As part of its drive to improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon impact, Axion Polymers has signed up to a 'Demand Response' system that cuts its factory energy usage at times of peak demand.
The Salford-based company is believed to be one of the first plastics recyclers in the UK to take part in the power-saving initiative, which is administered by Enernoc for the National Grid.
By switching off production at times of electricity grid overload, Axion reckons it will save around Euro 6,000 a year on its fuel bills. Measuring equipment provides live data on power demand, enabling Axion to monitor its energy efficiency online.
Since becoming the UK's first polymer producer to gain a certified Carbon Footprint label for its Axpoly® PS13 post-consumer recycled polystyrene derived from retail packaging waste, Axion has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 10% in 2012 and 15% by 2015.
"When the grid's getting overload, we get 20 minutes notice to turn off some of our power and if we can do that successfully, we get a big reduction in our power costs," explains Axion Polymers General Manager Gary Welsh. "Achieving the required 200 kilowatt reduction is not always possible, but we managed 241 Kw for one hour recently and this all helps our savings.
He adds: "Its payment by results. At most times we can switch off for an hour or so because we've got well-designed shut down and restart software and the extruders remain hot, so this doesn't affect our plastics recycling process. By dropping demand, this helps to prevent using another power station somewhere at short notice. Environmentally and economically, it has to be a good thing."
About Axion Polymers
Axion Polymers is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients within the recycling and process industries on the practical development of new processing and collection methods.
Source: Axion Polymers