Emerson is helping restaurants and others in the food service industry to adopt similar recycling efforts.
Emerson and the industries we serve stand at the intersection of two of humanity’s most urgent goals – the need to improve quality of life for people around the globe, and the imperative that we must do so while reducing our impact on our environment. Together, these goals ensure that we drive progress for today and for the generations that come.
These goals aren’t mutually exclusive. Across our business units, Emerson’s core mission is to deliver solutions that enable our customers to operate at peak efficiency and performance. We help customers to maximize reliability, reduce energy costs, automate processes, reduce waste, and avoid unexpected issues. We focus on the same priorities within our own manufacturing operations.
Launch of new Plantweb™ digital ecosystem
First introduced as the industry’s most advanced digital plant architecture for process control, safety and asset management, Plantweb now harnesses the power of the Industrial Internet of Things to expand digital intelligence to the entire manufacturing enterprise, while also providing an architecture for on-premise applications. Plantweb provides a comprehensive framework to help manufacturers achieve Top Quartile performance in the areas of safety, reliability, production and energy use. Top Quartile is defined as achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies.
Driving industry innovation to improve efficiency
In April 2016, Emerson opened The Helix Innovation Center on the campus of the University of Dayton (Dayton, OH, USA), an industry-first facility dedicated to advancing research for the global heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. The Helix provides a space for Emerson to collaborate with customers, HVACR industry partners, and competitors, as well as experts from other industries. Emerson has invested $35 million in this facility and staff which seeks to advance HVACR ideas from concept to prototype in 90 days or less, generating new opportunities to increase health and comfort, and reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.
Examples of work at The Helix in 2016-2017 include:
Emerson has been so encouraged by industry and academic interest in the HVACR arena that the company opened a second Helix Innovation Center at Georgia Tech University’s Technology Square in midtown Atlanta in the fall of 2016. The Atlanta location will serve as a focal point of Emerson’s collaboration on Big Data and Internet of Things concepts for the HVACR industry.
Grind2Energy™: Turning food waste into renewable energy
Food waste represents the single largest source of landfill waste and a significant producer of greenhouse gases. In fact, commercial kitchens produce on average more than 4,000 pounds of food waste a week. Grind2Energy™, developed by the engineers at Emerson’s InSinkErator® business, helps large food waste generators such as supermarkets, hotels, casinos, and sports arenas to minimize their environmental impact and boost their operational efficiency. The system uses industrial-strength InSinkErator food waste grinders to process food scraps into a liquid “slurry” that is pumped into on-site holding tanks at business locations. The slurry is then transported to anaerobic digesters, which naturally convert it into water, fertilizer and methane that is captured to produce renewable energy. In 2016, Grind2Energy customers diverted 7,400 tons of food waste from landfills and eliminated greenhouse gases equivalent to driving 11.9 million miles.
New heating technologies with less pollution in China
Emerson is delivering new technologies for heat pumps that help reduce China’s reliance on coal-burning heat plants. An electric-powered air-source heat pump can both cool and heat a home. Heat pumps with Emerson’s Copeland Scroll Heating technology – which can efficiently operate even when temperatures are below freezing – are 20 percent more energy efficient than a traditional hot-water system heated using a coal-fired boiler. More than 150,000 electric heat pump units using Emerson’s scroll compressor technology were installed in China in 2016, each helping to reduce China’s carbon footprint while providing modern indoor comfort for its residents. The expanded use of heat pumps is one of several strategies that has contributed to a 4.7 percent reduction in China’s overall coal use compared with 2015, marking the third consecutive year that China has reduced coal consumption.
Helping Juneau, Alaska plan a renewable heating system using seawater
Emerson’s Vilter business, manufacturer of industrial heat pump systems, is working with private investors and local officials in Juneau, Alaska on plans to build North America’s first district heating system to use seawater to heat homes and businesses. The system will generate no carbon emissions because it burns no fossil fuels. The power required for the heat pumps is sourced from a nearby hydroelectric facility also owned by the developers resulting in zero emissions.
