Guardian Industries’ Glass Group has invested more than £4 million to develop and implement a customized waste heat recovery system (WHRS) at its Goole glass manufacturing plant. The company embarked on the WHRS project at the start of this year at the East Yorkshire plant.
The new system will provide half the electrical energy needed to operate Guardian’s full float line, which in turn will reduce its dependency on the grid and effectively reduce its CO2 emissions by some 6,000 tons per year. In terms of environmental impact, that’s the equivalent of taking nearly 2,200 cars off the road.
Float glass manufacturing requires a large amount of energy. Running a furnace at about 1,600ºC around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days a year, consumes a lot of natural resources. The nature of the float glass process means that heat inevitably escapes the furnace.
Guardian’s new WHRS uses a complex method of capturing waste heat from the furnace without disrupting the delicate convection currents, which continually flow inside the furnace as the batch material is turned to molten glass. This system represents a new approach both for Guardian and for the glass industry as a whole.
Pablo Isasmendi, managing director for Guardian Industries UK, said:
“This is another great example of Guardian striving toward operational excellence. We constantly look for new ways to innovate and improve the float glass process and this demonstrates to the entire industry that there’s a viable way to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from the float glass manufacturing process.”
As a result of this investment, Guardian not only will be producing some of the most energy-efficient coated glass products available, it also will reduce its carbon footprint, making Guardian glass the smart choice now and for the future.
Guardian is a diversified global manufacturing company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with leading positions in float glass and fabricated glass products for commercial, residential and transportation applications; automotive trim; and the distribution of building products. Through its research and development centers (Science & Technology Center for glass and Advanced Development Center for automotive), Guardian is at the forefront of innovation. Its automotive trim group, SRG Global, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of advanced, high value coatings on plastics. Guardian, its subsidiaries and affiliates employ 17,000 people and operate facilities throughout North America, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. For more information, please visit www.guardian.com