Energy management from an engineering perspective
Nov 16, 2017
Everyone wants to improve their energy management, and while there are countless best practices to improve energy efficiency in your processing, I look at it from an engineering perspective.
When designing a new facility or renovating an existing one, I consider the different ways the plant can prioritize energy management within each engineering group that brings the building to life. Let’s explore how you can design energy management into your next greenfield or renovation project.
Jul 6, 2017
Did you know that up to 60 percent of a manufacturing facility’s total operating expenses comes from industrial refrigeration? It’s no surprise that refrigeration efficiency is a priority.
However, engineers often look to optimize individual components rather than taking a holistic approach, leading to wasted energy and operational inefficiencies. To avoid this fragmented approach, here are six steps to optimize the entire system and achieve the greatest energy efficiency:
How to achieve water, electric and refrigeration efficiency that translates to long-term ROI
Jan 19, 2017
Energy costs typically account for 30 percent of a facility’s operating budget. That means nearly a third of all the money you funnel into your plant goes straight to the utility bill.
We already know about the popularity of green building and sustainable practices, but is it possible to go too green? In short, yes. You don’t want to go so overboard with efficiencies that you’re overspending on unnecessary improvements.
What two credit interpretation rules mean for temperature-controlled plants
Nov 22, 2016
Food processing and cold storage facilities have historically faced challenges when pursuing LEED certification. Refrigeration and process systems require a lot of energy, and there has never been a specific path or program for these types of facilities under the LEED umbrella. However, LEED v4 and its two specific credit interpretation rules are now making the path to certification more achievable.
Oct 20, 2016
LEED v4 is here. This latest version of the LEED rating system is “bolder and more specialized for building projects worldwide,” and it features more rigorous standards. While some of the credits and prerequisites are essentially the same as the 2009 version, there are some significant changes you should know about if a new build or renovation is in your future.
Aug 18, 2016
Photo courtesy of Shecco Media
One of Florida’s oldest third-party logistics companies is introducing one of refrigeration’s newest innovations into its new cold storage facility: low-charge packaged refrigeration systems. With a focus on moving to eco-friendly refrigerants, McDonald’s franchisee Caspers Cold Storage and Distribution will be cooling its new warehouse with an ammonia/ CO2 and low-charge ammonia DX system. Because Stellar will be designing and building the new systems, Accelerate America editor Andrew Williams interviewed Stellar’s Brandon France to learn more about the project. Check out the feature article, “I’ll have CO2 and ammonia with that” in this week’s blog post to learn more about how the company is using low-charge refrigeration systems to lower costs, reduce installation time and utilize green refrigerants.
How unfit doors can increase utility costs and diminish energy savings
Apr 7, 2016
Did you know a single weak link in your building envelope can have a major impact on your food plant’s energy efficiency? Take your facility’s doors and door openings. In an otherwise well-insulated and well-designed facility, an improperly designed door opening can erase a big portion of energy and utility savings. Your entire building envelope, from the windows to the walls, must be tightly sealed to achieve the utmost energy efficiency—including the doors.
The best options with ROI in mind
Mar 17, 2016
Achieving sustainability in a food processing plant is no easy task. Upfront costs and expenses associated with energy-efficient solutions, such as equipment and building materials, can be difficult to justify. How do you know which energy-efficient options will provide the best return on investment?
Lessons from state-of-the-art chicken packaging, futher processing and storage facility
Feb 25, 2016
Family-owned premium poultry processor Bell & Evans has remained at the front of its industry’s flock by prioritizing high quality from all angles—from its antibiotic-free chicken to the materials and processes within its facilities. The most recent example of this commitment? A 160,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art chicken packaging, further processing, par-fry and storage plant in its hometown of Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. Stellar was the design-builder for the poultry plant project and found it to be unlike any other project we’ve been a part of. This new facility is infused with cutting edge innovation and durability inside and out, from its materials and finishes to its packaging process.
Feb 4, 2016
CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer food processors a practical way to increase efficiency. By using two centralized refrigeration systems working in unison to provide cooling temperatures, they maximize the effect of carbon dioxide and ammonia. The high-temperature system pulls heat away from the low-temperature system, which in turn uses recirculated liquid to cool the evaporators.
Cascade systems that use CO2 as a secondary refrigerant offer unique advantages. Carbon dioxide is nontoxic and nonflammable, and is also less likely to damage food products in the event of a release. For food plant owners, CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer six key benefits, which are detailed below.