With sustainability an increasingly visible and important issue for the construction industry, many contractors are working to find new solutions to reduce the negative impact on the environment. As specialist subcontractors, Carey Group companies often have limited scope for advising on design or material specifications, but operationally are less constrained in our ability to reduce carbon emissions, water and electricity use.

In 2016, Careys Plant & Fleet identified a new innovation in the form of Firefly hybrid generators. Manufactured by Firefly Hybrid Power, a CCL Energy Group company, the generators are an integrated hybrid power source that combine traditional diesel generators with an innovative energy storage solution to dramatically reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions.

Most construction projects require a generator of some description to power tools, lights and machinery, but rely on diesel-power. Despite being more fuel efficient than petrol engines, diesel engines produce significantly more CO2.

“We identified that there was a problem with energy overcapacity on several of our larger projects” says Gary Condon, Managing Director of Careys Plant & Fleet. “Our site teams were running their generators all day, but at certain times there might only be a handful of items using the output, resulting in as little as 10-20% of the power generated being used at those times. This was obviously incredibly wasteful, so I challenged my team to find a better solution.”

Gary’s team went out to the market and met with Firefly Hybrid Power, who quickly presented them a potential option in the form of their CYGNUS and ARCTURUS generator systems. Capable of producing a range of outputs up to 100kVA, the generators provide a simple all-in-one power solution that reduces emissions, minimises noise and most importantly, stores unused energy within it’s internal battery system for later use.

The generators are designed to draw power from the battery when it is available, only activating the generator once the battery is drained. This reduces overall fuel usage, creating great cost savings in addition to the obvious environmental benefits.

“Our site teams absolutely love the generators,” continues Gary “Looking at the figures, we’ve been able to reduce our generator carbon emissions by more than 70%. Other contractors and our clients have been really impressed with them, and we’ve had compliments from residents that live locally to our sites who appreciate the reduction of noise and emissions - they are a big step forward in sustainability.”

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