Environmental Report: Saving energy by staying ‘cool’
I just recently learned of a new “smart” sensor that is currently being used in our North America region. My colleagues there recently ran several pilot tests with eTemp®, a thermostat that helps refrigeration units operate more efficiently. It’s a really great product in my view because it helps our facilities save energy by ensuring that their refrigerators are not responding to minor temperature fluctuations and only reacting to significant changes. So, the sensor literally stays ‘cool’ and stops the refrigeration units from being overactive.
Refrigeration units typically work in a series of cycles to maintain a required storage temperature. These cycles usually occur at least four times per hour. First-generation refrigeration systems monitor circulating air temperature to decide when they should switch on and off. Every time someone opens a storage door or walks into a refrigerated area, the air temperature changes slightly. This means the temperature of the circulating air tends to rise more quickly than the actual temperature of the food being stored. As a result, refrigeration units work harder than necessary to maintain stored products at the right temperature – which leads to excessive electricity consumption and undue wear and tear. This is clearly not the most ideal use of energy.
My American colleagues told me that with eTemp® in place, the number of refrigeration cycles needed to maintain food temperatures have been significantly reduced, leading to much lower energy consumption. Our Dallas (DFW) unit served as test pilot for the new sensor. After two separate measurement studies, the sensors were rolled-out to 17 additional customer service centers (CSCs) within the region.
Current data collection and analyses show impressive results – with eTemp® installed, the participating CSCs have already saved 547,558 kWh and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 437 tons! According to the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), these energy savings are the equivalent of planting 80.6 acres of pine forest every year.