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Toyota, Neenah Foundry Use State Incentives for Energy Tech

State-level incentives programs in California and Wisconsin have played a role in energy efficiency projects at two corporations.

Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, California, has selected Ballard Power Systems to install a one-megawatt CLEARgen fuel cell generator. When fully deployed in 2012, the cell will provide peak electrical power and heat at the Toyota sales and marketing headquarters campus, avoiding up to 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, reports greencarcongress.com.

CLEARgen uses hydrogen produced by steam-reformation of renewable bio-gas generated at a landfill. With the system Toyota can supply peak and mid-peak power needs using electricity from either the fuel cell system or from the power grid. It is expected that the cell will supply power to a number of locations on the multi-building, 125-acre campus, including the headquarter buildings, data center operations building and employee fitness center.

Project funding is provided through California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

Wisconsin utilities’ statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, Focus on Energy, has provided Neenah Foundry, of Neenah, Wis., with the incentives to implement energy-efficient technologies into its manufacturing processes estimated to save more than $141,000 annually. The company produces complex machine parts and municipal castings, such as grates, manhole covers, and tree grates along city sidewalks.

The foundry has retrofitted 68 cabinet coolers with thermostat controls and an integrated purge function that is estimated to cut energy costs by 50 percent.

Cabinet coolers keep critical electronic circuitry in challenging industrial environments clean, cool, and dry. Traditionally, cabinet coolers use a lot of compressed air which translates into high energy use. After exploring various options to reduce the energy use of cabinet coolers, the company determined that retrofitting the cabinet coolers with thermostat controls and an integrated purge function would be the most cost-effective energy-saving option.

Under the new system, the vortex cabinet coolers now use a small amount of purge air to maintain positive pressure within the cabinets at all times.  Full air flow is used only when the thermostat calls for cooling.

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