Hydroelectricity and personal electricity production for lower emissions and greater independenceCase Study HARTING KGaA
The company requires approximately 26 million kWh of electricity annually for its domestic branches. It has been produced entirely from certified German hydroelectricity since the beginning of 2013 and it is almost completely CO2-neutral. In an effort to make itself independent for the long term with regard to energy supplies, HARTING increased the capacity of its personal electricity production in 2011 and 2012 to 490 kW of electrical power by implementing four combined heat and power units. With approximately 6,500 operating hours per year, the four combined heat and power units are already producing 10% of the annual electricity demand. However, due to the lack of heat loss during the summer months, the units cannot operate all year round. The world market leader for industrial connectors invested around one million euros to attempt to eliminate this lack of heat in the summer by installing three absorption systems to produce process cooling water. This measure significantly extends the runtime of the units. The absorption refrigeration systems use the waste heat from the upstream combined heat and power units to produce usable cold through a chemical process. This is then fed into the cooling water network. It is hoped that this investment will increase the annual operating hours of the combined heat and power units by 20% to around 8,000 hours, thus increasing our privately produced electricity to around 3.9 million kWh. “This investment clearly shows that we are continuously improving our environmental performance. We are keeping pace with the EMAS environmental management system which was established back in 1996,” says Dipl.-Ing. Günter Behnke, Department Head of Factory Buildings and Technical Services at the Espelkamp-based company. In 2011, HARTING was included in the Gruppe der Klimaschutz-Unternehmen (“Group of Climate Protection Companies”) for both its measurable and ambitious objectives concerning climate change and its performance in carrying out energy-efficient operations.