Manufacturer Reports

High-Efficiency Gas Chillers Help Mexico Plant Achieve LEED Gold

WALTHAM, Mass. — Tecogen announced that its Tecochill STx Series natural gas-powered chillers, chosen for Spellman de Mexico’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, are helping the Spellman facility to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and energy, water, and other resource usage, and become the first industrial building in the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico, to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard.

The plant’s HVAC system was designed and installed by Tecogen’s representative, Calfrost de Mexico S.A. de C.V. of Monterrey, Mexico. The system features three Tecochill CH-150x gas engine-driven chillers, which provide 100 percent of the cooling for the plant’s production and office spaces. Calfrost chose to install the Tecochill units to help the facility to control its air conditioning costs and resource consumption. The system is expected to help the facility lower manufacturing costs by increasing the facility’s efficiency.

“Natural gas-powered cooling is an exciting new idea for Mexico. The world is entering an era of natural gas, and products such as Tecogen’s cogeneration systems and chillers are leading the change to a greener and cleaner environment,” said Arturo Cantu, general manager of Calfrost.

The new 136,000-square-foot facility has been designed to enable Spellman de Mexico to develop additional technical and manufacturing competencies and to increase manufacturing capacity. Spellman de Mexico is a division of Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corp., a leading manufacturer of custom high voltage power conversion products.

Cantu said, “Spellman was looking not only for the best performance in the industry, but also the most ecologically-friendly operation. Tecochill chillers are a proven way to provide cooling. Its high efficiency is projected to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by thousands of tons per year. Based on our calculations, the Tecochill plant is expected to save the facility over $150,000 per year in operating costs, and permanently reduce the plant’s peak electrical demand by 35 percent. The Tecochill chillers were a main contributor toward the facility’s earning of the LEED certification.”

According to Cantu, the high electric rates in Mexico are driving interest in gas cooling. Natural gas prices in Mexico have declined to historic lows as new domestic gas supplies are discovered and greater pipeline infrastructure is built.

“Ultra-efficient and proven Tecochill chillers can help local businesses in Mexico reduce their costs significantly, by over half in many cases, compared to conventional electricity-powered chillers, especially when their waste heat can be utilized in CHP applications,” said Robert Panora, president and COO of Tecogen. “Tecochill chillers utilize natural gas, a reliable, plentiful, and very competitively priced resource in many parts of Mexico. We’re anticipating working with Calfrost on more systems in the coming year, as other Mexican facilities seek ways to control their costs.”

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Publication date: 02/06/2012

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