How upgrading refrigeration fans can deliver 80 percent energy savings for retail businesses.
By Tony Wright, Divisional Director at ebm-papst
Society is facing considerable challenges in the light of global warming and world population growth. And so the top priority for supermarket retailers has to be to reduce energy consumption.
According to the University of Lincoln, refrigeration systems account for between 30% - 60% of the total electricity used by supermarkets. This creates an opportunity for environmentally-conscious businesses to review their energy output and look at ways to reduce their carbon footprint in this key area.
EC fans incorporate on board electronics which allows control of the power input to the motor, thus achieving the required fan speed. Utilising EC fan technology in chiller cabinets results in far lower running costs than traditional AC fans, and consequently lower ‘life-time costs’.
Upgrading can result in a reduction in energy consumption by up to 70 per cent, giving businesses payback on their investment in as little as two years. Despite this, many stores still rely on older models which are noisy, have high heat load and poor carbon footprint.
Transforming energy efficiency for Henderson Group
This approach led the company to review the energy output of its refrigeration fans, which worked with conventional shaded-pole motors, therefore using up a lot of energy. With an existing stock of 2,000 fridge fans, Henderson Group realised it could deliver substantial energy savings with an upgrade project. The business contacted ebm-papst, the leading fan manufacturer, and Cross Group, which delivers industrial and commercial refrigeration solutions, and worked with them to install over 2,000 new fans throughout the company’s 400 stores.
For the Henderson Group, most existing AC fridge fans were simply replaced with the energy efficient EC fans from ebm-papst. However, in some cases the Cross Group had to use adapters as some of the stores had a different type of refrigeration cabinet.
In both scenarios, disruption to the customer experience was minimised.
Longer term ongoing maintenance is also minimised, as the EC technology means there is less heat flowing through the motors which in turn leads to fewer rotor copper and slip losses.
Energy efficient fans
The fan upgrade also led to carbon dioxide savings of 318.50 tonnes per year across all the stores involved in the project – the equivalent of 2,023 double decker buses!
An energy efficient future
Upgrades mean retailers will also improve the customer experience by reducing noise, improving reliability and less maintenance disruption, all whilst allowing them to get a step closer to their environmental goals.