Students help save energy

Emmi facilities in Switzerland have made considerable progress in energy saving in recent years through numerous internal projects. Now, external specialists are helping to identify further potential savings.

When it signed up to the Kyoto Protocol in 2003, the Swiss Confederation also committed to agreeing CO2 reduction targets with companies in energy-intensive sectors – including Emmi. The agreement stipulates, among other things, a 12 % increase in energy efficiency* compared with 2000. Emmi exceeded this target last year.

Improvements are difficult

Emmi has invested a great deal in modernising its energy-intensive facilities in recent years. The level of energy efficiency in most of them is now so high that it is no longer simple to spot further potential for optimisation. A number of Emmi sites are therefore now relying on the support of external experts. Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) maintains close contact with partners in industry and has developed software for them to perform pinch analyses (see box). Emmi also had this type of analysis carried out by students from HSLU, at the end of 2012 in Langnau and in early 2013 in Emmen.

Langnau: saving heating oil is worthwhile

The pinch analysis at the Emmi fondue and processed cheese facility in Langnau revealed potential heating oil savings of around 8 %. This shows just how good energy efficiency at this facility already is. Nevertheless, we wish to exploit this remaining potential and use the flue gas produced when burning heating oil in future to pre-heat water. Specific implementation measures have yet to be defined.

Emmen: valuable waste water

The facility in Emmen also already has a good level of energy efficiency. An energy analysis in 2012 revealed further potential: for example, using heat generated from cooling storage areas and heat from waste water could reduce annual energy costs by around 10 %. Students from HSLU have been carrying out an in-depth pinch analysis on this basis since April 2013. Their final report in the late autumn will show where energy efficiency can still be improved.

Suhr: energy-saving measures planned

Emmi Suhr and Dagmersellen decided to work with the engineering company Lippold on energy issues. The company, which is based in southern Germany, has extensive experience in energy consultancy for dairies and considerable knowledge of milk processing techniques as well as heat generation and refrigeration. Emmi Suhr was analysed by Lippold over two days. The optimisation proposals from the analysis range from simple measures to complex changes to the refrigeration and compressor units. Implementation of the measures is scheduled for next year. Emmi Dagmersellen will also arrange for Lippold to carry out an energy analysis in 2014.

 

Brief explanation
Pinch analysis is a method of minimising energy consumption in process engineering.