US semiconductor materials supplier reduces cleanroom energy use by 68%
TriMech of Mebane, NC has installed a 30-ton geothermal HVAC system and a 20-ton energy efficient industrial chiller, with energy efficient lighting from Danco Electrical Contractors, Youngsville, at Kyma Technologies, a US supplier of crystalline aluminum nitride (AlN) and gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor materials and related products and services.
TriMech claims it is the largest geothermal HVAC system for cleanroom air handling in North Carolina. It forms part of a series of energy saving measures completed by Kyma Technologies in 2011.
The North Carolina Green Business Fund provided funding for the project.
Kyma also installed a facility wide data acquisition system for energy usage analysis and optimisation. The firm estimates that the energy needed to run the facilities for its cleanroom has been reduced by 68% and that overall energy usage has been cut by 35%. This system will allow continued analysis of other systems to identify opportunities for additional energy savings.
The geothermal HVAC unit controls all of the air handling for Kyma’s class 10,000 (ISO 7) cleanroom, and maintains stringent temperature and humidity requirements with 25 air changes an hour using 100% outside air.
TriMech president Paul Penland said: “This is the only known geothermal heat pump in the state using 100% outside air, and we are breaking new ground in showing that this type of system works and is very energy efficient.”
Heather Splawn, Kyma’s chief operating officer and director of business development, added: “This project has helped us to lower our costs significantly while simultaneously lowering our impact on the environment. Additionally, we now have a much better understanding of our energy usage, which will help in downstream decisions.”
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