Laundry Industry Considers Long Term Energy Management

August 14, 2014 By Karen Henry

laundromat-energy-manageThe laundering sector is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by 35 percent over the next five years, according to an article in Laundry and Cleaning News International. Before embarking on this effort, the industry publication says that several factors need to be considered.

Laundry and linen and uniform rental facilities must first implement any energy-savings initiatives that focus on basic, low-to-no investment items, such as ensuring that washing machines and dryers are operating at their designed capacities.

The facility should then examine its heat and energy needs to determine and install an appropriately sized combined heat and power (CHP) plant. Power and waste heat must be in balance with the overall energy needs of the laundry. The article advices laundry engineers to draw up schematics showing the heat requirements of each area of the laundry to determine how much energy is needed to power the equipment under normal operations, as well as the temperature at which the energy is needed. 
CHP engineers can use the information to determine the maximum amount of energy they can recover in a usable form and the cost of the equipment needed to do this.

Lastly, the publication advises laundry facilities to take advantage of split rinsing and low-temperature detergent technologies. Split rinsing involves using an extra pipe and pump to draw relatively clean water from the press tank of the tunnel washer and inject it into the center of the rinse zone. This increases the rinse efficiency so that relatively little fresh water is needed in the last part of the rinse cycle. Innovations in detergent technology have made it possible for cooler-water wash cycles to achieve the same results that were previously only attainable with water at high temperatures.

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