Chemical Plating Facility

An energy savings of $164,000 per year was achieved by installing Variable Frequency Drives and programmed logic control on 435 HP worth of Ventilation Fans and Agitation Mixers.


BASELINE
This Electro-Chemical Plating facility operated motors totaling 435 HP around the clock to meet Air Quality Ventilation standards and to agitate the chemical baths. Production varied depending on line, but was less than two shifts, 6 days per week. During non-production hours, the required Ventilation volume was much reduced as was the needed chemical agitation.


RECOMMENDATION
Considering the Fan Affinity Laws which state that flow volume is proportional the cube of the Power, great Energy Savings can be achieved with Variable Frequency Drives. The Ventilation Fans were programmed to operate at the lowest speed required to achieve the needed ventilation at the two respective operating points: production and non-production. The agitation mixers were programmed to spin at the minimum speed and number of hours needed to maintain the proper mix within each respective chemical tank.


ENERGY SAVINGS
Substantial energy savings was realized with the Variable Frequency Drives that reduced the fan/mixer speeds based on production need. Before the installation, these motors averaged 270 kW every day, all day. Afterwards, their average demand was 96 kW during non-production hours and 185 kW when the plant was in normal operation. The annual energy savings verified was 1.3 Million kWh and $164,000 per year. The operation of these motors is a significant portion of any Electro-Chemical Plating Facility; the savings realized with the VFDs and Programmed Control reduced their electricity consumption by 30%.