Carbon Trust slices 5% from oven energy use

Simple improvements to the ventilation systems of commercial ovens could significantly reduce the bakery industry's carbon footprint and save bakers thousands of pounds, a new trial from The Carbon Trust has found.

The trial, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), used sensors and variable speed drives to measure gas volumes produced during baking and improve the management of flue gas within the oven.

It resulted in a 5% overall energy efficiency saving, leading to potential financial savings of £14,000 per site per year.

Carbon Trust senior manager Al-Karim Govindji said: “Improvements in industrial processes have the potential to make significant cross sector savings. The results of these trials are really positive and show that taking steps to improve ventilation in ovens thus optimising the gas flow rate can result in real financial savings.” 

Driving forces

Carbon Trust figures show that ovens produce 35-45% of total site carbon emissions of a bakery, with 20% of gas use wasted by hot air exiting the flues. The findings of this trial could therefore significantly reduce the bakery industry’s carbon footprint.

Trial partner Spooner Industries’ research and development manager Dan Kirk added: “Collaboration with Campden BRI and the Carbon Trust on this initiative enabled us to examine in greater detail the cost-saving potential and environmental advantages of improved mass-balance in ovens. Ultimately it is the financial payback for customers together with corporate social responsibility programmes which are the driving forces for these improvements.” 

Oven law

The trials formed part of a group of projects funded by the RGF aiming to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes.

Ovens have already been targeted for energy efficiency savings this year as a new EU regulation came into effect in February to cut energy waste from ovens and hobs.

Low quality domestic ovens, hobs and range hoods will be phased out by 2019 in changes that the European commission says will be “invisible,” but which the New Economics Foundation estimates will save the British public £1.1bn in energy bills over the next 15 years.

Lucinda Dann

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