Ryder Industries Ltd. a professional EMS provider, today announced that it has built a new wholly owned plant in China, in Xin Feng city, Jiangxi province. It is notable for its exceptional efficiency in use of energy and water resources. How is this achieved?
The energy saving is projected at 2.1 GWh per year, which is 2100 million Watt-hours per year, or the output of a typical nuclear power station in an hour of running at full power. In China, though, most power is generated from pollutant-heavy coal.
Can you imagine lining up six diesel trucks and running their engines at full power from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every working day of the year? The noise? The smog? The wear and tear?
That is the energy that smart design in Ryder’s new plant will save each year. Three and a half thousand LED light fixtures plant-wide more than halve the cost and energy of lighting. Compressor pumps to drive the pneumatic tools throw off a lot of heat; Ryder recaptures that heat and provides hot water to its people. At the same time, a roof-mounted array captures the heat of the sun to provide yet more hot water and another array supplies electricity.
Efficient air conditioning opened up the South for industry. Efficient heating opened up the North. Ryder’s super-efficient underground energy system combines the efficiencies of both. In the summer, it sucks excess heat out of the facility and buries it underground. In the winter, it fetches heat out of the ground and pumps it into the buildings at about 1/6 of the energy cost of conventional heating.
Ryder hired world-leading sustainability engineering consultants Arup Partners. Following Arup’s calculations, Ryder adopted a six-pronged approach:
1. Optimise the building design and orientation with respect to the summer and winter sun.
2. Indoor climate control based on ground-source energy.
3. Photovoltaic solar electricity.
4. Solar thermal water heating.
5. Energy recovery from pneumatic compressors.
6. LED lighting throughout the facility.
The ground source energy project for climate control was a notable effort: 345 boreholes, each 100 meters deep (easily a 30-story building), requiring about 70 km (40 miles) of underground tubing. These feed an array of industrial-grade heat pumps, which in turn feed the fan coil units to provide the buildings with warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. In the summer, they pump in the excess heat drawn from the buildings, and in the winter they extract heat from the ground and pump it into the buildings.
The heat pumps are a highly developed and reliable technology: you will find them in any refrigerator. Until recently they have not been widely used in connection with underground heat reservoirs.
A greenfield site is required to efficiently drill all the boreholes, and it calls for an extra capital investment. The payoff is huge, operating energy savings of up to 85 percent.
Due to China’s heavy reliance on coal-fired electricity generation plants, the pollution payoff is impressive: over 2000 tons per year of carbon dioxide, seventy tons per year of sulphur dioxide (which washes out of the atmosphere as sulphurous acid, i.e. acid rain) and over thirty tons per year of the smog-producing nitrous oxides NOx.
The plant also will work smart with water. How much water does it take to float a container ship, say a Supramax or a Handymax, 150-200 m long (500-650 ft)? A significant amount once it is loaded up with all its 40 ft containers. That is the amount of water that Ryder’s new plant will be saving each year!
The campus grading and layout have been designed to maximise the capture of clean rainwater while channelling away any contaminated run-off. This feeds the first 500 ton tank. The campus plumbing system has been explicitly designed to handle three types of water: first-class clean municipal water, rainwater and run-off, and finally waste water. A two stage water processing plant (1. Activated Carbon enhanced Filter 2. Ultraviolet sterilisation treatment) takes the rainwater and run-off, and provides hygienic class-two water (usable, but not drinkable). A second 500 ton tank buffers the output.
Ryder’s experience has been that smart design is efficient: it is cheaper to run and at the same time environmentally responsible. As the developing world industrialise is, energy demand and environmental load are going to increase inexorably – and it is up to us all to come up with the vision and drive to improve efficiency.
Ryder Industries Ltd is a contract manufacturer of electronics. With two plants in Shenzhen and the new one in Jiangxi province, it provides a vertically integrated service: a strong development engineering group, plus both plastics and PCBA SMT processes, and finally box-build. Ryder Industries Ltd was founded in Hong Kong in 1979 and is Swiss-owned.