Krones, a player in packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry, has initiated construction on a groundbreaking sustainable energy project at its manufacturing facility in Debrecen, Hungary. The primary objective of this venture is to enable the Hungarian plant to eradicate its reliance on gas boilers and achieve net zero carbon emissions by the year 2030.
The endeavor includes the deployment of a photovoltaic system and the first phase of a geothermal system, with completion expected by the close of 2023. The comprehensive project is slated for finalization in 2024, and by the end of the same year, the Debrecen plant is set to operate independently of gas, marking a significant milestone as the first net-zero facility within the Krones Group.
Currently, the Debrecen facility relies on two 1-MW gas boilers to meet its heating requirements. To establish an alternative, sustainable source for heating and cooling, the project will introduce a geothermal probe system in conjunction with three heat pumps.
The Hybrid Solar-Geothermal System Design Although the heat pump operations will raise the facility's electricity consumption, this additional demand will be met with 100% green electricity. The installation of over 2700 photovoltaic panels, each measuring 1 x 2 meters, began in August. These panels will be positioned directly over the geothermal probe system to optimize land use.
The preparatory phase involved drilling tests to a depth of 120 meters at the site, providing essential data for the design of the geothermal and heat pump system. The modeling results indicated that 204 probes, each extending 120 meters into the ground, will be necessary to cater to the facility's heating and cooling needs.
The heat harnessed from these probes will be channeled into the factory halls to support the heating and cooling systems used in assembly, manufacturing, and logistics. Real-time metrics, integrated into the building management system, will enable digital monitoring and control of the entire system.
Projections indicate that the photovoltaic system can fulfill 30% to 40% of the electricity requirements for the Krones Hungary facility, with the remainder being procured as green energy. Furthermore, upon the project's successful completion, the geothermal system will have the capacity to meet 100% of the heating and cooling demands of the facility.