Swan Energy recently conducted ESOS energy audits for the APS Group, in order to identify energy savings opportunities in compliance with the requirements of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. Within two weeks, the Swan Energy team had audited sites, written and submitted the report.
Who is the APS Group?
Now known as APS Group, A Pearson & Sons was founded in 1949 in Alderley Edge in Cheshire. Still a family business, the APS Group has since expanded to five locations and now includes 176 acres of glasshouse and 148,000 square feet of packing facilities in Cheshire, Kent, the Isle of Wight, Chichester and the North East. They are the UK’s largest supplier of British tomatoes to multiple retailers in the UK. They also grow and supply other produce.
What did the project involve?
Audits were carried out at the glasshouses at their Isle of Wight and Alderley Edge locations, along with their largest distribution centres in Chichester and Middlewich. The Alderley Edge glasshouse was chosen because it also has a small on-site packhouse, whilst the Isle of Wight sites were selected due to the use of a combination of natural-light only areas, LED areas, and sodium lamp areas. Heat consumption in the glasshouses accounts for over 90% of total energy consumption across the group and was therefore the main focus of the audits carried out. For completeness, consideration was also given to energy savings at the packhouses.
Having conducted the onsite audits, Swan Energy produced a report which was signed off before being submitted on behalf of APS Group to the Environment Agency.
What was the outcome?
We were successful in completing all work and submitting the report in time for the ESOS Phase 2 deadline of 5th December 2019.
In terms of energy saving opportunities, not a great many were identified. Savings potential cannot be quantified at this stage but areas have been identified which will be investigated further.
The APS Group has implemented effective energy saving measures, by utilising the waste heat and carbon from embedded power generation. By implementing advanced computer control systems which have, at their heart, a computational fluid dynamic model, energy is only used when demanded by the crop, not to simply provide heat to the glasshouses. This bespoke energy management system monitors all climate variables in the glasshouses, from internal and external air temperature and relative humidity to plant stem temperature, and carbon dioxide concentration. This represents excellent use of available data to optimise energy usage, and the system connects to the Met office every 6 hours, to moderate energy use, based on future weather conditions, utilising temperature integration.
In addition, throughout the group there is extensive use of building management systems to control energy usage intelligently, through the use of automated BMS controlled cooling systems, and low energy LED lighting, designed specifically for APS Packing facilities.
Phil Pearson, Director, says: “Working with Swan Energy is straight forward as they understand industrial energy use. They are a dynamic, efficient organisation who always deliver. The Swan Energy team are my first port of call for energy compliance, and energy efficiency auditing. They’re a pleasure to deal with, even on the occasions when I give demanding timelines.”