Are Your Doors Wasting Your Food Plant’s Energy?

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.

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What Coffee Producers Can Learn From Starbucks’ Award-winning Coffee Plant

As today’s home-brewing coffee drinkers continue to seek convenient alternatives to coffee shops, the demand for delicious instant coffee has risen. However, it’s not always easy for processors to produce high-quality instant coffee, as there are many moving parts that must come together to put a tasty cup of joe on the kitchen table.

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[Infographic] Factors That Influence Cold Storage Warehouse Cost Savings

At the close of 2014, data released by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses showed that the total capacity of refrigerated warehouses has increased 20 percent since 2012. And over the past few months, trade magazines have been honing in on the topic, tapping into our team members at Stellar for insights into cold storage construction, including rising technologies, efficiencies and best practices. Continue Reading “[Infographic] Factors That Influence Cold Storage Warehouse Cost Savings”

The Latest in Natural Refrigerants: ATMOsphere America 2015 Recap

I recently joined hundreds of refrigeration stakeholders in Atlanta for ATMOsphere America 2015, an annual natural refrigerants conference. Stellar was among the 37 sponsors, and I among the group of 60-plus speakers, leading a presentation on the advantages of packaged refrigeration equipment. I also attended several sessions myself, leaving the conference with valuable takeaways on the refrigeration industry, including my favorites below: Continue Reading “The Latest in Natural Refrigerants: ATMOsphere America 2015 Recap”

Distributed Refrigeration: The Benefits of Ammonia Refrigeration Without the Risk

The majority of industrial refrigeration systems in the U.S. are central-station ammonia systems—the backbone of the food and beverage industry. For over 100 years, these ammonia systems have dominated the industry because they not only have superior thermos-physical properties, but also because they’re environmentally friendly. Ammonia has a global warming potential (GWP) and ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero.

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How Production Loads in Your Food Processing Plant Affect Refrigeration Efficiency and Stability

When cooling loads change gradually, your refrigeration equipment and controls undergo gradual changes and your system remains stable and efficient. However, if rapid load fluctuations occur as a result of production or sanitation activities, many systems experience pressure or temperature fluctuations, which can cause sanitation and quality issues as well as increased energy usage. There are several strategies food manufacturers can employ to deal with these challenges. Continue Reading “How Production Loads in Your Food Processing Plant Affect Refrigeration Efficiency and Stability”

How CALGreen is Impacting Design and Construction Practices

To incorporate sustainability into building construction and design, California established the California Green Building Standards Code—known as CALGreen for short. As the first statewide green building code in the United States, this code’s voluntary and mandatory measures aim to reduce environmental impact during and after construction while increasing buildings’ efficiency in materials and energy usage. As a food manufacturing and/or storage facility owner, you should understand that CALGreen is changing the way the building industry does business.

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Are HEPA Filters the Most Valuable Choice for Your Plant?

Because billions of particles lace unconditioned air with dust, dirt, bacteria and pathogens, your plant’s air filters are crucial to preventing contamination and ensuring food safety. But when it comes to filtration, more isn’t necessarily better. This is especially true with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. While HEPA filters may be a necessity for some plant environments, they could be expensive overkill for others.

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Five Steps in Energy Modeling to Make Your Building More Efficient

This week, we welcome guest bloggers Thulasi Narayan and Andrew Lee from Paladino and Company. Paladino is an industry leading green building and sustainability consulting firm with a team of architects, engineers, building scientists, commissioning agents and business analysts who advise companies on energy efficiency. Stellar often partners with Paladino to estimate energy performance, help develop energy reduction strategies and track estimated performance against the project’s energy goal during the design process.

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