5 Steps to Reduce Energy Consumption in

Table of Contents

Upgrade to energy-efficient machinery, enhance insulation, install smart thermostats, switch to LED lighting, and adopt solar power to cut energy use.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances

One of the saving places where manufacturers can see the biggest reduction in energy consumption is the replacement of old equipment with new energy-efficient models. Traditional pulping equipment often requires too much power because of the inefficient motors and due to operational technology becoming too old. Manufacturers have the opportunity to reduce the energy consumption by 30% if they invest in new equipment that uses the latest advancements in energy efficiency. For instance, the modern pulp molding machine which includes the latest advancements such as power-saving mode which is automated and improved hydraulic system can save 50,000 kWh each year. On average, the cost of electricity is approximately $0.10 per 1 kWh, which means that manufacturers can save almost $5,000 on their electricity bills each year.

Another important measure in the pulp molding process is choosing high-efficient dryers. Older systems are considered to be inefficient and lose too much heat, which makes up a significant portion of the energy. By using the modern dryer with the heat recovery system allows the recycling of heat from the exhaust gases. It is reported that this technology leads to 40% of energy saving on heating the dryers. Also, the improved thermal efficiency leads to more stable temperature control and, thus, shorter drying times.

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Improve Insulation and Sealing

One of the surest ways to make large energy savings can be found in the area of molded pulp production. Better insulation and sealing of equipment and facilities provide a direct avenue to significant energy savings. In pulp molding factories, the losses can be especially large when it comes to heat leakage through badly insulated steam pipes, drying chambers, and other equipment. High-quality insulation materials applied to these areas can substantially reduce the thermal energy loss. For instance, considering a medium-sized pulp molding factory with either uninsulated steam pipes or using outdated insulation material, a switch to new, high-performing insulation could easily cut the heat loss by a substantial degree up to 70% in some areas .

This equates to up to 200,000 kWh annually . With the typical industrial energy cost running at around $0.07 per kWh , source suggests that this kind of energy saving would result in roughly $14,000 annually. Sealing technology is also crucial, especially for drying ovens, where most parts of the equipment are doors and access points that can be opened and left unsealed indefinitely. Properly fit sealing strips and automatic door closers, for instance, reduce heat losses by around 20% . The process is not only more efficient, reducing energy loss, but more practical and faster, causing the product to dry more evenly.

Install Smart Thermostats

A revolutionary move toward energy consumption reduction has been integrating smart thermostats into heating and cooling systems in molded pulp production facilities. These devices cut energy usage to a minimum by automatically optimizing temperature in correspondence to real time and production. In case of a 24/7 production schedule for an average pulp molding facility, requirements for heating might fluctuate significantly over the entire 24-hour period. When the optimum condition for product drying during peak hours might be warm temperature, at night lower heating might become necessary, however, traditional thermostats keep the same temperature around the clock.

Smart thermostats work dynamically, reducing heating or cooling when there is no production. This reduction can amount to an average of up to 25% cut in energy. In other words, if the annual costs for heating and cooling are $50,000, installing smart thermostats could save the facility at least $12,500. Saving are ensured by smart thermostats recording patterns of the facility’s operation and adjusting heating and cooling to required temperatures whenever the facility is active. Furthermore, the added bonus of lowering energy consumption is that smart thermostats produce extensive energy reports that allow reviewing information about additional possible saving opportunities. It is crucial to have such appliances control the environment and temperature because it directly impacts the produced materials’ characteristics.

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Use LED Lighting

Making the switch to LED lighting for molded pulp production facilities is one of the most efficient strategies when it comes to decreased energy consumption. With their much higher energy efficiency, longer lifespan, and overall better light quality, leds are superior to fluorescent and incandescent bulbs in every way. As an example, a typical production facility running on fluorescent lightning would require a significant amount of power, with lighting consumption reaching up to 35% of the facility’s total energy use.

Therefore, switching the lights to Leds would decrease energy consumption on lighting by about 60%. If a certain facility used 10.000 kWh on fluorescent lighting every month, lowering the required kWh amount to 4.000 would provide massive savings over time. Property electricity costs around $0.12 per kWh, so the savings on this monthly expense will total $720, and the annual savings will be $8.640. While they are much more expensive initially, the leds also reduce the cost of replacements since their lifespan is measured in tens of thousands of hours.

A standard fluorescent bulb will last about 10.000 hours, while a regular LED can last for 50.000 or more, providing the facility improved lighting and manufacturing capabilities for a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, Leds are simple in nature, and due to their better light, there will be fewer mistakes and less time wasted in the cleanup process. Overall, implementing LED lighting is one of the best choices any pulp molding facility can make if they are looking to lower their environmental foot print and improve overall efficiency.

Adopt Solar Power

One of the best ways to decrease energy consumption and minimize the use of resources in molded pulp production processes is to integrate solar power. Directly converting sunlight into electricity is a unique and highly effective solution, which is considered to be renewable. To calculate the size of a solar power system necessary for a medium-size molded pulp manufacturing facility, should first observe the facility and gain information about its size.

For example, a medium-sized molded pulp manufacturer consumes around 1,000 kWh per day, which means that taking advantage of sunlight the plant can produce up to 700 kWh of the required energy . Considering that the facility cannot work every day, if the manufacturer works 300 days a year, the facility obtains up to 210,000 KWh of solar-produced electricity.

Solar power also provides considerable financial benefits. While the cost of the solar panels system for medium-size production plants starts at $100,000-$200,000, the savings on electricity of such scale may greatly exceed the initial costs involved. For example, manufacturing facilities usually pay an average rate of about $0.15 per kWh of electricity, which creates annual savings of not less than $31,500. As a result, the payback period of the medium-sized molded pulp production facility will not exceed 7 years. Additionally, the majority of states and regions provide bonuses, such as tax brakes and incentives, which considerably decrease the net cost of the solar panel system for business from $100,000 to $50,000. After obtaining the payback, the facility obtains very cheap electricity for the next 25-30 years. It is also worthy of mentioning that the model provides price stability and business is protected from the prices of ordinary energy sources. The enhanced sustainability provided by the lowered greenhouse emissions will not only attract customers but possession of this feature by the business can benefit from it.

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