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Big Savings Possible for Commercial Refrigeration

Oct. 7, 2014

Study shows equipment improvements could boost efficiency. 

Commercial refrigeration keeps our products cold, but if the high costs of cooling are freezing out your energy budget, relief may be on the way. A new study prepared for the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that while commercial refrigeration uses as much energy as 45 million tons of coal annually, there are simple improvements that can cut costs and have low payback ranges. Energy Savings Potential for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment states that energy savings up to 29% could be achieved with the installation of current refrigeration technologies.

The report notes the most efficient improvements are evaporator fan ECM motors and ECM/variable speed compressors, with a savings potential of 85 and 48 trillion Btu respectively. Crucial to the implementation of such technologies is the payback period – evaporator fan ECM motors are estimated to recover their costs within just 6 months to 3 years, with ECM/variable speed compressors scheduled to pay for themselves within 2-5 years. 

The findings also show that using gas-fired equipment will not provide significant energy savings in the long-run, though the authors are quick to point out that in some areas they help to reduce peak loads, which can reduce infrastructure costs. 

Looking to slam the door on cooling costs? Take a look at some Tips from ASHRAE to keep them in check. 

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