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An $8 million investment in an efficient HVAC at the Martin Guitar plant in Nazareth, PA has cut energy usage and earned the company an award from the Department of Energy.

U.S. Dept. Of Energy Honors
Martin Guitar


THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) has recognized the energy productivity gains at C.F. Martin & Co. under its Better Plants Challenge. The noted guitar maker had committed to improving the energy efficiency of all its U.S. operations by 25% over the next decade, but actually achieved the milestone within two years.

“Manufacturing competitiveness is a key goal of this administration,” said Daniel Simmons, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. “Through the DOE’s Better Plants program, manufacturers like C.F. Martin are using energy more productively, creating jobs, and driving economic growth.”

To improve its energy performance, Martin Guitar upgraded its aging distributed HVAC Systems with a state-of-the-art central hot/chilled water plant. The heart of the central plant is three water-cooled centrifugal chillers (each with a capacity of 500 tons) and three high-efficiency condensing boilers (each with a capacity of one million BTUs). The company invested more than $8 million in the central plant, modular piping, and 18 custom air handlers, as well as a plate and frame heat exchanger installed as a waterside economizer.

Starting in November 2016, the new system’s performance was measured by monitoring electrical and gas consumption. Ultimately, the project exceeded Martin Guitar’s expectations, cutting electricity use by 46% and natural gas consumption by 20%. These savings translated into a 27% improvement in energy intensity at the Nazareth plant and more than $500,000 in reduced annual energy costs.

Additional benefits from the project included $150,000 in reduced annual maintenance costs, greater system reliability, and perhaps most importantly for a guitar manufacturer, accurate temperature and humidity control.

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