Reduced emissions

Parmalat won a National Energy Efficiency Award for its work in reducing energy consumption at its Lidcombe manufacturing facility in Sydney.

New investments help Parmalat cut carbon emissions

Effective measurement of energy consumption is the first step in identifying and controlling inefficiencies.

Award-winning work by Parmalat at its Lidcombe manufacturing facility in Sydney saw 19 electricity meters installed to measure consumption by refrigeration and air compressors, packaging moulding machines and other large equipment on the processing floor.

The manufacturer also installed five steam, natural gas and compressed air flow meters.

This equipment enables Parmalat to follow energy consumption and efficiency ratios of the main energy users on site being the boiler house, refrigeration system and compressed air. The ratios follow the energy input provided (natural gas or electricity) against energy output produced (refrigeration, steam, compressed air). The site also follows usage efficiency by recording daily steam and compressed air produced against finished product manufactured. 

This project won a National Energy Efficiency award from the Energy Efficiency Council last year, and has enabled Parmalat to measure the reduction in carbon emissions from different projects.

Optimising boiler combustion, steam and water distribution systems can lead to increased capacity and considerable savings in water, energy and chemicals.

One of the energy efficiency projects Parmalat implemented recovers lost heat from boiler blowdown to pre-heat make up water. The boiler now produces steam more efficiently.

Another project looked at optimising the combustion efficiency of the boiler by controlling the amount of excess air to natural gas ratio. These additions saw Parmalat reduce its annual carbon emissions by 98 tonnes.

Parmalat in Lidcombe implemented a project on its refrigeration system which optimised the load applied on the compressors and the condensers according to outside temperature and humidity conditions.

This investment has seen a reduction in carbon emissions of 522 tonnes.

Energy assessments save Tasmanian farmers thousands

Tasmanian dairy farmers have saved thousands and could potentially save up to $1 million more from their power bills, thanks to energy efficiency assessments conducted as part of the “Smarter Energy Use on Australian Dairy Farms” project.  

While Tasmanian electricity is largely sourced from renewable hydro energy with no GHG emissions, the focus on dairy shed energy efficiency nationally has the potential for significant savings in carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations.

DairyTas coordinated the delivery of 200 dairy shed energy audits (close to 50% of Tasmanian dairy sheds) between December 2012 and February 2015 as part of a national Dairy Australia project funded by the Department of Industry and Science Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program. 

The audits were done by tradesmen with a good practical knowledge of dairy sheds and involved a review of 12 months of billing data, a shed visit (typically during milking) and follow up visit/communication with specific recommendations.  

Chris Whish Wilson, an independent refrigeration mechanic who carried out over 120 of the audits, said most savings could be achieved with just regular and targeted maintenance.

“We saw some really big differences between sheds,” Mr Whish Wilson said.

“There were some sheds where thousands of dollars could be saved very quickly with very little capital outlay, and others running very efficiently but they could still save money by switching to time of use contracts or by removing unnecessary extra meters which have an annual charge.

“Some sheds had both efficiency and billing savings, and if farmers implemented all the recommendations made, savings would average in the range of $3000 - $5000 per farm.”

Energy efficiency savings alone saved each farm that undertook an audit an average of $1080 per year.

Tasmanian Project Manager, Rachel Brown from DairyTas, believes there have been other benefits.

“We now have some of the best energy use benchmarking data in the country thanks to the results from 200 shed assessments.”