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Publication Title | Declaring Independence from Grid Power Uncertainties

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Helvetic Neue 53 Extended Helvetic Neue 83 Heavy Extended

Harbec Plastics, Ontario, NY

Plastics Processor


Declaring Independence

from Grid Power Uncertainties

Generating Onsite Power with Capstone Benefits Production,

the Environment and the Bottom Line

Continuous Process Manufacturing Depends on Continuous Power

At Harbec Plastics, the waste produced at each step becomes the input for the next step. Even the scraps swept off the floor become raw material used to create fresh new products. Electric power keeps Harbec moving, but a power interruption can create disaster, ruining raw materials and work in-process. Complex CNC processes drop offline, resulting in extensive downtime. A grid outage, spike, sag or frequency variation of minutes or even a split-second

can translate into long recovery times and huge economic losses.

Harbec Plastics’ founder Bob Bechtold has, for more than 20 years, walked a tightrope balancing power cost and quality against his

corporate livelihood.

Located outside Rochester, NY, Harbec ( produces highly engineered, precision plastic parts for customers in medical, automotive, consumer goods and other industries. Every aspect of Bechtold’s ISO 9002/Q2 9000/ISO 14001-certified operation is designed to maximize sustainability and efficiency while minimizing

waste through re-use and recycling.

Overlooking the Capstone MicroTurbine installation at Harbec Plastics.

Power Problems Lead to a Capstone Solution

Years of increasingly frequent power problems culminated in a string of grid outages and other power events that hit Harbec hard in 1999. Clearly the power outlook for Harbec was uncertain and something had

to be done.

Today, Bechtold’s facility has a state-of-the-art array of 25 ultra-low- emission 30-kW Capstone MicroTurbines producing high-quality uninterrupted

power. Heat from the array is used for both warming and cooling.

Bechtold’s search for the optimal energy system began with several objectives in mind:


Eliminate grid power uncertainties that threaten production and profits for a continuous process manufacturer.


The Capstone MicroTurbine creates clean, economical, onsite electricity along with thermal energy for climate control.

Harbec Plastics President Bob Bechtold, an innovative businessman with an innovative technology.


• Yields 36% net energy cost reduction

• Ensures production continuity

• Uses microturbine heat exhaust for climate control: absorption chiller air conditioning and desiccant drying in summer; radiant floor and circulated air heating in winter

• Delivers excellent return-on-investment, yielding production protection, low O&M needs, and high energy efficiency through CHP

• Lowers environmental impact compared to conventionally generated power and heat

• Eliminates need for paralleling switchgear and other costly arraying hardware

• Interconnection requires no additional hardware, thanks to UL 2200 and UL 1741 certification, as well as built-in protective relays and other direct- to-grid interfacing functions


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