Study: Energy Consumption of Cold Storage Is Less Than Stated in U.K. Guidelines

Study: Energy Consumption of Cold Storage Is Less Than Stated in U.K. Guidelines

Andy Pearson

Dr. Andy Pearson, Group Managing Director at Star Refrigeration, a Scotland-based manufacturer of ammonia and CO2 industrial systems, has published new research revealing that the energy consumption of cold-storage facilities can now be considerably less than what is cited in the U.K.’s Best Practice Guidelines.

Pearson’s research, which was presented to The International Institute of Refrigeration last year, shows that energy use in larger facilities is now around 15% to 30% of the benchmark listed in the Best Practice Guidelines, which are from 1994.

The guidelines in the U.K. do not take the “significant improvements made in refrigeration plant efficiency over the past years” into account, according to an article published on Star’s website.

If the official guidelines were updated to reflect these improvements, it would have “the potential to save temperature-controlled storage and distribution businesses millions of pounds on energy bills and carbon emissions,” the article said.

The U.K.’s Best Practice benchmark states that operation of a low-temperature cold-storage facility of roughly 100,000m3 (3.53 million ft3) requires a specific energy consumption (SEC) of more than 30kWh/m3/yr (0.85kWh/ft3/yr) for the refrigeration system, according to Star.

However, in 2020 a well-maintained cold-storage facility of 100,000m3 should have an SEC of 10kWh/m3/year (0.28kWh/ft3/yr), while for a 500,000m3 (17.7 million ft3) facility, the SEC could be less than 5kWh/m3/year (0.14kWh/ft3/yr), according to Pearson.

“Reassessing energy performance for Best Practice Guidelines was long overdue and an essential step in allowing end-users and operators to accurately assess energy consumption and environmental impact of their cold store cooling plant against modern industry standards,” Pearson said. 

“Benchmarking their energy usage against current best practice also enables them to establish whether energy efficiency improvement actions are required and allows them to set specific, time sensitive, measurable targets at every stage of the process from planning, building and construction, refrigeration system design, controls, maintenance, monitoring and system optimization,” he added.

“Reassessing energy performance for Best Practice Guidelines was long overdue.”

Andy Pearson, Star Refrigeration

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