On the Path to a Lower Carbon Footprint
Posted September 9, 2019
This fall, Filtrine – a Keene-based manufacturer of water chilling and filtering systems – will take the next big step towards carbon neutrality by installing 2,225 solar panels on its 100,000 square foot roof. Rated at 793 kW (DC), the solar array installed by ReVision Energy will be the largest in Keene and possibly the largest rooftop installation in the region. Once in operation, the array will produce approximately 900 megawatt-hours per year, more than covering Filtrine’s needs and even putting some energy back into the grid.
Filtrine’s President, Peter D. Hansel, commented on the decision to make this investment: “This idea has been percolating for ten years.” In 2009, Filtrine refurbished its old roof and at the time looked into adding solar panels but the cost was high and they were concerned that the roof couldn’t handle the additional weight. They did install some solar hot water panels to heat water for their test room and those are working well today. Five years later, they installed 120 PV solar panels (36 kW DC) along the north perimeter of their roof where there was plenty of structural support.
In 2014, Filtrine contracted with students from Antioch New England to evaluate their Environmental Footprint. This gave the company a baseline from which to measure progress and inform decision making. In addition to energy conservation measures like improving insulation, installing LED lighting and energy efficient machinery, Filtrine contracted with Froling Energy of Peterborough in 2017 to install a 1 million BTU wood chip boiler for heating. This reduced their reliance on oil by 90%.
As solar panel technology improved and costs came down, in early 2019 Filtrine decided to take another look at installing a larger solar array on its roof. ReVision hired a structural engineer and concluded that it would work. The proposed a system should pay off its $1.5 million investment in about 5 years, after which time Filtrine’s electricity will be delivered for free, compliments of the sun.
About Filtrine Manufacturing Company
Founded in 1901, Filtrine Manufacturing Company is an innovative leader in the design and manufacture of custom-built high-quality application-specific liquid chillers for industrial and medical processes, including explosion-proof, high and low ambient models; stainless steel and bronze drinking water fountains; bottle fillers; drinking water chillers; water purification and filtration systems. Filtrine® products are engineered and built with pride in the USA. For more information, visit www.filtrine.com.