CHP solves machine tool manufacturer’s supply problem

A machine tool manufacturer had long been plagued by low-voltage electricity from the local utility.  The low-voltage was wreaking havoc on the company’s sophisticated, high-precision equipment, and the shop floor literally turned into a sauna on warm days, with temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius.

The company embarked on an improvement project with the following aims:

  • Secure consistent and reliable power
  • Providing a comfortable indoor climate for workers

An assessment study was carried out to explore options, which highlighted that the heat that caused so much trouble on the shop floor could be used as a potential energy source. Additionally, several other energy wasters were discovered.

In a first step company invested in energy-efficiency improvements to reduce its overall energy needs and in a heat recovery system to produce cooling power. 

The main investment was made into 25 micro turbines powered by natural gas (called combined heat and power, or CHP plants).  With the USD 1.5 million investment, the company reduced its electricity and gas costs by more than 20%.  However, much more important to the company – the CHP provides a stable supply of energy and at the voltage level required by the company.

Encouraged by these successes, the company has in the meantime invested in two on-site wind turbines (one 250kW and one 850kW), further increasing its independence and improving its security of power supply.