Using energy efficiency potentials is good for the bank balance

Saxony-Anhalt’s companies with creative solutions for the efficient use of resources

Waste heat from a neighbouring glass factory is used to cultivate sweet peppers and cucumbers in the Magdeburg Börde. The baked goods manufacturer Wikana Keks- und Nahrungsmittel GmbH from Lutherstadt Wittenberg uses waste heat for innovative refrigeration technology, saving on energy costs. And the energy concept in Leuna Chemical Park not only lowers natural gas consumption but above all minimises costs for the customers. Win-win situations, both for the companies and the environment. Because scientists and companies in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt have proven their resourcefulness in the field of resource efficiency. The integration of ground-breaking energy technologies into the production processes of precisely the most energy-intensive branches of industry saves not only energy, but also gives rise to promising business ideas. Intelligent energy and resources management from Saxony-Anhalt is thus also one of the areas that entrepreneurs and researchers at INTERSOLAR in Munich want to utilise to strengthen their position. These also include f | solar, which, together with its affiliated company f | glass, has made the slogan “Green products - green factory” its aim.

Rising energy costs, growing competition, and climate protection legislation have a substantial influence on business success, especially for energy-intensive industrial and production operations. Sustainable and efficient processes are becoming more and more important for resource-sparing and thus cost-saving production. Saxony-Anhalt has established itself as a centre of excellence for the research and development of intelligent solutions relating to the generation, storage and efficient use of energy and resources. Numerous projects for the use of energy cycles in production processes have been transferred from theory into practice. These confirm the efficiency and versatile possibilities of energy and resource management and the technical innovations from Saxony-Anhalt.

Tomatoes and peppers from Saxony-Anhalt

One of the region’s latest and most impressive projects relating to energy management and intelligent networking of companies is currently growing in Osterweddingen south of Magdeburg. Hothouses are being constructed by Joris Gewächshäuser GmbH & Co. KG in the immediate vicinity of the float glass factory f | glass GmbH. A group of investors around the Dutchman Jorg van de Wilt will in future be cultivating tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the Magdeburg Börde. From the region, for the region, thanks to innovative energy technology. Because f | glass not only supplies the panes of glass for the hothouses, which saves on transport costs and makes construction more environmentally friendly. “The installed 4 mm solar glass is manufactured at f | glass and delivered directly to the construction site. This lowers transport costs and is easier on the environment. The outstanding light-permeability of our nanocoated solar glass promotes plant growth substantially,” said Dr. Thomas Belgardt, Managing Director of f | glass GmbH. Vegetable production will also benefit from waste heat, rainwater and CO2 from f | glass. Temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Celsius arise during glass production. Up to now, f | glass has had to expend a large amount of energy to cool down the heat discharge. In future, this previously unused energy will be utilised for the hothouses. Vegetable production will become profitable due to the lower energy costs. In the Sülzetal industrial estate, companies are being rationally networked for sustainable, efficient and future-oriented production. Here one can clearly see how the joint commitment of Investor Jorg van de Wilt, f | glass GmbH, the Land of Saxony-Anhalt, the administrative district and the municipality is leading to success.

Cooling with heat – innovative refrigeration from Saxony-Anhalt

For more than 10 years, InvenSor GmbH in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Berlin has been developing and producing thermally powered refrigerating machines, an environmentally friendly and efficient refrigeration technology. Because the machines not only use water as a refrigerant, but also receive their energy from waste heat, such as from thermal power stations, air compressors and industrial processes. No electricity is required for the refrigeration itself, only for the integrated display. This technology has been a lucky find for the baked goods manufacturer Wikana Keks- und Nahrungsmittel GmbH, also from Lutherstadt Wittenberg. The waste heat from a baking oven, which had been unused for years, now drives three LTC-series absorption refrigerators. These are used to refrigerate a raw materials warehouse and to keep packaging areas at constant temperatures. This technology has been successfully applied in practice and has already saved Wikana around 60,000 Euro in energy costs. In addition to this, emission levels are substantially lower. A win-win situation for the environment and the companies.

When natural gas is replaced by steam

InfraLeuna GmbH, operator of the infrastructural facilities at the largest-area chemical site in Germany, has substantially reduced its natural gas consumption by optimising the generation and use of process steam. A large number of energy efficiency measures have been identified and implemented on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the steam supply and the steam requirements of the customers. “Our uniquely flexible energy network minimises our customers’ energy costs and creates clear competitive advantages,” says Dr. Christof Günther, Managing Director of InfraLeuna. Thanks to the measures, energy costs have been reduced by around 6.5 million Euro and CO2 emissions by 51,000 tonnes per year. “For us, the energy concept of InfraLeuna makes Leuna the site with the most attractive energy conditions. We are achieving a new level of reliability, efficiency and competitiveness,” emphasises Alex Segers, CEO of DOMO Chemicals, from the customer’s perspective. This major project has already been the winner of the 3rd Prize of the Energy Efficiency Award of the German Energy Agency (Dena).

Saxony-Anhalt’s innovations for greater resource efficiency

The leading market of energy, machinery and plant engineering, and resource efficiency is among the main focuses of the regional innovation strategy of Saxony-Anhalt. By 2020, the state is aiming to expand its position as a system provider for resource and energy-efficient production, and also increase the international demand for the related know-how of research and industry. More and more successfully implemented projects for greater resource efficiency and the use of energy cycles in production processes are contributing to the achievement of these aims. The state of Saxony-Anhalt supports science, research, development and companies in further extending the available possibilities for intelligent energy and resource management.

More examples:

  • Energy Harvesting from Duropan GmbH Halberstadt – development of thermal transmitters for the conversion of waste heat into electricity
  • Energy saving project of Pilkington Automotive Deutschland GmbH in Aken, winner of 2nd Prize in the Energy Efficiency Award 2016
  • Waste heat recovery and utilisation at Agrarfrost in Oschersleben