chiller to supply a second laminator to meet the increased production demands. The goals were to reduce space heating requirements during the heating season and to remove heat from the production process. The new chiller removes heat from the laminating process machines and recirculates it into the building with an in-line blower, and reportedly saves the company 1010 GJ of energy and $3364 annually. “The retrofit has added significantly to employee comfort in the workplace,” it added. The cost to replace the old chiller was $36,000, and an incentive from Enbridge Gas for the heat reclamation projects helped to reduce the cost.
Block wall insulating and window covering
The third heat reclamation measure involved insulating a block wall of the facility with Roxul mineral wool with a metalized foil surface, providing an R-8 insulation value. To reduce further heat losses, the facility’s single-pane windows were also covered with a 10mm-clear polyester film on the inside. The combined wall insulation and window film have resulted in annual energy savings of about 1500 GJ or $14,179, said Jacobs & Thompson, adding that the payback period for the $29,000 project is about two years. The cost was reduced with an incentive from Enbridge Gas.
In addition to these projects, Jacobs & Thompson also implemented a lighting retrofit at the facility. Inside and outside the plant, the company replaced 416 T-12 fixtures with 165 T-8 and light reflective PL Type fixtures. Before the replacement, the combined wattage for the facility’s fixtures was 62,885 watts and the cost of running the fixtures was $5695 per month. After the retrofit, the combined wattage was 25,578 watts and the operating cost was $2475. In addition, the company said it benefits from a higher lumen output and better colour rendition, and significantly increased lighting levels. The $60,000 project cost, which has a payback period of about 1.5 years, was reduced by incentives from Natural Resources Canada and Toronto Hydro, it added. According to Peter Mauti, Jacobs & Thompson’s maintenance manager, the energy retrofit process went smoothly and no significant challenges arose. “The key,” he said, “is to do your homework, plan ahead, and keep track of the entire project from start to finish.”
Jacobs & Thompson said it is pleased its efforts to date have resulted in measurable energy and natural gas savings. Between 2002 and 2011, the company achieved an overall reduction of 31% in its hydro consumption and a 47% reduction in its natural gas consumption. By 2011, due to the lighting retrofit and heat reclamation projects, Jacobs & Thompson was consuming less hydro and natural gas than it had in any of the years previously, since it started recording this data in 2002. Moving forward, the company said it hopes to keep this momentum and improve its energy performance even more. Plans to finalize the company’s Carbon Footprint Improvement Plan and install rooftop solar panels at its Toronto facility in 2012.