CNC Software: A Leader in Green

The Tolland business uses high tech and low tech approaches to energy conservation.

The CNC, Inc. complex on Old Post Road in Tolland is an all-electric building, powered by a formidable array of solar panels and served by no fewer that 46 geothermic wells on the property. And it’s not done yet.

CNC President Mark L. Summers is constantly on the lookout for new ways to save energy and envisions a day when his operation will be at cost-zero.

“We’re looking at an additional array of solar panels to bring us up to 50-60 percent, and at smart technology which allows the panels to follow the sun during the day. We’ll be looking for more low tech applications as well,” he smiled.

But for now, Summers points with pride to the vast array of energy-efficient systems that CNC currently has in place, from solar panels to geothermal wells to composting usable waste from the company kitchen.

“The solar panels provide between 25-30 percent of our energy needs, which are considerable,” Summers said during a recent tour of the facility. “They generate up to 72 kilowatts of power and on a sunny day like today, we’re actually producing more power than we need. The excess goes onto the main power grid and we are credited for it.”

The geothermal wells are located under the company’s parking lot and provide hot water to the building. “A series of heat pumps, run by electricity, distribute the water into the system to provide heat,” Summers said. “In the summer, the system is essentially reversed and the heat is returned to the earth, providing air conditioning. The entire system is run by a computer that automatically turns equipment on and off as needed.”

As the company’s products and services, marketed worldwide, are also dependent on computers, its server is huge and needs constant cooling. “We siphon off the heat from the server room and distribute it elsewhere in the building in the cold months, and outside in the warm months,” he said.

In addition to the high tech aspect of his operation, Summers also pointed with some pride to a low-tech activity. There are four kitchens in the complex to serve our 125 employees, and grounds from the coffee machines and other garbage are collected and composted daily.

“It has never made any sense to me that we expend fossil fuel to transport garbage. Here, the compost goes into a garden where every year we plant a thousand tomato plants. It produces more than three tons of tomatoes which we make available to our employees and to local food banks,” he said.

Article by Wally Robinson

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