Refrigeration for grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants can account for as much as 60% of their electricity consumption.
Walk-ins, reach-ins and display cases are the biggest energy wasters and there are many no-cost and retrofit options that can significantly improve their energy efficiency.
1. Maintain Clean Coils Regularly clean evaporator and condenser coils to prevent build-up that could cause the unit to work harder than needed.
2. Maintain Door Seals Allowing warm air into refrigerated space makes the compressor work harder. Similarly, making sure that the doors are not left open for extended periods of time ensures that excessive energy isn’t spent to return the cooler to its set-point temperature.
3. Load cold items immediately Your unit has to work harder to cool warm or room-temperature items. Loading cold deliveries immediately puts less strain on your cooling system.
4. Mechanical sub-cooling This is an effective method of cooling liquid refrigerant below its saturation pressure in order to increase system capacity and improve efficiency. Estimated savings: 25%
5. Liquid pressure amplifiers these small refrigerant pumps raise the liquid line pressure to increase system efficiency. For systems with air-cooled condensers, the lower the outdoor temperature, the greater the efficiency gain. Estimated savings: up to 20%
6. Anti-sweat heater controls Virtually all low and medium temperature display cases have electric heaters installed in them to keep external surfaces dry and free of condensation during high humidity conditions. Anti-sweat heater controls sense humidity conditions and turn off the heaters when they aren’t needed. Estimated savings: 14-20%
7. Floating head pressure controls these controls allow the compressor to vary with outside conditions, which saves money and helps equipment last longer. Standard on most new systems, but older equipment can be retrofitted. Estimated savings: 3-10%
8. Energy efficient case lighting fixtures replace old lighting with T-8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts to reduce both lighting energy use cooling load on the compressor. Estimated savings: 10%
9. High efficiency fan motors a typical grocery store may have hundreds of fan motors, and efficient motors allow less heat to enter into the cooling space. Estimated savings: 5-15%
10. High efficiency compressor systems Grocery display cases, beverage merchandisers, reach-in freezers and refrigerators, refrigerating vending machines, walk-in coolers and freezers and ice machines all use compressor systems. Estimated savings: 6-16%
11. Defrost controls designed to make the defrost cycle more energy efficient, demand controls replace simple timer clocks and initiate defrosting by measuring frost accumulations, sensing humidity or measuring the temperature or pressure drop across the evaporator. Estimated savings: 1-6%
12. Evaporative condensers While most refrigeration systems use air-cooled condensers to expel heat, these condensers use a wetted filter to cool air as it enters the condenser, increasing its ability to reject heat. Estimated savings: 3-9%
13. Add doors to display cases glass doors on display cases reduce compressor costs and cold air spillage and increase store comfort conditions. Many existing cases can be retrofitted. Estimated savings: up to 50%!
14. Buy ENERGY STAR Certified Equipment when purchasing any new equipment, be sure to look for the EPA Energy Star logo. Refrigeration units that have earned this logo use at least 30% less energy than required by Federal Government standards.
Find out more by visiting www.eere.energy.gov, www.sba.gov and your local utilities website, where you can find out if there are incentives available to offset the cost of retrofitting you refrigeration equipment.