Sustainability in Raytheon Factories and Buildings

Raytheon’s sustainability program aligns employees, customers, suppliers and communities around a single goal — to engineer a sustainable future through environmental stewardship and the conservation of natural resources.

Raytheon’s sustainability principles extend across the company and influence everything from the operation of manufacturing plants to engineering products. Integrating these principles of sustainability throughout Raytheon operations drives an innovative approach to problem-solving that yields solutions with co-benefits to both the environment and the business.

The Raytheon Sustainability program is founded on several distinct and easily understood goals, including decreasing energy consumption, decreasing water usage and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that help drive green manufacturing practices in company buildings and in operations. At the Raytheon Missile Systems (MS) site in Tucson AZ, the facilities organization is leading an initiative to build a Smart Campus by integrating a network of sensors, meters, data loggers and controls that provide powerful capabilities to visualize and analyze building performance. Building automation system upgrades and integration into the Smart Campus platform has been completed for more than 50 buildings at the site with energy performance data available in real time. The Smart Campus platform is an aggregate solution, consisting of commercial automation software and a variety of building automation tools, monitoring systems and analysis components, that provides a seamless energy and water usage/control capability. The system sends fault alerts when equipment, such as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit, is not operating optimally, and displays the cost of each fault in order to prioritize repairs and elevate performance.

In some areas, such as the larger machine shops, each piece of factory equipment is also metered, showing the energy draw of all machines whether they are in-use or idle. This provides the ability to perform data analyses such as comparing equipment run time against energy draw. This information is then used to drive efficiencies by reducing idle time, forecasting operational hours, and turning off office equipment when not in use. Similarly, water meters are being installed on cooling towers and other related infrastructure to track water usage more closely. This allows equipment operations, such as cooling tower cycle times, to be modified for maximum efficiency.

Adopting this smart technology at Tucson and other Raytheon facilities has the benefit of conserving energy, reducing maintenance costs, increasing equipment life, improving productivity, and minimizing each building’s environmental footprint; demonstrating that integrating sustainable practices into business operations has dual benefit to a company’s bottom line by reducing both utility and maintenance costs.

As an example of how smart technology is leveraged in new construction, consider a data center building designed for direct cooling using chilled door technology. Chilled doors are a recent technology that offers the ability to cool individual data system racks through the use of chilled water coils in the rack door. Also at this facility, “multilevel” monitoring is visualized through the Smart Campus platform’s Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) dashboard, and the Fault Detection and Diagnostic (FD&D) function is used to maintain optimal operation and energy efficiency.

A holistic approach to sustainable operations is achieved through pairing the Smart Campus platform with building infrastructure upgrades that use cutting edge technology to take advantage of the conditions in a desert environment. In 2018, a central utility plant was completed to replace several air-cooled and water-cooled chillers located at a number of buildings at the Tucson facility. This project was urgently needed as the existing equipment was nearing the end of its service life. The new plant consolidated chilled water production from several buildings at a centralized location and implemented a number of district cooling innovations such as thermal energy storage, variable speed and direct primary chillers. Water is chilled at night when desert temperatures are lower and energy costs are less. The chilled water is then distributed during business hours to cool several buildings. Thermal energy storage provides chilled water production flexibility. It also improves reliability and takes advantage of lower nightly electric rate structures.

Figure 1: A ground-mounted solar panel system greets employees at the entrance of a Raytheon Tucson facility

With Smart Campus technology and infrastructure upgrades lowering the energy load, renewable energy projects are even more impactful. Since 2008, another Raytheon Tucson facility has been using the sun as a natural renewable energy source. This campus has implemented 11 solar projects, the largest being a ground-mounted solar panel system located at one of the site’s entrances (Figure 1).

Raytheon collaborated with the United States Air Force to develop a photovoltaic system that converts sunlight directly into electricity to power the site. The 55 kilowatt system’s solar panels, installed in 2012, are set at angles to optimally utilize the sun’s power. Lights powered by this system improve employee safety by lighting large parking lots, pedestrian walkways, bus stops and signs. Solar power is used to heat water at the dining center and the on-site recreation center, and also supplements other natural gas-fired water heaters.

The value of water in the desert environment at the Tucson AZ campus is unmatched among the other natural resources. The campus landscaping has been converted to a unique Xeriscape (Figure 2) using native, drought-tolerant and low water-use vegetation. The last remaining green, the soccer field at the onsite gym, has been replaced with artificial turf. It is estimated that this project alone will save upwards of two million gallons of water annually in addition to the million currently being saved through xeriscaping.

Figure 2: Xeriscape with native vegetation around the soccer field at the Raytheon Tucson facility

In addition to traditional building infrastructure projects, green manufacturing opportunities are being evaluated within factory and lab processes. One of these areas of focus is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from chemical use. Chemical emissions are profiled projects that target the highest emitters first and provide upgrades for leak free delivery systems and installation of leak detection alarm systems. Other projects involve phasing out existing systems in favor of several low-to-no emission alternatives. Alternatives to canned air, for example, include plumbed shop air and an O2 Hurricane® duster system. The O2 Hurricane is a battery charged reusable duster that sprays filtered air with no chemical agent. Each of these alternatives eliminates the emissions and waste previously generated from canned air use. Other green manufacturing opportunities include chemical substitution options that favor low volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gas.

Innovations in sustainability are not only happening at the Tucson AZ facility, they are being implemented across the enterprise. In Fullerton CA, for example, a Raytheon site with a 1950 kW Tesla® battery system using PowerScope software is achieving significant reductions in both peak energy demand and annual energy costs. Companywide, new facilities are being designed and built to LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. These facilities will include LED lighting, upgraded insulation and newer innovations such as variable refrigerant flow (VRF) refrigeration and in-row coolers in server rooms.

Across the enterprise, there were more than 80 active energy and water related projects in 2018 alone. Raytheon’s sustainability program continuously focuses on the environment and the preservation of natural resources. Sustainability is an integral and innovative part of Raytheon business operations—expanding capabilities while reducing the environmental footprint.

— Nicole Sweeney