When Dave Brant, senior chief engineer at SnoTemp Cold Storage, heard about a new certification focused on saving energy offered by the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), he was intrigued: becoming a Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist (CRES) meant he could reduce energy waste and cut costs for his company. With his facility operating at full capacity, and a team of engineers supporting operations, Dave knew there would be plenty of opportunities to sleuth out savings and make a big impact.
To kick things off, the SnoTemp team looked for no- and low-cost energy-savings projects. By spending time examining the process step and phase of each piece of equipment they began to find energy savings opportunities that make an impact: the company has saved over $50,000 to date on energy consumption.
For their first project, the SnoTemp team looked at the air curtains on their freezer doors. They noticed that the fans that keep the warm air away from the refrigerated areas were constantly engaged and thus always using energy. The fans even ran at night, when no operators were working at the plant or opening the doors: during those times, the opportunity for the warm exterior air to enter the cold freezer
section just wasn't there.
To address this, SnoTemp operators installed a timer on the air curtain system. The timer shut the air curtain system off after 10 minutes of non-use, eliminating the run time and energy waste associated with the unused hours. The upgrade cost SnoTemp around $1,000, but the payback for the project was less than three months.