Not a subject the average individual thinks about but is vital to prevent, through open doors, windows, cracks and holes in any building.
Factories, food areas, cold storage and chilled operations are expensive to run, the following information could save you £1,000s per annum, if not monthly or even weekly.
Noticing air movement
Should air have a tint of colour it would be seen clearly and leakage could be prevented by sealing the offending opening which is not sealed correctly.
Most Companies are too busy to notice the ice building up around a door or snow hanging from the ceiling whilst carrying out their duties, but if it were changed from snow too £ notes it would soon be noticed and stopped..
An example of costs broken down:-
1) Refrigeration within a store is designed to cater for incoming product
At a certain temperature and reduced to the storage temperature.
2) Personnel working in the store are also calculated to add to the load (heat) for the refrigeration requirement/calculation.
3) The door openings per hour are calculated for heat gain into the room/store.
4) Each fork truck gives off some heat and would need to be added to the load of the room.
5) Lighting load within the store is calculated by adding all the units to add to the plant load for the design.
6) Insulation Type, thickness adds to losses.
7) It is a requirement with all designs to ensure the correct load for each plant and add a percentage over and above to cater for additional loads by percentages on anomalies and some diversity
The Design criteria
Most if not all companies who design, do over design to a degree to compensate to allow the plant to rotate to reduce wear, to prevent over use. Allowing maintenance to be carried out and still maintaining the correct room temperatures.
Doors play a large part in preventing the loss off cold air and the influx of warm air, ill-fitting doors or even incorrect doors, play a large part in the energy wasted, keeping the store to its correct temperature, freezing the coolers creating poor air movement and in turn overloading the refrigeration plant.
Since the very early days of design of stores, doors have played a large part in maintaining the correct temperature within the room as air infiltration if not prevented, is a major contributor to the costs in running the unit, for example:-
A) Warm air /ambient depends on the time of year but can add up to 40 degrees of heat which is added load to a store in Kilowatts.
B) Coolers are iced up and require longer defrost times to clear the ice,
If not, poor air circulation.
C) Refrigeration plant having to compensate for additional load runs all the compressors, increasing energy use and high maintenance costs.
All of the above cost companies tens of thousands a year in additional running costs through one simple action, NOT CLOSING THE DOOR, ENSURING THE CORRECT SEAL.
A simple check is:-
1) Have you snow inside your store?
2) Is there ice around your doors?
3) Are your coolers clean, no ice? check the air flow is correct
4) Are all compressors running? An indication of heavy load.
5) Are you maintaining the correct temperature in your store?
Simple checks from the above could prevent leakage and reduce you energy bill substantially. General inspection/ maintenance is not a cost, it’s an investment. Small savings early saves large bills later.
Resolutions have been requested to offer ways of reducing running costs in several areas within the food production industry, and have saved clients, considerable amounts off their annual budgets. Through design and experience which the company has 70 years, we can offer simple solutions to an often difficult problem.
Electrical, Mechanical maintenance and Service Manager
To the food and Construction Industry.