Foamglas

Foamglas

Foamglas enhances its sustainability strategy with Demand Response

As a good Corporate Citizen Pittsburgh Corning has been dedicated to environmental responsibility throughout its long history. Today the company is embracing a strategy focusing on long-term sustainability. By partnering with REstore in Demand Response programmes Pittsburgh Corning subsidiary Foamglas has effectively enhanced its commitment to sustainable development.

Overview

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Foamglas

Sustainability is firmly entrenched in Foamglas’ philosophy. With its cellular glass insulation blocks, Pittsburgh Corning has earned a reputation for creating environmentally sustainable insulation systems. The company’s eco-friendly products provide superior protection and energy conservation in a wide range of applications in the commercial building sector, for HVAC systems, cladding for industrial process piping and to support oil and gas storage tanks. To maintain its sustainable operations, Foamglas launched a series of initiatives to conserve energy and reduce consumption of natural resources at its plants.

“We participate in Demand Response programmes to contribute to a more sustainable society”

Didier Vercruyssen, Plant Manager Foamglas Tessenderlo

Challenges

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Foamglas

Pittsburgh Corning aims to operate its facilities to minimise their environmental impact. Its Tessenderlo plant in Belgium already uses a large share of renewable energy with wind turbines and solar panels installed on site.  Participating in Demand Response programmes with its glass smelters was also considered to support the company’s social responsibility policy by helping to integrate renewable energy safely into the grid. However the plant often cannot accept curtailments of more than 30 minutes. Wind and sun power are intermittent sources of energy and added a further complicating factor to Foamglas’ participation. If there is a sudden decrease in the supply from on-site renewable sources, Foamglas will need to temporarily increase its consumption. However, the business wanted to play an active role in reducing the risk of blackouts during the winter in Belgium when regional peak power demand might not be covered by the available supply.

The Solution

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Foamglas

REstore’s proposal to switch off the plant’s glass smelter electrodes was initially received with apprehension by Foamglas management. However, the principle of ensuring any switch off decision was subject to a set of tight boundary conditions gained positive support. Foamglas’ glass smelters are well-insulated ovens that benefit from a large thermal inertia. They can be easily disconnected and reconnected provided the molten glass remains above a set temperature. If the temperature drops too low, the curtailment is interrupted automatically and the electrodes reactivated to reheat the furnace. To avoid the risk of penalties Foamglas also participates in a portfolio with other industrial consumers, which effectively acts as a shield: when the glass smelter needs to be reactivated, another provider can take over and deliver the necessary power to the grid operator. REstore’s seamless automation technology makes the whole operation no-risk and requires very little extra supervision from the Foamglas plant operators.

Direct benefits
for Foamglas include

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development

Demand Response facilitates the further development of renewable energy. It lowers industry's carbon footprint. It helps to curb global climate change.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

Demand Response enables large industrial consumers to reduce their consumption and return power to their local community when power is scarce.

Boundary Conditions

Boundary Conditions

REstore respects pre-set conditions for curtailment at all times. There is no impact on production. High quality standards are always maintained.