Rising electricity costs are creating a demand for energy-efficient solutions in every industry, logistics and distribution being no exception. So KASTO has developed an innovative energy recovery and storage system for its German-built industrial warehouses, used globally for automated storage and retrieval of bar, tube, sheet, plate and other materials.
The technology enables surplus kinetic energy to be converted into electricity and stored temporarily for later use as needed. Operating and investment costs are reduced and so also are CO2 emissions. Energy recovery is available as an option on all KASTO storage products and it can also be retrofitted to systems already in use.
The electric circuits for the drives of the operating gantry crane are connected through a DC link. Surplus kinetic energy, such as that produced during braking of the crane or lowering of the lifting gear is converted into electricity and fed back into the grid. The energy can then be used for other purposes, either within the storage facility or by other users. Consumption of electric power can be reduced by as much as 40 percent compared to conventional drive systems.
To achieve even greater efficiency, KASTO optionally equips its storage systems with an integrated energy storage unit. It temporarily holds surplus energy in double-layer capacitors for use as needed. An intelligent controller charges and discharges the energy storage unit, depending on the process currently running.
Power is drawn from the grid at a nearly constant level, allowing peripheral equipment to operate at the rated load. In this way, users can reduce the connected load of the gantry crane by more than 50 percent. Energy storage allows additional cost savings by avoiding load peaks.
Besides significant reductions in power consumption and CO2 emissions, KASTO’s new technology has the advantage that operators of storage facilities can often use smaller transformers, which are less costly to buy.