Environment – On-site during an Energy Conservation Expert Inspection

More Than 100 Areas for Improvement at a Single Factory

This section takes a closer look at an inspection conducted at Mitsubishi Electric's Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems Works (Wakayama) in March 2010.

I wonder...why was this temperature sensor installed? If the goal is to regulate drain temperature, just use a high-temperature pump.

This is a great power supply method, and it has very little start-up power loss. We should definitely make it a standard.

There is heat loss coming from this open steam pipe. You should put a flange and thermal insulation cover over it.

This steam heater is increasing the temperature, but it is inefficient due to significant steam loss. Since the temperature is low, you should be able to use a more efficient heat pump.

The outdoor unit on this laboratory air conditioning is above the ceiling, but its exhaust should be directed outside the factory to reduce the heat load.

The valve on this through-flow boiler is exposed. To eliminate heat loss, you should use a thermal insulation cover.

You are very thorough about switching off the power on machines that are not in operation. This is a great way to eliminate wasteful standby power.

What is the management range of this pressure gauge? What is the basis for that pressure reading? Can it be lowered?

One of the boilers has stopped. Isn't the pressure too high? Ah, yes, it is. Let's suggest lowering it after we check what the operating pressure is supposed to be.

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On Energy Conservation Expert Inspection

Although this factory has been engaged in thorough energy conservation initiatives for several years, we are very appreciative that the inspection identified 177 areas for improvement. I was present during the inspection, and realized that I had become lax in my view of what was considered normal at our factory. The experts were very good at pointing out how insufficiently prepared we were to respond to fluctuations in production, and how disparate and unorganized our efforts really were.

This inspection was different from environmental audits in that it also told what we are doing right. They acknowledged our efforts and ideas and responded with advice on how to further improve both. This provided much more incentive than simply being told what to do.

Going forward, we will complete a detailed investigation of every action item on the inspection list, creating keywords and prioritizing actions to realize improvements. We will determine new standards for the entire factory and promote further reductions in CO2 and energy usage.

Tsunenori Mori
Deputy Manager, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems Works (Wakayama)

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