Compressed air is one of the most expensive and energy-intensive utilities for manufacturing plants, but the Global Energy Management (GEM) team at Corning’s optical fiber and cable plant in Chengdu, China, found creative ways to optimize its system.
Together, the following three projects are saving 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and about 11,000 cubic meters of natural gas annually:
- Compressed air centralized control – Centralized control enables the system to be controlled automatically controlled to match the plant’s actual compressed air demand.
- Compressed air system cooling water conservation – An electric valve was added to the system’s water line so the water pump can be turned off while the air compressor isn’t being used.
- Compressor heat reuse – The team made changes to the system so heat generated by the air compressor is rerouted to heat the plant’s offices. This means Chengdu office employee are enjoying recycled heat free of natural gas charges. This has saved an estimated 11,000 cubic meters of natural gas, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from driving about 2,400 miles in a passenger car.
These efforts align with Corning’s commitment to sustainability, and saving energy at its facilities around the world through innovative projects.