Optimize refrigeration systems energy usage

Maintenance and monitoring are just two of the six ways.

01/06/2014


Six ways to optimize energy usage in refrigeration systems. Courtesy: CFE Media with information provided by Luke Facemyer.Refrigeration costs account for the majority of a plant’s total electrical costs, often exceeding 60% of total operating expenses. As energy costs continue to increase, more and more food processors are realizing the need for energy optimization and monitoring as a way to increase productivity and lower energy costs. 

Optimizing the entire systems

The key drivers in managing energy efficiency are reducing operational costs, utilizing existing systems to reduce equipment costs, analyzing the ROI for new controls system upgrades, and conducting a power quality assessment.

Most refrigeration systems are designed to optimize the efficiency of each individual component rather than looking at the entire system as a whole and ensuring that all components work together efficiently. Many processors add new equipment without regard to the impact on the total system, leading to wasted energy and operational inefficiencies. 

Top six ways to save energy 

Maintenance: Conduct regular maintenance to check for dirty filters, broken sensors, failed insulation and other malfunctions that could be wasting energy.

Monitoring: Know how much, when and where energy is being used. Install  alarms and monitoring systems to identify inconsistencies and trends that could be wasting energy.

Energy Recovery: Capture wasted heat from condensers and turn it into energy.

Water Savings: Manage and reclaim the water that’s evaporated from your condenser.

Operations: Change your set points or put in controls to do it automatically to better manage processes and efficiency.

Design: Select the proper equipment based on size and compatibility, install VFDs

Energy audits – energy efficiency checklist

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of automation is the ability to optimize the entire system to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. By collecting and analyzing data, technicians can identify systems that are running in an inefficient manner and correct them. 

Technicians can manage the control and sequencing of all equipment to maximize energy efficiency. They can run trend analyses, alarm logs, energy management data, and runtime reports in real-time to improve the efficiency and reliability of your entire system.

- Edited by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Associate Content Manager, CFE Media, Plant Engineering, Control Engineering



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2016 Product of the Year Finalists: Vote now; Data center Q&A; LED codes; Smart buildings
Fire pump power system design: How to design safe, reliable fire pump power service; Water management in commercial buildings; Emergency egress, illumination
Pump technology design: Selecting pumps and pipes; Class A office buildings; NFPA 101-2015; ASHRAE 90.1 updates; Motors, drives, and HVAC efficiency
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me