The plan is to supply heat to buildings in downtown Juneau, which includes state-owned buildings, commercial buildings, and even homes. The Juneau District Heating system will take in seawater from the Gastineau Channel into a district energy plant where a network of heat exchangers and the innovative Emerson Seawater Heat Pumps transfer the heat energy from the seawater to create high temperature freshwater that is distributed to heat the buildings in Juneau. Emerson’s patented system of compressors and high temperature heat pumps provide a cost effective and sustainable means to provide heat without requiring costly building retrofits or burning of fossil fuels. Furthermore, the refrigerant used does not affect the ozone in any way and has a zero global warming potential.
Supporting waste-to-energy plants to ensure efficient, reliable power generation
Poland. In 2016, Emerson provided its Ovation™ automation technologies and services to ensure the successful startup of a waste-to-energy plant in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The new plant enables the region to dispose of waste effectively and helps Poland meet its obligations under the European Union’s 2020 climate and energy directive. The municipal waste incineration facility, operated by Miedzygminny Kompleks Unieskkodliwiania Opdadow (MKUO) ProNatura, will generate 100,000 megawatts-hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power 50,000 homes from 180,000 metric tons of household waste.
United Kingdom. Emerson is providing its control systems and project services for a new waste-to-energy power plant near Knaresborough Allerton, North Yorkshire, UK. The plant, which will also incorporate biogas and recycling facilities, will produce 28 megawatt-hours of electricity per hour from 320,000 tons of waste, exporting enough energy to the National Grid to power the equivalent of 40,000 homes and further help the UK to meet the EU Energy Directive 2020 targets for renewable energy. The facility will also divert more than seven million metric tons of waste from landfills over its 25-year lifetime, and recover more than one-and-a-half million tons of recyclable materials. The plant will be operated by Amey on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council.
Switzerland. Similarly, Emerson is providing process automation technologies and services for current and future waste-to-energy projects of Hitachi Zosen Inova. Zurich-based Hitachi Zosen Inova specializes in thermal and biological treatment of municipal waste, and with experience on more than 600 projects worldwide, is a leader in the generation of energy using waste as fuel. Under a global framework agreement announced in 2016, Emerson was selected by Hitachi Zosen Inova as a preferred supplier of automation technologies, including control and safety systems, predictive maintenance software, control valves and measurement devices, and services such as engineering, project management, and lifecycle care. The agreement formalizes the relationship between the two companies following a successful project at Perlen, near Lucerne, Switzerland. The US$319 million (CHF 320 million) Perlen project is the largest climate protection project in central Switzerland. The facility is set to produce 155,000 MWh of electricity per year, covering the energy requirements of nearly 38,000 households, and will supply 320,000 MWh of steam to an adjacent paper mill.
Emerson adds thermal energy harvesting to wireless products
In 2016, Emerson announced it would adopt advanced thermal energy harvesting as a power source for its wireless products. Power Puck® thermoelectric energy harvesters, made by Perpetua, convert ambient heat commonly released in industrial processes into electricity for powering Rosemount™ wireless transmitters. The Power Puck energy harvesting solution is especially advantageous to wireless devices in power intensive applications, where a conventional power module may require replacements more frequently. Power Puck thermoelectric energy harvesters provide continuous, reliable power for the life of the transmitter and include an intrinsically safe power module for back-up power. Power Puck is a convenient, sustainable energy harvesting solution which can be incorporated into a variety of applications, enabling users to decrease maintenance costs.
Designing commercial refrigeration compressors to meet new EPA compliance standards
With the commercial refrigeration industry taking a closer look at natural and alternative refrigerant options in the wake of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Emerson has updated its Copeland compressor lines to meet these new compliance standards. The refrigeration industry is taking an even closer look at both CO2 (R-744) and propane (R-290); each has extremely low global warming potential. In one back-to-back R-290 performance test, Emerson saw an efficiency improvement of approximately 10 percent.
Emerson tracks its impact on the environment in a number of ways, including measuring emissions into the atmosphere, water consumption and energy use associated with our manufacturing operations. View Emerson's 2016 Greenhouse Gas, Water and Energy Use.