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Save Energy and Reduce Refrigeration Costs with CRH Australia

Save Energy and Reduce Refrigeration Costs with CRH Australia

3 Ways to Reduce Your Refrigeration Costs With CRH Australia

Around 7% of the total amount of electricity produced in Australia is used for non-domestic refrigeration, with catering and hospitality accounting for around 60% of this usage. The coolroom industry has not been regulated for minimum energy efficiency and as a result, there are efficiency gains to be had.

As electricity prices continue to rise and pressure on margins swells we're always looking for ways to help you and your businesses drive efficiency in cool room and freezer facilities. Not only will there be gains through the reduction of power bills - a more efficient coolroom or freezer will also reduce Co2 emissions and maintenance costs by up to 30%.

In this article, we suggest 3 simple and effective ways to reduce the running cost of your existing coolrooms through retrofittable coolroom hardware and process improvement.

Keep The Door Shut!

The most cost-effective way to reduce the operating costs of a cold room facility is to keep the door shut. Sounds simple, but too often doors are left ajar by users that make no connection between an open door and the operating costs.

As the cold room is loaded and unloaded the door is required to be opened and closed. When the door is open the challenge is to reduce the amount of heat that gets in (and the cool that gets out) in order to reduce your costs. Strip door curtains such as the pre-made, ready to hang Kason Thermaflex will keep the temperature as constant as possible by minimising the amount of air that escapes. By adding strip curtains, you will reduce the heat gain inside your room by around 30%.

Door Open Alarms such as the Dorwatcher DW300 produce an optical and audible alert to all personnel that the door is ajar. Producing an ear-piercing 100dB, operators quickly close the door. The operators will also be less likely to prop the door open for their own convenience if there's an alarm going off.

A less aggressive way of going about things would be to install hardware that automatically closes your coolroom doors! Kason's Hydraulic Door Closers, or the installation of self-closing Cam Rise Hinges will close your doors and keep them shut - no more doors accidentally left ajar. They also close doors that have popped open due to pressure build-up.

Remember - safety is paramount (and required by the Building Codes) so ensure all latches have functional internal releases fitted and they are checked for correct operation weekly.

Turn the lights off!

Reduce the amount of heat generated by your coolroom lighting and make sure the light is always switched off when you're not inside the coolroom. Sounds simple! However, your staff are moving in and out of the room all day, the lights are burning, and heat is being generated.

It's time to talk about getting rid of any older style incandescent bulbs and installing cool, energy efficient LED lights for your coolroom.

Incandescent bulbs are (were) incredibly inefficient. Approximately 91% of the power consumed by a 100W bulb is essentially turned into heat. Fluorescent tubes were for a while the answer - designed to produce light without so much heat. Around 40% of the electricity consumed by a fluoro tube is converted to light, 60% straight to heat. This is a murky subject to get into without starting to explore losses in starters, ballasts and the different shaped bulbs.

LED technology essentially gives off more light within the bandwidth we see for less input power. A 10W LED gives a similar light output (lumens) to a 100W incandescent, with no UV output. Heat is approximately half that of the equivalent fluoro tubes.

Remember that heat creates load on the refrigeration machinery which in turn increases running costs. While some operators try to save on running costs by installing less lighting, the smart operators install low power LED systems.

LED units start up instantly and also are more efficient when cycled (turned on and off) multiple times every hour. CRH Australia stock a range of IP65 water resistant rated LED lighting solutions which are energy efficient, require less maintenance and have a working temperature range of -40°C to +50°C.

Service Your Seals

Keeping the cool air inside the coolroom and reducing the amount of ambient air entering the coolroom will reduce the load on your machinery. Worn out gaskets will not only let the warm air in, it can be a cause of evaporator freeze ups which can and will lead to machinery failure. Food will warm up and it will quickly become expensive.

Checking your door seals is simple, however, unfortunately, it's also the most overlooked. Depending on the damage or wear to your door seals, it may be an easy fix requiring a bit of glue. Most modern seals are a push in even easier. CRH Australia stock a range of gaskets, sold by the metre and the roll.

However, if you have a sliding door on your coolroom, the best way to ensure your coolroom is airtight is to use a positive seal solution such as those from Fermod or Ecoglide. When the door is sliding there's no wear on the gasket. It's only when the door is almost fully closed the gasket comes into contact with the opening.

Another often missed efficiency gain is small gaps in coolroom panel. If you can see light coming into the coolroom from the outside environment, that needs to be sealed up tight.

CRH Australia is also a supplier of Genuine SKOPE spare parts. If you have a SKOPE fridge and the seals are looking a little dodgy, get the serial number of the cabinet and get in touch. We can match up the gasket you need.

Stack the Room

The efficiency of a coolroom depends on how it's loaded. A cool room is most efficient at around 65% capacity. That's because the product reduces the air volume within the room and the cooled product also creates a thermal mass. Air must be able to circulate around the product inside.

Ideally, products would not be stacked up against the wall or placed in front of the evaporator fans.

With this in mind, coolroom operators should have stacking procedures in place and utilize well designed high-quality stainless steel shelving. Casifit stainless steel wire shelving solution is ideal as it's manufactured out of high grade 304 Stainless Steel so it will not rust.

CRH Australia offers an exclusive design service - send in your plans for your coolroom and we're more than happy to specify the shelving products for your coolroom. We'll make sure that there is plenty of clear air and adequate space for airflow.

If you have any questions about how we can help save energy and refrigeration costs, visit www.crh.com.au.

CRH Australia Profile

1300 274 287

1 Nelson Street, Moorabbin, Vic, 3189



CRH Australia Profile

1300 274 287



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