The forgotten Energy
The objective of this article is to share some facts about the ignored/forgotten free energy, which is at the disposal of any business, but herein the focus is on the Irish food processing industry.
The Irish food processing industry uses a large proportion of energy on:
- Refrigeration in cold rooms where temperature is ranging from 1.5⁰C to 8⁰C
- Heating of space/water and process applications
- Lighting of work space
Indeed a great deal of the aforementioned sustainable energy users can be obtained for free or in the extreme at a very low cost.
Starting with lighting; the recommended level of lighting for office work is 500 Lux (lumen/m2), and for shop floor factory is up to 750 Lux. Having said that, the available free lighting through natural sunlight and can be obtained in the office/shop floor through eco-design of windows and , which can be achieved through windows and or clear roof cladding would be at least 50% of the required lighting level in a dark day and higher in a full sunny day. Thus applying the right design in your facility would reduce your lighting electricity bill substantially.
Another potential sustainable energy user is heating and steam processing, which can be best achieved through energy recovery of plant, such as refrigeration or CHP. In many situations a 100% of heat demand can be achieved for only a one off initial investment.
In many food processing applications, refrigeration energy counts over 50% of the total energy bill. To offset this energy, there is free cooling, which is a technique that relies on ambient temperature to provide cooling to food applications. The concept is not refrigeration, but uses mechanical energy such as extraction fans, aluminium ducts and or free dry coolers along with air handling units to transfer the cold ambient temperature from the outside to the inside of the chill room. As shown in Figure 1, a large part of the season the outside temperature is averaging +10⁰C, where many hours during the winter months temperature is well below 5⁰C, which present an opportunity to offset the base load demand of the total refrigeration energy that can be extended for many hours during night time throughout the year.
Figure 1 Ireland average temperature distribution
In summary, more attention is needed to incorporate eco system design to adapt to surroundings environment to get the best out of available free energy.
About Wasim Haskiya
Wasim Haskiya is high profiled Energy/Sustainability Engineer woks at Keelings. Expertise in: Energy management systems (EnMS) and ISO 5000; Origin Green; Sustainable Manufacturing; Mechanical Engineering and Project Management; Robotics & Nanotechnology.
Wasim obtained a PhD degree in Robotics to work in research and lecturing in Mechanical Engineering, then run own IT business, and research in robotics and nanotechnology.
During recession time Wasim has completed a Master of Engineering degree in Sustainable Energy Systems to join Keelings till present time…
Research Interests: Energy Data Analytics; Energy Storage; Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Manufacturing; Nano-Manufacturing; Micro-Robotics
Achievements: Grants; Over 10 Publications