Woodlands Dairy – Ecube Trial yields excellent results.
Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp is another business leading the way in reducing their carbon footprint through pro-active and innovative energy reduction strategies.
Woodlands Dairy made contact with Saving Energy around how to reduce their electricity consumption using the Ecube , a proven technology utilised around the world as an effective solution to reduce electricity usage in refrigeration.
As a dairy, their primary consumer of power is refrigeration and with an average electricity bill approaching R1,2 million per month , they needed a quick and efficient solution.
They approached Saving Energy to utilize ECUBE and to test the efficiency of this product to reduce their energy consumption on the refrigeration side.
Woodlands also needed an effective ROI solution so that results and savings would be swift.
The Ecube has proven itself in South Africa, with an installation done at the entire Cold Storage facility at Johannesburg Fresh Market yielding a R1 million plus saving in year one and giving JHB Market an effective ROI of just 10 weeks!
How Ecube works to reduce energy consumption in refrigeration.
Most current refrigeration systems work on temperature control data based on the AIR temperature in the fridge.
The biggest issue with this is that VAST amounts of electricity are wasted cooling down the air as it warms during normal operation.
But, fridges don’t store air, they store product and whether that product is dairy, meat or fruit, the thermal properties of produce differ vastly from the thermal properties of air.
As product is mostly water, water is 1000 times more dense than air and as such will hold temperature significantly longer than air.
This is where the ECUBE delivers.
By placing the ECUBE onto the thermostat sensor and changing the temperature data source from AIR to PRODUCE, it effectively reduces the number of compressor cycles in an hour as the product does not lose temperature nearly as fast as air.
With every day operation under the normal system, as the fridge is opened , warmer air rushes in and cooler air flows out. The sensor registers a temperature rise and so switches the compressors on to cool down the air!
But- the product inside the fridge hasn’t warmed up at all- and so DOESN’T NEED TO BE COOLED!
In fact , the primary factor for premature food spoilage is the freezing / overcooling / thawing cycle of food product due to air temperature control systems.
The Shilliday test data below the trial results segment ,shows how ECUBE maintains a steady and consistent core temperature in produce leading to greater shelf life and lower food spoilage.
SHILLIDAY TEST DATA
- The graph below illustrates how the E CUBE reduces the product temperature fluctuation to within a 2 °C range , between 3°C and 5°C , while the air temperature in the Cabinet fluctuates wildly between -2°C and 9°C , a range of 11°C.
This is significant as the primary cause for wastage in food products is caused by a high range of temperature variance in the core of the product itself , resulting in a continuous condensation and evaporation cycle within the core. By maintaining a far lower temperature fluctuation , the life of product is extended.
- The test below was conducted by Shilliday Refrigeration in the UK in 2008.
The trial results.
A trial was created to test the effect of the Ecube on 4 of their units and the data below shows the impact that the ECUBE had in reducing the operational cycles of the system as well as delivering more consistent temperature ranges and slowing down the loss of ‘coolth’ in the units.
The ‘before’ trial dates are from 24 July to 30 July and the ‘After’ trial dates are from 31 July to 8 August.
It is clear from the graph lines that the fridges are maintaining consistent temperature longer AFTER installation than before.
The graph lines on all the fridges are much close together and have more peaks and troughs that after ECUBES are installed.
This is one of the results of having this product installed.
In essence, these units are now taking longer to lose temperature than they did before the ECUBES were installed.
You can tell this from the temperature graph lines being further apart, showing temperature maintenance for longer times VS the shorter and sharper temperature graph lines before ECUBE was installed.
On Units C2A AND C2B , the impact of Ecube is more so.
I can also see that the Ecubes were installed on 31 July as the temperature spike is evident on all the graphs.
To make this comparison even, I have looked at the peak temperatures excluding the ECUBE installation spike to give a more accurate representation of the temperature fluctuations.
For Unit C2A, the minimum temperature before installation is 1.6 degrees and the maximum is 8.8 degrees.
This is a 7.2 degree swing.
After installation , the minimum is 2,4 degrees and the maximum is only 7.5 degrees.
This is just a 5.1 degree swing.
That’s a difference of 2.1 degrees.
If you take that as 1 degree = 10% energy saving- this would be equivalent to a 21 % energy saving
For unit C2B above , a similar patterns emerges…before installation, the min temp is 1.4 degrees and the max temp is 8.4 degrees- that’s a 7 degree swing.
After, the min is 2.2 degrees and the max is 7.8 degrees = 5,6 degree swing.
The difference here is 1,4 degrees and a saving of 14%.
But, there is more.
Units C1A and C1B maintaining a colder temperature at a WARMER setting!
One of the effects of the ECUBE is to provide more efficient cooling and maintaining of temperature as well as lower rate of loss.
Before the Ecubes were installed, the set temperatures of the units was 2 degrees C.
After they were installed, the set temperature was INCREASED to 3 degrees C.
This is a 33% increase in temperature and yet, the consumption remained stable and within the same range as before.
This makes the impact of the ECUBE EVEN more apparent.
Units C1A and C2A are running the same temperature ranges but set 1 degree higher!
This is a 10% saving off the bat and cycling less often that before!
On units C2A and C2B , the fridges are running on a more consistent temperature range and those savings of 20% and 14% respectively are now realistically at 30% and 24% respectively.
The Ecube is doing exactly what it is designed to do – use less energy and run more consistent temperatures in the units.
Where Woodlands Dairy will save money.
With the trial results a success, Woodlands will now look to install ECUBES in the remaining units to extend the results across the full refrigeration system.
With Ecube installed, the savings achieved will be seen as follows :
- Lower electricity costs across the system as fewer compressors starts mean far lower running consumption and lower KVA startup costs.
- With ECUBE installed, the ‘air temperature differential’ compensation can be eliminated. Simply explained, this is where fridge set temperatures are SET FAR LOWER than they need to be to ensure that the AIR TEMPERATURE is maintained. For example, where a product needs to be at 5°C, the fridge will be set at 2°C or 3°C to compensate for the air temperature losses. While the optimum temperature for the product preservation is 5°C, the fridge is actually using 20%-30% MORE energy than it needs to! With temperature tests conducted proving that the temperature difference between set temperature of the fridge, ECUBE temperature and product temperature varying by less than 1°C, Woodlands can now set their fridges some 2°C warmer and now achieve optimum product temperature at the required temperature!
- This was shown in the test data above , where the units achieved the same temperature ranges at 1°C WARMER!
- Reduction in maintenance and breakdown costs as the compressors and motors startup less often.
- Reduced food spoilage and waste.
Energy and cost efficient production = improved bottom line!
With the ROI for this project projected at less than 60 days and with the warmer weather on the way, Woodlands Dairy will see significant savings on all aspects of their refrigeration side.
Using the conservative figures below as the model, their savings would be as follows:
Estimating that the refrigeration side currently accounts for 50% of the monthly cost of R1,2 million = R600 000 per month.
While the test data shows a 20% plus saving, I am going to use a conservative 10% as the saving for this exercise.
At 10% , the saving is R60 000 per month or R720 000 per year, which gives an ROI of less than 60 days.
This is only the energy aspect and does not include the maintenance and food spoilage savings either.
Bottom line, the Management and CFO at Woodlands are going to be VERY happy indeed come Financial Year End.
If your business uses refrigeration- you should be talking to us about Ecube. Today.