Energy bills boil over

Posted on 1 Nov 2011 by The Manufacturer

Rising energy costs and a tough economic climate mean that businesses of all sizes are looking for innovative ways to cut costs.

As has been promoted by the Carbon Trust over the last few years, updating energy intensive equipment can be a simple and cost effective way to reduce running costs. McGills of Kensington has found a solution to its high energy costs by doing just that.

By switching three ageing steam boilers for a new high-efficiency one from CFB Boilers, the company has reduced its energy bills by approximately 40% every year, and has even been able to cut a shift from production, saving valuable time and expenditure.

McGills of Kensington operates a large production site and network of retail outlets throughout London. Guided by the principles of speed, efficiency and reliability, the company has built up an enviable reputation as an ‘exclusive’ service provider, and now enjoys an extensive list of clientele including many of the capital’s finest hotels, and both corporate and private clients.

To fulfil demand and deliver on its strict service level agreements, McGills’ production works operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Historically, steam was supplied by three vertical boilers, however, when two of them began to fail, McGills of Kensington Director, Rezza Khoshnam, took immediate action.

“We pride ourselves on providing a first class service to our clients, so not delivering on our promises is unthinkable. As soon as the original boilers started to become problematic, I contacted several steam boiler specialists for help. CFB Boilers went above and beyond all of them in the service they provided – they were very quick to solve the immediate issues, and also suggested a solution to improve the business in the long term,” he said.

As business continuity was the most urgent priority for McGills, CFB Boilers arranged for a hire boiler to be delivered and installed on site the following weekend, to compensate for the failing system. The Essex-based steam boiler manufacturer then set about finding the best permanent solution for McGills.

As Derek Parish, Director of CFB Boilers explained: “We knew straight away that a larger horizontal steam boiler would be far more efficient, cost-effective and better-performing than the three vertical boilers – it was just a question of how much.

“To get an accurate calculation, we carefully analysed the energy consumption of the existing system and then compared this with our Universal Series boiler. We estimated that McGills could reduce their energy costs by around 40%, and because this was such a high figure, it meant that our solution qualified for a Carbon Trust interest-free loan.”

Impressed by the predicted energy savings, fast payback period and pro-active service from CFB Boilers, Mr Khoshnam placed his order. The existing system was replaced with a high-efficiency 2,600 kg/hr Universal Series UL-SIE 3-pass flame tube steam boiler. Among other benefits, the UL-S offers exceptional steam quality and flexible output for fluctuating steam demand, both of which are essential for the dry cleaning and laundry industry.

The complete turnkey solution provided by CFB Boilers included high integrity water level and feed level, pump controls and all-inclusive control panel, duel fuel burner, automatic TDS control, and an integral flue gas economiser for additional energy saving.

As soon as the new boiler was commissioned, there was an immediate and significant improvement in steam availability, as Mr Khonsam explained: “Instead of cycling of the steam pressure, we were able to hold a steady 10 bar pressure. This increased the heat going to the ironers and dryers, and because of this, I’ve been able to reduce from a 3-day shift to a 2-day shift”.

He continued: “The difference that this has made to the business is fantastic – not only have we cut down an entire shift thanks to better performance from the boiler, our energy bills have reduced very significantly. This means that we can re-invest those savings elsewhere in the business, and deliver an even better service to our clients.”