Aluminum manufacturer switches the lights

Posted August 11, 2008

More than 300 metal halide lighting fixtures on the shop floor were replaced with 1800 T8 high ballast lamps. The initiative had a dual purpose: reducing electricity consumption thereby producing significant cost savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. “Our total energy consumption due to lighting has dropped by more than half,” says Wilfred Picardo, project manager at the facility.

The Project took one month to complete and is expected to save the facility approximately 1700 gigajoules (GJ) in annual electricity consumption or around $43,000 on its energy bill. Based on expected electricity savings, the payback period is around 1.5 years.

The retrofit also resulted in improved light levels and a more comfortable environment for the facility’s 157 full-time employees, says Picardo. “The lumens with metal halide fixtures were 10.2, as opposed to 30.5 lumens with the retrofitted T8 fixtures, which also give us a better spread of light compared to the spot effect shed by the metal halide.”

In 2007, NRCan helped fund an energy assessment of Almag’s gas-fired process equipment. Enbridge Gas provided an incentive to help correct the equipment deficiencies and to assist in retrofitting the company’s forklifts.

This project involved converting the facility’s forklifts from propane to natural gas. “Thanks to the forklift retrofit, we’ve managed to reduce emissions and will save around $24,000 in fuel costs annually,” says Picardo. “It is a much safer gas to use and will help with less back injuries and hence less workplace injury claims as operators do not have to load and unload propane tanks anymore but can drive up to a fill station located outside the plant.”