Solid-state lighting sources, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), offer energy savings and environmental benefits compared to traditional incandescent or fluorescent lamps. In some cases they can offer a 80% energy saving over conventional lighting systems. LEDs are semiconductor devices manufactured under vacuum using gases that need careful handling – Edwards vacuum and abatement systems enable the process and protect the environment.
A photovoltaic solar cell (PV cell) is also a semiconductor device which, in the presence of light, generates electricity. Solar cells provide clean renewable energy, producing zero air pollution, hazardous waste or noise. As economies of scale take effect, the size of the process chambers has increased – again Edwards vacuum and abatement equipment is at the forefront of enabling the development of this environmentally beneficial technology ensuring it is achieved with minimum environmental impact from production.
Vacuum coated glass is primarily used to control the solar generated thermal energy load on buildings. Multiple layers comprising exotic metal oxides create infrared reflecting properties. Reducing the heat load on buildings reduces the need for electrical power to run air conditioning in hot countries. Conversely in cold countries these same reflective properties are used to retain heat and reduce fuel used for heating. By upgrading the vacuum pumping technology (from diffusion pumps to STP turbo molecular pumps) we have reduced the energy consumption of this process by up to 95%, with a CO2 reduction of 22.6 tonnes per year.
Vacuum degassing (VD) and vacuum oxygen decarburisation (VOD) are used in the production of specialty steel alloys to reduce the levels of hydrogen, carbon and other impurities during the secondary steel making process.
Edwards dry mechanical vacuum pumps offer considerable energy savings compared to the traditional multi-stage steam ejector systems, backed with liquid ring pumps.