Within the framework of rising electricity prices and declining certainty of supply, we took an initiative at an early stage to reduce consumption in our company. Since the operation of our devices and analysis methods permanently requires electrical energy, this topic presents us with a major challenge.
By analyzing the power flows, we were able to determine that the greatest consumption is caused by the 24-hour operation of vacuum pumps. These pumps create the vacuum for our scanning electron microscopes (SEM-EDX) and are essential for the productivity of our test laboratory. In addition, the operation of vacuum pumps due to the waste heat makes it necessary to air-condition the laboratories all year round.
In order to significantly reduce energy consumption and thus electricity costs, a quick and efficient solution was needed. Our service department has evaluated the latest models from various pump manufacturers and found that there are systems with built-in intelligence that promise significant savings. These smart vacuum pumps are equipped with a sensor and switch to economy mode once the pressure level has been reached. We were immediately enthusiastic about this new technology, so we decided to exchange our entire pump park and replace it with new smart vacuum pumps.
We have had the new vacuum pumps in operation for a few weeks and have been able to carry out initial consumption measurements. It has been shown that for a single pump the power consumption is reduced by 46% from 220 watts to less than 120 watts.
If we extrapolate the reduction in consumption to the number of pumps and the reduced electrical requirement for room cooling, this results in savings of up to 10,000 kWh per year. This equates to a reduction of almost 20% in our total power consumption. We are very happy that with this solution we are on the right track towards more energy efficiency in our company.