Energy wastage occurs when hot or cold air leaks from a facility. Identifying leakage gaps allows you to put suitable measures in place to reduce this loss. Many cold stores in New Zealand are facing high temperatures in the summer months. Too many have inadequate door and dock access-way systems in place, leaking expensive energy. This means high electricity bills and a lot of ice buildup, making the facility unsafe for walking and driving.
A significant source of wasted energy is due mainly to temperature change within the facility. When temperature-controlled air leaks from a room or building, the freezers, heaters or air conditioning units need to work harder and use more electricity to compensate.
How do we know when our facility is wasting too much energy? Here are some of the signs:1. Openings and gaps on closed doors and dock loading areas – doors and dock envelopes must be properly sealed to ensure optimum climate control within the room or building. Light shining through means gaps where leaks occur especially in loading docks.
Ulti Group has an infrared camera which helps to find what areas of your facility are leaking air (either cold or warm) in your facility by taking infrared photos to show where cold or hot patches are around doorways, seals, dock ways, etc.
2. Ice build-up - Ice build-up on the ceiling of freezers and chillers and fans within chiller or freezer are not only indicating that you have energy wastage, but your fans in your freezer will be working overtime and trying to maintain temperature, and burn out, at the same time as using heaps of electricity.
Once the chiller door opens the hot air goes in and because the hot air rises, it goes up to the ceiling and turns into moisture and which later turns into ice. The longer the door is open the more hot air gets in, which goes up to the ceiling and becomes mist that turns into ice with the low temperature in the freezer.
3. Mist going in and out of door – when a door is open, large amount of mist will be present inside and outside of the chiller or freezer which means a lot of energy is being wasted.
4. Spot abnormal temperatures – one can readily observe changes in room temperatures and follow the heat trail to energy waste. Notice a large spike of electricity bill coming into summer as hot air outside is present and energy fans must work harder to maintain steady and constant temperatures within your freezer or chiller.
5. Door open and close times – Manual doorways on chiller and freezers present huge electricity expenses indirectly since the forklift driver needs to go down the forklift to open and close the door and sometimes leave it behind - leaving a huge hole in the side of the freezer or chiller and a substantial amount of warm air inside which leads to ice build up where fans need to work harder and a high electricity bill.
Even automatic doors maybe too slow and inefficient. They may stay open when hit by a forklift and might need reprogramming to close faster. The opening and closing speed of high speed door affects this as the faster that is, the shorter the cycle time and the less air could go inside the freezer.
Frequent opening and closing of doors cannot be prevented but one can choose a fast cycle door to save energy, the longer it takes for a door to open and/or close allows greater amount of heat or cold escaping from the room.
How can I reduce energy usage and my electricity bill in my facility?
One way is to get in touch with Ulti Group and we can do a free onsite assessment with our infrared camera to check gaps on doorways and dock ways in and around your building.
We can then provide a report from our custom designed energy saving calculator designed by an NZ professor which compares a normal PVC strip curtain to a high-speed freezer door. The program has shown that by installing a high-speed freezer door, you can save up to $20,000 per year over and above manual door system in energy bills.
We can then work on solutions for doorways, dock ways and around the building to seal the gaps. Reduce electricity and labour expenses.
6. Damaged doors and dock seals – damage should always be repaired as soon as possible. Regular maintenance of heating, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration systems is important for good operation and to avoid energy wastage. Installing a low maintenance door and dock systems would save a lot of cost and save substantial amount of energy.
Immediate repair and maintenance would save you money and prevent a huge electricity bill. Using the infrared cameras to show gaps and holes would be great help in maintenance and repair as well.
Also, check out this testimonial video of Ian Martin of Foodstuffs telling us how upgrading to the Ulti-flex bi-parting freezer door system has improved their site.
In the meantime, if you'd like an expert to take a look at your facility, give a call on 0800 807 753 or email email@example.com