At the Halva confectionery factory, an external expert planned and implemented a large energy renovation at once. The oil was replaced by district heating. At the same time, lighting and ventilation were modernized.
The family company Halva produces licorice, salmiakki and other sweets at its production facility in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. There was a lot to improve on the energy efficiency of the old property and production processes, so the company decided to fix the things that waste the most energy all at once.
Halva's production manager Samu Ylijoki says that it was decided to invite an outside expert to help.
- We wanted the most reasonable solutions on the table at once. With our own team, we would not have been able to plan and implement such an entity, at most individual energy-saving solutions.
LeaseGreen, a service company specializing in the energy efficiency of real estate, was selected as a partner, with whom we set out to map the initial situation and outline measures to improve energy efficiency.
- The expert presented various solutions, from which we decided on the tasks to be undertaken, Ylijoki says.
According to Ylijoki, the investments that improve energy efficiency were allocated to three areas: ventilation, heating and lighting.
Before the renovation, the property was served by one large ventilation unit placed on the water roof. The machine, which was at the end of its useful life, consumed a lot of electricity, and due to production taking place in three shifts, its operating hours were long.
The energy loss was increased by the poor heat recovery ability of the old ventilation machine. The ventilation unit, which was at the end of its useful life, was renewed with an energy-efficient ventilation unit, which was equipped with efficient heat recovery.
- Renewing the ventilation machine saves a considerable amount of electricity and thermal energy. The operational reliability of ventilation also improved compared to the old system.
The Halva property has had an oil heating system for a long time, which, in addition to the production of the property, the confectionery drying rooms and the production of hot water, has also been responsible for the production of the steam needed for the manufacture of confectionery.
In the energy renovation, a district heating system was installed in the property. According to Ylijoki, the need for steam decreased considerably, because district heating now heats the radiator network, hot domestic water and the heating of the supply air of the ventilation unit.
- The use of steam has not yet been completely eliminated. It is needed in confectionary cooking processes, where temperatures of up to 140 degrees are required. When making the investment decision, there were no working solutions based on electricity.
According to Ylijoki, district heating is more reliable compared to old oil heating. In addition, the carbon footprint is significantly reduced.
The property's automation system was also renewed. The ventilation, heating system and oven heating can now be controlled from the same system.
- By renewing the automation system, the property's ventilation and heating systems were brought under constant supervision. In this way, problem situations are identified more easily and defects can be repaired faster, says Ylijoki.
On the other hand, significant electricity savings were achieved by replacing the old fluorescent lamps with LED lamps. Lamp replacements and other maintenance needs were also substantially reduced, which saves costs.
LED lamps also illuminate more efficiently than old lamps, so occupational safety and working conditions also improve.
Halva real estate is challenging from the point of view of improving energy efficiency. The factory, originally built in 1956, has been expanded several times over the years. The building has five floors, four of which are for production.
Ylijoki names the schedules as the biggest challenge of the energy project.
- The contractor estimates the schedule to be a little too optimistic, because scheduling the work in a factory operating in three shifts was not a simple matter. In the end, we concluded that it is not worth rushing, but to combine some of the work with the maintenance stops. In this way, the risk of disrupting the factory's normal operation was avoided.
After the project was completed, Halva's energy systems were connected to LeaseGreen's remote monitoring. According to Ylijoki, there is enough work to be done in the new system regulations. However, he believes that the project's goal of reducing the factory's carbon footprint by 25 percent will be achieved.
Halva covered part of the energy renovation costs with Business Finland's energy subsidy. More than ten years ago, the company also joined the energy efficiency agreement for the food industry.
- Improving energy efficiency is based on the company's values and future goals. We want to bring our own card to the table in energy and climate matters.