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View Subscription Details: Letter ( 08/18/2011 ) - HTML Format

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During periods of cool weather, condensing pressure can be lowered and this is major energy saving opportunity. It can give you up to 50% of total energy savings. I think that many refrigeration plants can operate at condensing pressure below 100 psig and a lot of energy can be saved. This point was mentioned in several newsletters. Surprisingly, nobody asked me how to do that. Does it mean that everybody knows how to operate plants at condensing pressure below 100 psig? Most likely not.  Why do not ask the question?

I think that our industry wastes a lot of energy. However, many people try to save energy themselves or they rely only on one adviser. This approach can only give you limited energy savings. Energy savings in industrial refrigeration is a new and huge topic. Nobody knows it perfectly. Some people know better one area of energy saving, other people know better another area of this issue. Talk to different professionals and take the best from every approach. This is the way to maximize efficiency of your refrigeration plant. However, people very rarely ask questions.

Operators believe that it is their job to improve operation of the plant and save energy. Typically, they can do initial optimization of the refrigeration plant operation and 5 - 10% of energy can be saved. However, this is low hanging fruit. In energy saving process, every next step is harder and harder to achieve. Additional 10 - 20% of energy can be saved, but it can not be done by operators themselves. You have two options. Final optimization of the refrigeration plant operation or significant investments in energy saving equipment (PLCs, VFDs) are these options. They can give you similar energy savings, but optimization is 10 - 20 times less expensive then investment in the equipment. Choice is yours. To achieve final optimization of the refrigeration plant operation, you should find an expert who will be able to help you in this issue. Talk to people in our industry. Do not be shy to ask questions. Otherwise you will continue to waste energy.

Example.

Two companies have identical refrigeration plants.

To save energy, management of one company decided to rely only on knowledge and experience of plant operators. These operators have done their best to optimize operation of the refrigeration plant and $50,000 of energy costs has been saved. Ten years of partly optimized operation will save $500,000 for this company. It looks like a good savings.

Management of second company decided to invite an expert to optimize operation of their refrigeration plant. Full optimization was done and $100,000 of energy costs has been saved. Cost of this optimization was $10,000. Ten years of optimized operation will save $1,000,000 for this company. This is $500,000 more than savings of first company. After 20 years of operation this difference will be $1,000,000.

This is an example of smart investment in energy efficiency. Second company invested $10,000 in full optimization of the refrigeration plant operation and 20 years later they saved additional $1,000,000. You can use this saved money to build a new plant.

To make a good investment in energy savings, you should get good advice. To get advice, you should ask questions. No questions. No advice. No energy savings. You can ask me any questions about energy savings in industrial refrigeration. I will give you a clear answer and this answer can be the base for good investment in energy efficiency.

 

This is my 80th newsletter. Unfortunately, I almost run out of topics. If some areas of energy saving in industrial refrigeration are not clear to you, let me know and I will do my best to clarify these areas.

 

 

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