HVAC energy savings delivered by optimisation of the dehumidification system

Potential energy savings associated with humidity control were identified during a site energy audit

The project:

Potential energy savings associated with humidity control were identified during a site energy audit. Imaichi was selected as the key installation base for the Japan off the grid sustainability initiative, with the target of the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s operations in Japan being carbon neutral by 2015.

As a prerequisite in the development of the integrated sustainability plan it was recognised that the energy usage base load should be minimised.

To progress the energy reduction programme a HVAC pilot project was identified with the following objectives:

  • 1. To reduce HVAC energy consumption whilst having no adverse effect on product quality or safety.
  • 2. To modify the production area air handling units plus the associated fresh air treatment AHUs during the site summer shutdown in the time allowed.
  • 3. To ensure that the savings identified were both viable and deliverable.
  • 4. To pass on the experience of the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s sustainability team to the site team such that they could continue to self-deliver further energy reductions in the future.

Project Challenges:

Most of the HVAC systems in the OSD area had been designed to deliver air with very low relative humidity (RH) (less than 35% RH). The current products manufactured require air to be delivered at less than 60% RH.

This means that the systems are using much more energy than required to meet these conditions. The HVAC system needed be modified to meet current manufacturing requirements.

The system needed to be rebalanced in-line with current guidelines, all without impacting on product quality or manufacturing output i.e. completing and commissioning the systems and revalidating the areas in the timescale available.

To find out more about the project, download the full case study.

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