June 27, 2020
Having a sustainable production has always been important to Vestergaard. As Vestergaard’s production grows, this will naturally also lead to a greater climatic and environmental impact. We are very aware that the increased production must be accompanied by green and environmentally friendly initiatives. Therefore, it is natural for Vestergaard to include sustainable solutions from the start when planning the new production hall, Hall A1, which is being established at the Gevninge headquarters.
Hall A1 may be described as a traditional 2300 m2 workshop, equivalent to approx. 15 family homes. However, the sustainable solutions envisaged in the new hall are far from conventional. Together, they constitute an innovative, complex process plant that will ensure the efficient utilisation of natural resources.
Stefan Vestergaard, CEO at Vestergaard, says that producing its own renewable energy is a long-standing plan. With the establishment of a solar cell system in the roof structure of Hall A1, this is now possible.
The roof of Hall A1 will not merely produce solar energy. Today, we use potable water when performing commissioning tests on our vehicles. In the future, we will replace this with rainwater from the roof which is collected in a cold-water tank. At Vestergaard, all vehicles are commissioning tested prior to delivery to the customer. By filling the vehicle with water, we test that the tanks are tight and by heating the water, which is then discharged, we test the oil-fired heater, the mixing and pumping system as well as the measuring system. This means that process water is a central element and a prerequisite for quality-assuring our products. However, this important process also means that significant quantities of water are subsequently discharged and, thus, wasted.
In collaboration with the building consultants, Vestergaard has identified a sustainable way of recycling the process water and improving its utilisation compared to today. Instead of the process water being discharged and wasted after commissioning testing, the hot water will be collected in a tank. The energy from the hot water is then used for under-floor heating of Hall A1. In fact, the water contains enough energy to be able to heat at least one of the other halls as well. After having released the heat, the water returning from the under-floor heating system can be reused as process water again in the commissioning testing of vehicles. In that way, a closed circuit is created with better use of the heat of natural resources and a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.
To get there, a complex processing system must be developed. With the development of the processing system, we expect a significant and positive effect on Vestergaard’s consumption, says Stefan: ”We expect that the total water consumption will decrease by 2/3 and we plan to decommission three of our existing gas-fired furnaces, meaning that we switch from natural gas to our own production of sustainable electricity.”
However, Stefan emphasises that the complex processing system is not a cheap solution: ”The return on investment is exceedingly long and, from a financial point of view, developing and establishing this processing system is not profitable. We do so because it is important to us. Finding solutions to save resources is part of the Vestergaard DNA. That is part of being an attractive workplace, and we want to be part of the journey towards a more sustainable future”.