Saint-Gobain and its many well-known brands design, manufacture and distribute material solutions found in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and many industrial applications. As well as providing comfort, performance and safety their solutions also address the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change. One of these materials is glass. Saint-Gobain is Europe’s number one manufacturer of flat glass for the construction industry and this takes place at their site in Eggborough, East Yorkshire.
Production at this large site runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for 365 days a year. Transportation of the glass around site and for preparation for shipment off-site involves a mixture of HubTex transport systems, Jungheinrich forklift trucks and pedestrian pallet trucks. To ensure the continuous availability of these systems the company has installed 21 Fronius Selectiva Chargers with the innovative Ri charging process. Saint Gobain initially used a mixture of 50Hz chargers and decided to trial a Fronius Selectiva, comparing it against these conventional chargers. Convinced by the Fronius technology and efficiency of the charger, it changed 8 chargers to start with. Experiencing just a 16 month paypack period and savings of £225 per week on its energy bills across the charging process, just a year later the company opted to change all of their chargers in their charging room over to Fronius. This totalled 21 chargers in all. They combined this with a “Fit and Forget” maintenance package from distributor EcoBat.
The decision to switch to Fronius was based purely on the energy savings, but operatives subsequently realised that the batteries were much cooler, which improved greatly the working conditions in the location of the chargers as well as having a knock on effect to battery life, and a reduction in the amount of de-ionised water being used to top up the batteries. This is due to the gentle charging process which avoids over heating. When plugged into the battery, the Fronius Selectiva charger retrieves information about the state of the battery including size, age and charge level and changes the charging characteristic accordingly. Each charging cycle is therefore unique and cuts energy consumption by approximately 25% due to the reduction of heat generated in the charging cycle.