Tamar Foods saves 23 percent on HVAC energy 08 August 2011

One of the UK's largest producers of pastry-based products is reporting 23% energy cost savings on its HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) plant, following installation of ABB variable-speed drives.

Tamar Foods, which manufacturers 5 million sausage rolls, pasties and pies every week for major supermarkets, installed the equipment at its Callington, Cornwall plant.

"The project was suggested to us by Inverter Drive Systems and we asked them to proceed with a free energy survey of our applications to pinpoint the largest savings," explains Thomas Parrott, health, safety and environmental manager for Tamar Foods.

IDS says the plant's HVAC system was found to account for around 15% of total electricity consumption at Tamar, and recommended retrofitting the HVAC system with 11 ABB standard drives, with ratings from 15 to 45kW.

"Because we use sub-metering, we are able to distinguish the energy costs of the HVAC and refrigeration systems," says Parrott. "Before installation of the drives, we were using 2,600kWhrs a day for the HVAC system. After the installation, this fell to 2,000kWhr – a saving of around 23%."

Another obvious candidate was the 45kW chilled water pump on the company's refrigeration system. All products at the plant are chilled before despatch and the refrigeration system accounts for some 60% of the plant's total energy consumption.

IDS installed a 45kW ABB drive on the chilled water pump, and Parrott says this is now saving the company 43% on the pump's electricity costs, with a payback time of less than 12 months.

"As well as the large saving, the short payback time is also welcome," comments Parrott. "Because of the challenging economic climate, we need to have payback times of less than two years."

He also indicates that Tamar Foods has achieved additional benefits fro the drives installation, including an increase in motor life and reduced maintenance and labour costs.

"These are fantastic savings for us," he says. "They also save CO2 emissions and have contributed to us being winners of the Best Managed Large Business at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards.

"This puts us ahead of our rivals and improves our standing with the major supermarkets, which are all keen to source products from suppliers who can demonstrate a more sustainable production process."

Brian Tinham

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