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Vance Plant Mercedes Benz Greens Up Vance, Alabama Plant

Mercedes-Benz is making sure that the green attitude doesn’t stop with their various BlueEFFICIENCY products. The automaker is also improving its production facilities by making them greener and reducing their carbon footprint, and the latest plant to get the environment-friendly update is the one in Vance, Alabama.

One of the newest furnishings in the plant includes roof-mounted
solar panels for the Visitor Center as well as the Bill Taylor
Institute, and the system should be operational soon. The energy from
the panels are used for heating the water in the building. In addition
to being a green measure, the Mercedes Benz US International facility
engineering department says they hope to save some money thanks to this
new feature.

Instead of conventionally heating water via flame generated by
natural gas power or through electricity, water heating will rely on the
heat that is generated by the solar panels on the roof. Only when the
solar panels can’t provide adequate heating–such as during the night or
on cloudy or rainy days–will the natural gas flame kick in. In this
way, the facility’s heating system act like hybrid powertrains where
power is provided by an electric battery before the petrol engine kicks
in once the battery expends its charge.

In addition to these solar panels, there will also be some wind- and
solar-powered collectors that will be mounted on two light poles at the
entrance of Plant 1. The energy from these collectors are going to
charge the batteries located at the poles’ bases, and these batteries
will then power the hybrid LED road lights on the poles. It is said that
a single battery charge is good for three nights’ worth of lighting.

“Both projects are production trials in a way,” said Phill Onstott,
assistant manager of the department. “They are our way of checking out
various energy-efficiency technologies as we consider options that may
be useful for the rest of our operations.”

 
 
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