Founded in 1977 in Repentigny, Buanderie Blanchelle is a company specialized in the cleaning of hospital textile products. To continue to expand, it recently decided to relocate its operations to Mascouche, in a brand new state-of-the-art, 5,500 m2 (60,000 ft2) plant located in the CentrOparc industrial park. To increase its production capacity and optimize its energy use, Buanderie Blanchelle wanted to invest in process equipment that would allow it to balance high performance and high energy efficiency.
The first step consisted of selecting a consultant specialized in industrial laundry processes. Buanderie Blanchelle gave the Effinergie Inc. firm the mandate to develop its new plant with state-of-the-art technology equipment.
Effinergie began by carrying out a feasibility study to analyze the client’s needs and evaluate different scenarios to reduce energy consumption. Namely, a baseline assessment was carried out before the construction of the new plant to assess its consumption in terms of operation and energy sequences required by these processes. This anticipated estimate, based on data received by Buanderie Blanchelle, forecasted an overall annual consumption of 1,700,000 m3 of natural gas prior to the application of energy efficiency measures.
The firm then identified the available grants and assessed their viability so as to allow Buanderie Blanchelle to optimize its equipment as soon as possible. Thus, Énergir was asked to advise the engineer and the client on choosing the right programs and optimizing the use of available grants.
The adopted solutions
The following solutions were selected and implemented following the feasibility study:
|1. Plant heating|
|The building is heated by natural gas unit heaters. These appliances were selected for their ability to quickly heat large spaces.|
|2. High-pressure steam boilers (Miura boilers)|
|High-pressure steam is used to supply washers and tunnels (dryers). To produce this steam, Buanderie Blanchelle opted for two Miura steam boilers with a power of 200 hp each offering a basic efficiency of 80%.
Thanks to Énergir’s energy efficiency grants, the company was able to integrate a combustion gas heat recovery system, which improved boiler efficiency by approximately 6%. Two storage tanks, one for hot water at 60 °C (140 °F) and one for temperate water at 30 °C (86 °F), are used to power the washers and tunnels.
|3. Dryers (Jensen tunnels)|
|Eighteen Jensen DT series dryers were installed to remove moisture from the products after washing. Drain water heat recovery systems were placed on the tunnels.|
|4. Calandres-repasseuses (calandres Jensen)|
|In addition to the dryers and depending on the type of product to be processed, three ironing machines are also used for drying. Despite the additional cost of this option, Buanderie Blanchelle preferred natural gas rather than steam ironing machines, as they offer a gain in efficiency of around 30%.|
Summary of energy improvements
The implementation of energy efficiency measures will have a significant environmental impact, with a projected 36% reduction in estimated baseline consumption, which is expected to result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1,385 tonnes per year.
|Energy efficiency measures||Description||Additional cost
|Financial assistance by Énergir phase
(before financial assistance)
|ROI (with financial assistance per phase)|
|PHASE 1||Jensen heat recovery tunnel||$261,300||-||$67,542||3.9||225,141||428||-|
|Gas ironers (high efficiency ironing machine)||$222,600||-||$24,463||9.1||81,542||155||-|
|High efficiency DT-Plus series dryers||$250,300||-||$22,411||11.2||74,703||142||-|
|PHASE 2||Miura boiler economizer||$30,000||-||$11,000||2.7||51,112||70||-|
|Drain water heat recovery systems||$152,300||-||$15,840||9.6||242,100||590||-|
* Annual savings based on D3 rate with high actual output.
** ROI: Period of return on investment before financial assistance and applicable taxes.
Hub and distribution center
Énergir’s role in the project
Énergir supported and guided Buanderie Blanchelle throughout the project. First, by ensuring that the connection was adequate and timely for D-day. Then, by providing grants to the company under its energy efficiency programs.
Énergir also optimized customer billing by using a beneficial rate for regular consumption throughout the year and by offering an additional grant through the customer rebate program, all of which reduced the return on investment period to about four years.
By choosing high-efficiency equipment for its washing and drying processes and by favouring natural gas as an energy source, Buanderie Blanchelle was able to reduce its operating costs, receive energy efficiency grants from Énergir, and substantially reduce its environmental footprint.
The choice of natural gas will also allow the company to use renewable natural gas (RNG), a clean, net-zero energy source, in due course, without modifying or replacing its equipment, given that conventional natural gas and RNG molecules are interchangeable. Thus, Buanderie Blanchelle is giving itself the means to continue to expand while improving its environmental performance, which will contribute to its long-term competitiveness.
Richard Meunier, Eng., CEM
Senior consultant – Energy expertise