Of the total energy expenses of a property, laundry consumes 17% to 18%. It takes an average eight litres of water to process a kilogramme of linen. With hotels processing close to 3.5 to 4.5 tonnes of laundry a day, it is safe to assume that close to 40kl of water is used on a daily basis, amounting to 14,600 kl per year. The energy used to power the equipment in place to process the laundry amounts to 400 units of electricity per day, increasing the expenses. “Being a Palace Hotel we have about 80 rooms and less quantity of laundry, but we still spend close to
र 4.5 lakhs per year on our energy needs,” says Sudhir Mishra, Laundry Manager, The Leela Palace Kempinski, Udaipur.
Automated liquid laundry system reduces instances of wastage and oxygen bleach saves a cycle of water, lowering the annual energy bill for laundry. We spend on an average
र 4.5 lakhs per year on our energy needs.
– Sudhir Mishra
Washing accounts to 35% of the total consumption of energy in laundry, with the bulk of 65% going for drying and finishing goods. To efficiently process the laundry, the water temperature is maintained typically at 60ºC to 70ºC. Equipment like dryers, calendars, roll pressers, flat work ironer etc, utilise steam to generate the heat that is used in its processes. The steam is supplied by boilers that work on electricity and other alternative fuels like furnace oil and diesel. A 660kg boiler can consume up to 850 to 900 litres of diesel daily.
Alternative fuels and heating methods are cheaper to use and offer better energy efficiency.
– Sanjay Darwadkar
Reducing energy consumption
To promote sustainability in the core working of the property, reduction of energy consumption has to be given importance. Sourcing innovative equipment from the market will see the energy consumption lowering while providing quality services. Using washer extractors instead of water for soaking removes stains, with one minute of extraction saving 300 litres of water. Energy consumed can be lowered by using alternative fuels to power the laundry equipment. “We use Pipe Natural Gas and furnace oil for our heating processes and also utilize steam to heat water for the washing machines,” says Sanjay Darwadkar, Laundry Manager, ITC Maratha. Lowering the water temperature to 48ºC will not only provide with effective results but also bring down the energy cost by 10%. Quality of water plays an important role. If the water quality is good, then it exempts the installation of a water treatment plant. With good quality of water, eco friendly detergents can give efficient results with minimum utilization. “Installation of Liquid Laundry system has ensured that the automated system uses only the required amount, thus removing instances ofwastage; we also use oxygen bleach for room linen that saves one cycle of water,” adds Sudhir Mishra.
Performances of equipment are compared, any discrepancy in data leads to checks on steam valves and pipes for leakages. This procedure helps in combating energy wastage due to leakages or inefficient equipment usage.
– Bhaskar Kumar
Proper monitoring of the equipment and pipelines, allows putting a check on undue wastage of energy. Bhaskar Kumar, Laundry Manager, Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa. says, “We compare the performances of the machineries frequently and calculate the hours put in by them with the output they provide. Any discrepancy in the data will allow us to know if there is something amiss with the equipment. We then undertake checks on steam valves, pipelines for any leakages. This daily procedure provides with methods to combat energy wastage due to leakages or inefficient equipment usage.”
– Gaje Singh
Conservation programmes in hotels need not be extravagant; it can be small like switching off lights and other machineries when not in use and operating equipment in full loads. “In our section, we train employees to avoid idling of machines and preparing equipment using steam in advance, so that the steam when generated can be immediately used. Lint box is cleaned after every load along with constant maintenance of the equipment and pipes,” says Gaje Singh, Laundry Manager, Radisson Hotel, Delhi. The energy bills can drop by 20% in the first year of the implementation of the conservation programme.
Future in energy efficiency
Equipment and cleaning chemicals that work in cold water, will effectively remove the need to heat water. Equipment having facility to store last wash water for the successive load’s first wash, will see reduction in the water consumption for the washing process. The equipment in the market offer energy efficiency, but a more focused approach on recycling may see energy conservation as a norm rather than exception. The water used in washing of the linen can be recycled to be used for other purposes in the property. This will reduce the usage of water and cleaning chemicals.
Energy efficiency for quality laundry solutions
Using energy efficient methods has no effect on the quality of the linen. It in fact delivers with better results and increased life span for the laundry. The conservation programmes in place has to implement indigenous solutions rather than blindly imitate the European and American standards, as there are wide differences in the conditions of laundries. The management has to be sensitized to be more responsive to energy conservation. For the success of energy efficient laundry solutions, the management, the people and the hospitality sector in general have to be motivated to make a difference.