Pharmaceuticals group Adcock Ingram’s geothermal-based energy management system, used at its high-volume liquids (HVL) Clayville facility, in Johannesburg, has been registered as an entry in the industrial category of State-owned power utility Eskom’s eta Awards. The competition recognises exceptional effort in energy efficiency by individuals, students, companies or other institutions.
Adcock Ingram’s geothermal-based system will be judged next month. The competition comprises a cash amount of R30 000 for the winner and R5 000 for each runner-up in each category, subject to the judges’ discretion.
The geothermal unit reduces the company’s yearly energy consumption by 528 000 kWh, resulting in a cost saving of about R879 000.
The vertical closed-loop geothermal-based system uses geothermal piping, placed up to 120 m underground. The system uses the earth’s constant below-ground temperature of 16 ºC to heat, cool and ventilate the HVL facility.
“As the water absorbs the heat, it is transferred back into the ground. Through the second law of thermodynamics, the ground, is therefore, colder than the water. The heat is sucked into the ground and, through frictional engineering and flow calculations, called the Reynolds factor, the water absorbs the constant temperature again once out of the ground and this is fed into the exchanger again,” explains Adcock Ingram Clayville unit manager Desmond Greaver.
After a few hours, the temperature in the room drops to a constant required temperature and the compressor shuts off and uses the constant temperature from the water, which is used by the fan that blows air back into the room.
The process is reversed in winter, as the constant temperature in the ground is used to heat the facility virtually at no cost.
The facility’s carbon footprint is reduced through the use of reverse osmosis runoff in domestic applications. Adcock Ingram recovers 4 000 ℓ of water an hour for domestic use.