Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Energy Efficiency (CEE) has recognized the energy efficiency initiative carried out by a wire manufacturing plant owned by Fushi Copperweld (FSIN) in Lincoln County, Tennessee through its 2010 award for "Energy Project of the Year.”
This prestigious award, sponsored by the Association of Energy Engineers in Middle Tennessee, recognizes organizations, individuals, and businesses that establish innovative energy efficiency projects. The Fushi Copperweld’s 298,000 square-foot facility has completed a total retrofit in August 2009 and was chosen for this award.
Fushi Copperweld's facilities engineer, Lynn Patterson, said the plant in Fayetteville, which was opened in 1975, used high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps throughout. These lamps, which operate at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, were expensive to maintain and generated a lot of heat. They needed 20 minutes warm-up and cool-down time before they can be removed for maintenance or replacement. Due to these delays, the productivity of the employees and maintenance crews was less, he said.
Patterson said the benefits of replacing the HPS lamps with energy efficient fluorescent tubes, which functions at just 110 degrees Fahrenheit, include low ambient temperature, instant light in the entire plant, less risk of danger to workers, and saving on cooling costs. Patterson commented that the hot HPS lamps could have easily started a fire if its glass were shattered.
Other energy efficiency measures adopted in the plant include installation of motion-activated sensors throughout the plant. Since not all areas of the plant are active all the time, these sensors save a lot of energy and money. The lights are activated only when movement is detected or when a machine is switched on. These fluorescent tubes are also much brighter and emit a truer, whiter light when compared to the yellow-hued luminescence emitted by HPS lamps. In addition, they last twice as long as the HPS lamps.