Composiflex plans to install wind turbine to provide facility power

The composites manufacturer also will use a heat-recovery system to heat buildings and a thermal fluid consolidation project that will eliminate electrical power in autoclave systems.

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Composiflex (Erie, Pa., USA), a global supplier of highly-engineered composite products, is making significant strides to improve its operating efficiency with methods that are also environmentally friendly.

The company uses a significant amount of electricity to power production equipment and facility infrastructure. Composiflex is taking steps now to install a wind turbine on its site that will supplement the power it draws from the electrical grid. A wind turbine constructed in an adjacent township has proven cost-effective under wind conditions very similar to those on the Composiflex site. The company is targeting a 30-kW wind turbine.

In addition to providing supplemental electrical power to the facility, Composiflex also intends to use the windmill as an on-site test bed in its development of composite components for wind generation equipment. However, as is common across the region, local township zoning ordinances must be revised to address wind turbine construction before work can begin. 

In addition to supplementing its energy supply, the company will also reduce its overall consumption of electrical power.  Presses and the autoclave used in the production process draw a great deal of power to generate heat. This month, the company will launch a thermal fluid consolidation project that will eliminate electrical power in these heating systems and, instead, use an oil heater fueled by more efficient natural gas to heat all three pieces of equipment. Concurrent with the fluid system consolidation project, the autoclave heat exchanger will be renovated with a projected energy savings of 67 percent. Composiflex will also add a heat-recovery system to offset traditional building heat during winter months. Finally, the current cooling tower drive will be replaced by a variable frequency drive, which is projected to result in 59 percent electrical energy savings as compared to the current motor.