Abraxas Energy Consulting was contracted by AVX Corporation to conduct an ASHRAE Level 2 Audit of their manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico. The manufacturing facility is a 203,600 ft², single-story electronics manufacturing plant with warehouse space. The purpose of the work was to identify savings opportunities and reduce energy and water consumption.
Before the first site visit, utility data and existing building documentation were reviewed for a better understanding of how the facility currently functions. The onsite assessment included reviewing building and equipment data, interviewing site personnel, observing energy-related equipment operation, HVAC systems, lighting, building envelope, and water/plumbing systems.
Abraxas identified 16 energy and water conservation measures while onsite. Some of these measures include installing new solar photovoltaic (PV) carport structures and more energy-efficient motors on a walk-in refrigerator. The compressed air system and HVAC system showed significant savings potential and were the main focuses of this study.
One of the largest energy and cost savings measures was related to air compressor savings. While surveying the plant, many leaks were found in the compressed air system. Some of the leaks were large enough to be heard while the machinery was operating. It was recommended that the major leaks, like those that were easily audible, be addressed first. Then, during scheduled downtime, an ultrasonic leak detector would be used to identify smaller holes. These repair measures alone would save about $53,000 per year. Another measure identified during the course of the audit included the recommendation for installing Venturi air nozzles. This technology amplifies the air volume by entraining and accelerating the surrounding air, resulting in a volume increase of up to 25 times the initial compressed air volume. These nozzles utilize less compressed air to produce equivalent (or improved) blow-off capabilities. The Venturi nozzles would reduce the amount of compressed air used by over 60%, yielding over $25,000 in annual savings. Once our findings in the compressed air system are addressed, AVX Corporation will realize savings of up to $78,000 per year.
The measures identified will result in a total cost savings of $312,370 per year, and a simple payback of 4.7 years. AVX would reduce their energy consumption by 376,723 kWh per year in electricity and reduce their peak load by 809 kW.