Today’s blog article is a bit different from our usual contributions: we were recently involved in an unusual project with a client who thinks very much out of the box, which resulted in an ingenious solution that we thought could be interesting for you.
The client: passionate about energy efficiency
Benno Sauer, major shareholder of Sauer Polymer Technology in Germany, has a passion for energy efficiency and a pioneering, enquiring mind. When he re-built his new factory in 2002, he installed a system that recycles the heat generated by the plastic manufacturing process it houses instead of needing a central heating system.
The request: generate energy to light the factory
In 2014 Mr. Sauer decided to take things further, using the heat generated by the process not only to heat the facility, but to generate the energy needed to light it.
Out-of-the-box thinking: use the cooling system
The Colt team designed an ingenious solution that provides significant energy savings by using evaporative cooling and natural air movement in combination with electricity from waste heat from the manufacturing process housed in the building.
The solution: the Chimney Dynamo
How does it work? The Chimney Dynamo itself is installed in an adjacent high-bay warehouse, which also means that it is not visible from outside. Ventilation apertures in the lower part of the chimney provide the necessary air movement within it in the summer months. Heat exchangers installed above the supply air inlet cool the hot air being extracted from the manufacturing area. The outside air which is brought in is heated up by this cooling water circuit and rises within the chimney shaft. Wind turbines installed at the top of the shaft generate energy from the thermal buoyancy of the air. In winter part of the heat energy is reclaimed to heat the facility.
Energy savings pay for the system within two years
The energy savings are so significant that the system pays for itself in just over two years!
And we have the numbers to back this up: Mr. Sauer’s factory was already saving €100,000 a year since he eliminated the central heating system from his factory. With the Chimney Dynamo, he added annual savings of €67,000 for using evaporative cooling instead of air conditioning, and a further annual savings of between €60,000 and €230,000 through the energy generated by the Dynamo.
The Chimney Dynamo not only eliminated the waste of heat, it actually generated energy. That’s an impressive cooling system!