published Thursday, September 9th, 2010

VW ramps up utilities grid

Audio clip

Dieter Schleifer

In a sign the start of production is in sight, Volkswagen is turning on the auto plant’s advanced utility systems, officials said Wednesday.

“In terms of technology, it’s the most advanced worldwide,” said Dieter Schleifer, manager of plant infrastructure for VW in Chattanooga. VW has 60 facilities globally.

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Sep 8, 2010 - On Tuesday Chris Johnson, assistant manager of facilities-plant infrastructure, explains the function of the fire sprinkler water storage tank behind him. The storage tank is inside the Volkswagen Media Center, where all power and operations systems are located.

Inside the 35,000-square-foot utilities building that VW officials call the “media center” are systems which will use water, electricity, natural gas and compressed air to cool, heat and operate the plant.

The building is next to the plant’s paint shop, which uses the most energy and cooled water, said Chris Johnson, VW’s assistant manager of facilities-plant infrastructure.

He said 2,500 gallons of water a minute can be pumped through each of the center’s cooling towers.

Water is also used to cool the tips of many of the plant’s robotic welders, Schleifer said.

The center additionally houses air compressors which power pneumatic equipment in the 2 million-square-foot plant, where production is to start early next year, officials said.

The center is environmentally friendly as is the rest of the $1 billion factory, they said.

Rainwater collected at the center is eventually used to cool equipment, Schleifer said.

VW, trying to make the plant the South’s first to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, estimates energy savings of up to 35 percent compared to older auto factories its size.

The media center’s hot and cold water valves and piping are insulated to gain energy savings, officials said.

Inside, the center uses high-efficient lighting, Johnson said. Sensors automatically turn off the lights when no one is moving in the building for a period of time, he said.

In case of a fire, the center houses a 500,000-gallon tank along with pumps that operate on diesel-powered generators in case electricity is cut, Schleifer said.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
bettyhadley9 said...

Bowie, yeah you can save huge on your auto insurance by making these simple changes find how much you can save

September 9, 2010 at 1:28 a.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.