The new way to cold freezer store electricity costs?
Attending the Australian RWTA conference on Queensland’s the Gold Coast I met up with Collin Coker of Viking Cold Solutions who will be in South Africa next week to market his thermal energy storage system.
Rising electricity prices have forced local cold stores to look critically at their operations. Freezer doors are now kept closed. Energy savings via high speed doors, air curtains, air driers and LED lights are being realized. Photo voltaic panel installations on cold store roofs to self-generate are just around the corner, while new types of insulated panels are emerging to reduce heat ingress.
Viking’s energy storage system is installed in the depth of only the top level of racking load beams so there is no loss of valuable space. Beam design can accommodate the additional weight of approximately 20kgs per pallet position.
Absorbing heat 300 times faster than frozen food and releasing it 5 times faster, the thermal energy blocks stabilize product temperatures and keep freezer air temperatures within parameters while reducing energy usage.
Performance is maintained by sensors which, linked to the refrigeration system, regulate fan and compressor usage to maintain the energy blocks at latent levels.
V. Suarez, a 2000M2 freezer in Puerto Rico, has found that installing energy panels has reduced electricity consumption by over 30%. Payback is between 2 and 5 years, depending on the strategy used. If the panels are completely recharged nocturnally at cheaper tariffs then savings can be significantly higher when heat is absorbed by the panels during peak tariff periods.
While energy savings from the likes of variable speed drives may appear to have a shorter pay back, an advantage of the panels is their longevity and zero maintenance for the life of the freezer.
Thermal energy storage systems are a new approach in the continuing drive for energy savings and merit serious consideration.
If you would like to meet up with Collin to find out more about Viking’s thermal storage system, he can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. If anyone with existing Storax mobiles would like to install a Viking system we would be happy to confirm the additional weight implications on the existing racking.