Windsor, Ontario — The Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP) has been recognized as the 2021 Canadian Region Energy Project of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).
The plant’s winning project reduced energy usage in the paint shop by 20,250 gigajoules (GJ) or eight percent annually — the equivalent of the electricity used in 490 homes in one year.
“Our energy management team at the Windsor Assembly Plant has once again risen to the challenge with their dedication and leadership in eliminating energy losses and enhancing eco-friendly efficiencies within our plant and throughout our company overall,” said Jon Desjardins, WAP Plant manager.
At the Windsor plant, which builds the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Chrysler Grand Caravan and Chrysler Voyager minivans, a new vehicle rolls off the line every 48 seconds. It takes approximately 27 hours to complete a vehicle, with 8-10 of those hours spent in the paint shop.
A recent onsite study conducted by the plant’s energy management team identified opportunities to reduce energy consumption in the paint shop.
A detailed assessment that began in November 2019 confirmed that the topcoat process was a top source for energy loss in the paint shop. The energy management team determined that energy could be saved by optimizing the downdraft air flow in the three paint booths.
The three paint booths are each divided into eight zones. In the ‘Observation Zone,’ the team optimized the downdraft airflow from the air houses by reducing the rate of fresh air in that zone, while maintaining the required airflow and temperature in the other zones.
For these efforts, the plant is also in the process of receiving an incremental energy rebate on behalf of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) of Ontario and Enbridge Utilities.
Stellantis and the WAP energy management team will be honoured at the AEE Regional Awards Oct. 19, 2021.
“I’d like to congratulate Stellantis on their recent Regional AEE Energy Project of the Year award in the Canada Region,” said Melanie Claus, Membership director of the AEE. “Identifying top energy losses and developing solutions that can be standardized is a perfect representation of what AEE members are doing to further advance the energy efficiency industry.”