A multinational pharmaceutical company listed on the New York Stock Exchange tasked CoolPlanet with helping to decarbonise one of its global sites. The initiative was part of a drive by the company to achieve carbon zero in its own operations and carbon neutrality across its remaining value chain.
In October 2019, CoolPlanet conducted an Opportunity Assessment (OA) at the multinational pharmaceutical facility, identifying a range of Energy Conservations Measures. These included upgrades to lighting, Energy Management System, HVAC, Air Handling Units, compressed air, and steam traps throughout the facility, as well as the addition of a solar array, commercial battery storage system, and heat pump.
CoolPlanet undertook lighting upgrades of the existing lighting onsite to LED fittings. This project has focused on the areas of the plant with the highest occupancy levels which have not been upgraded to LED lights. The next follow on phase will be to retrofit all of the remaining lighting in the plant rooms.
Air Handling Units Upgrades
Large Air Handling Units at the pharmaceutical factory were fitted with centrifugal belt-driven fans on the supply & return. These were inefficient from an energy and maintenance perspective. Upgrading offers significant reductions in energy consumption and cost.
The Air Handling Units centrifugal fans were replaced with Electronically Commutated fan walls with built-in variable speed drives (VSDs). Electronically Commutated fans consist of a DC motor with onboard electronics for drive & control. A total of 6 fans were replaced.
The upgrade, including installation, rebalancing, and post-install fingerprint was completed during the summer shutdown in July 2021. This is a scalable project which will be extended to other site AHUs and could also be rolled out at other sites of the multinational pharmaceutical company.
Condensate Unit Upgrades
There are a large number of steam driven condensate pumps on site. These were inefficient from an energy and maintenance perspective. Combining these into a common condensate recovery units offers significant reductions in energy consumption and cost.
CoolPlanet removed 8 steam-driven condensate pumps and replaced them with 2 electric-driven condensate recovery units. The upgrade, including installation and commissioning was complete during the summer shutdown in July.
The replacement of steam-driven condensate pumps with a common electric driven condensate recovery unit is a scalable project which can be extended to the remaining site condensate pumps and could also be rolled out at other global sites.
There was a large number of steam valves that were uninsulated on site. There was also a small number of failed steam traps at the site. These could have been more efficient from an energy and maintenance perspective. Insulating and replacing the steam traps offers reductions in energy consumption and cost, as did valve bag insulation.
Over 150 valve bags and pipework insulation were installed throughout the site on steam distribution pipework. CoolPlanet replaced 6 traditional steam traps with new efficient Venturi-type steam traps.
The upgrade, including installation and commissioning, was completed during the summer shutdown in July.
The installation and replacement of insulation and steam traps is a scalable project which can be extended to other site AHUs and could also be rolled out at other of the pharmaceutical company’s sites.
The site has 4 air-cooled chillers, all containing F-Gas refrigerant. This refrigerant has a high global warming potential number. To facilitate the heat pump installation, one chiller will be decommissioned, thereby removing 28% of the site's F-gas volume.
CoolPlanet will install a new ammonia heat pump using the chilled water system as the prime. The system will consist of 2 new ChillPAC VSD units which will provide the cooling on the chilled water circuit to a setpoint of 6oC. There will be an intermediary hot water loop off the condenser of the ChillPAC units which will feed into the evaporator on the 1 new HeatPAC VSD unit. The hot water loop off the HeatPAC desuperheater will provide 75oC to the plant.
There is currently no onsite generation of electricity with all electricity imported from the grid. It is proposed to install a new solar installation in the car park to facilitate on-site electricity generation. CoolPlanet will install 636 kWp of Solar PV generating approximately 603 MWh of electricity per annum.
The car park solar PV system will deliver scope 2 carbon reductions by providing true renewable capacity. It will also generate electrical energy cost savings in the face of current and what will likely be, persistent energy inflation.
Battery Energy Storage System
The pharmaceutical site currently has no backup capacity in the event of any interruption to the Grid including brownouts and blackouts. The battery energy storage system will make the site more resilient in the face of security of supply issues from the electricity grid and will enhance business continuity. It will also enable more renewables on the grid by providing fasting acting frequency response and generating revenues from grid services.
CoolPlanet will install a 2.5MW/2.5MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) providing backup power functionality to the site. The BESS will also have the functionality to provide UPS support to the site.
The BESS can provide the site with backup capacity for approximately 1 hour in the event of a grid blackout. The BESS will tie into the electrical system onsite and provide revenue from demand response payments through supporting grid stability.