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Our internal processes, buildings and logistics at Hager Group are just as energy efficient as our products and solutions. For example, we have calculated our carbon footprint at our eight larger sites and now know exactly how much energy they consume and which carbon emissions they produce. A next step will be to calculate the energy saving potentialities and exploit them wherever possible.
At the Heltersberg site in 2013 and 2014, for instance, we put two combined heat and power systems into operation which simultaneously generate electricity and heat for the site. On top of this, a photovoltaic system was installed in the summer of 2015 with a power rating of 240 kWh, and a micro gas turbine was added shortly afterwards which generates environmentally friendly heat and more than 500,000 kWh of electricity a year. This enabled us to significantly optimise the energy and climate balance. Between 2010 and 2014, these and other measures already led to a 15.5 per cent increase in energy efficiency, i.e. the proportion of energy per production unit that we do not produce ourselves but purchase from the market.
The eco-balance is not only noticeably better in production areas, but also in office and other buildings. We have installed 440 photovoltaic panels with an overall surface area of 714 m² and a maximal output of 145 kW on the roof of Hager Forum, which was opened in 2015 in Obernai, France. During daylight hours, the building can now cover 60 per cent of its own energy requirements. In bad weather conditions, on the other hand, its 4,200 square metre roof is used to collect water. This collected rainwater is then stored in an underground cistern and used for toilet flushing and garden irrigation in and around Hager Forum. By doing this, Hager Forum saves around 2,000 cubic metres of drinking water every year.
All this is just the beginning. We aim, in the spirit of sustainable development, to manage our company and operations at Hager Group in an ever more energy efficient and climate friendly way – a goal we shall continue to pursue in the future.
Showcase building in Blieskastel
Since 2014, we have been demonstrating how buildings can use energy intelligently with our new Research and Application Centre in Blieskastel. The building covers an area of 3,000 square metres and can be described as a kind of green power plant: at least two-thirds of its energy requirements are self-generated all year round. On the roof, solar panels produce electricity from the power of the sun, while a highly efficient combined heat and power plant converts gas into heat and electricity in the basement. Energy generated is either stored in a 100 kWh buffer tank or used immediately, depending on requirements. The heart and brain of the building is, however, an innovative energy management system which, on the one hand, coordinates three energy sources at once with its photovoltaic installation, combined heat and power plant and the public power grid, while weather forecasts and the building’s energy use are recorded on the other. Self-learning and foresighted, the building develops strategies in this way to ensure a more intelligent storage and efficient use of energy. At 218 kWh/m3 per year, the building's energy consumption level is 8.5 per cent below the particularly strict German specifications. Its carbon emissions amount to just 52 kg/m2 per year. No wonder it was ranked among 100 "Excellent Places" in the 2015 Land of Ideas competition!
Funding for energy-efficient projects from ERDF and Rhineland-Palatinate
Tehalit, a Hager Group company situated in Heltersberg, was looking for possible sources of funding for energy efficiency improvement projects when it came across the funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund and the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate.
This funding is used to support energy-efficient projects by covering up to 20% of the project costs (maximum sum: €200,000).
Tehalit is currently investing in two major financially intensive areas of innovation in the context of digitalisation, standardisation and energy management.
1. New generations of extruders that are not only digitally linked but also over 25% more energy-efficient than their predecessors. The number of types is currently being reduced from 5 to 2.
2. After upgrading to LED inserts, the lighting in the toolmaking and aluminium departments and in metal production is now over 60% more energy-efficient than before.
Both of these projects were submitted by Michael Schwarz, responsible for energy management at Tehalit, and are now being funded. Click here to view the news article including the poster.