With energy saving a major priority for many companies, including cold storage companies, Shaun Evers, MD at Stonegate Instruments, explains how energy is being wasted and introduces a selection of interesting technologies that can help reduce wastage.
Rising energy costs are putting increased pressure on businesses across many sectors, including cold storage companies, where refrigeration can account for as much as 80 per cent of total energy consumption.
Energy savings of up to 50 per cent are however, possible, with the use of specialist cold storage technologies, many of which can be easily installed at little cost. Payback on investment by implementing these technologies can frequently be under two years. With average site energy bills upwards of £0.5 million per year, the savings can be quite significant.
Installing energy saving technologies can have a positive effect on energy consumption in a number of ways.
One such technology is gas detection systems which typically work with small gas sensors placed around the cold store to ensure a large area is covered through the use of one system. They detect many refrigerants including CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs. Each gas detection system works differently, but they usually present the status of each of the sensors through use of coloured LEDs and provide an audio visual alarm on a main control panel should a gas leak occur. Refrigerant leaks can not only have a detrimental impact on the environment but can also significantly reduce energy efficiency.
Audio visual alarms are also frequently used in cold storage as they can alert employees quickly to a problem. Door open alarms tend to use high brightness, multi-coloured LEDs and a loud visual warning to alert staff should a door be left open, minimising the chance of energy wastage. In cold rooms, it is essential that doors should be closed as soon as possible, to avoid this from happening.
Cold rooms also need to remain at optimum temperatures. Should a door be left open food can quickly perish. Temperature control is therefore, very important, as any increase in temperature can potentially be damaging to the products being stored.
Digital thermometers are an effective way of monitoring temperatures. Thermometers are traditionally designed to be used with a thermistor probe over a range of +/- 50°C. They will constantly display the temperature whilst the probe and supply are connected and can easily be installed at the entrance to a cold store, or near equipment that needs to be monitored.
Installing technologies to improve energy efficiency can not only help save money on energy costs but can also reduce operating costs. With many cold storage businesses feeling the need to reduce energy consumption and expenditure, installing cost effective solutions like gas detection products, door open alarms and thermometers will ensure they are on the right path to achieving these goals.
Stonegate Instruments works closely with a number of leading cold storage companies to design, develop and manufacture tailored solutions to improve energy efficiency. Stonegate’s products include: trapped personnel alarms, temperature displays and alarms, refrigerant solutions, warning devices, temperature probes, controllers, annunciators, AC Logic gates and interfaces.
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