Take a whole-system approach in the operation and management of your industrial refrigeration system. The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offers incentives to help you get started today.
Industrial refrigeration accounts for up to 80 percent of the energy costs for some facilities. That’s a significant expense for energy-intensive industries such as food processing, beverages, pharmaceuticals and refrigerated warehouses. To stay competitive, facilities are applying lean energy principles to cost effectively provide high-quality services and products. The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offers incentives and technical expertise to modernize your industrial refrigeration system that can save you money and energy.
Evaluating industrial refrigeration components as an integrated system is the first step in improving energy efficiency. Sometimes inefficiencies in one component can adversely affect the whole refrigeration system. By identifying equipment and operational needs, setting objectives and creating a road map to achieve goals, you’re well on your way to reducing costs. Also, in many situations, investments in energy efficiency can reduce labor costs and improve system reliability and productivity.
A variable frequency drive (VFD) adjusts a motor’s speed to match demand. Install VFDs on compressors, evaporative condenser fans and evaporator fans to reduce energy use. When the system is operating at less than full capacity because the cooling load is reduced or as ambient temperature varies, energy savings are achieved as VFDs reduce the speed of the equipment to match the load. Reducing the evaporator fan power reduces the cooling load within the space, which achieves fan energy savings and ultimately reduces the overall cooling load and energy use.
Besides energy savings, VFDs offer “soft-starting” capabilities, which reduce thermal and mechanical stress on belts and other parts, lowering maintenance costs. VFDs also reduce voltage fluctuations that can occur when starting large motors, thereby improving system reliability. As energy-saving opportunities are explored, consider whether VFDs are deployed in the system. If so, where and how are they being controlled? Is there a VFD on one compressor for each suction level? Do evaporators and evaporative condensers have VFDs on the fans?
Compressors are the workhorse of the refrigeration system and typically consume most of the energy. Implementing a floating head pressure control strategy is one cost-effective way to reduce the compressor’s energy use. This strategy optimizes the head pressure to minimize both compressor and evaporative condenser fan energy with an overall reduction in energy required to provide cooling to the facility.
High-efficiency lighting in the refrigerated space reduces the facility’s energy use, as well as minimizes heat gains from the lighting that add to the internal refrigeration system loads. LEDs are a popular alternative, reducing lighting costs by more than 50 percent.
LEDs are recommended for industrial refrigeration because they operate better than fluorescents in cold temperatures. While fluorescents have reduced light output in the cold, the performance of LEDs actually increases as temperatures drop. LEDs also provide “instant on” light and work well with lighting controls, including occupancy sensors, bi-level lighting and timers that further reduce energy waste.
Industrial refrigeration can be a major draw on your overall energy load, making it a hot target for cost savings. Keep the situation cool with incentives from the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
Head over to Business Types or Public Sector for energy-reducing ideas specific to your organization.
Email us at BusinessEE@ComEd.com or PublicSectorEE@ComEd.com
Call us at 1-855-433-2700 during normal business hours to speak with a ComEd Energy Efficiency Program representative.
The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program is funded in compliance with state law.
Offers are subject to change.