How Viking Cold Can Help Your Energy Efficiency Goals

April 27, 2022 Blog Articles, Case Studies, Energy Storage

Energy costs around the U.S. have been climbing leaving consumers wondering “how high will they go?” States such as Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California have the highest electricity rates in the country, with California as the second-largest energy consumer in the nation after Texas. In the last five years, electricity costs in the Los Angeles area exceeded the national average by 34% or more since 2018 – see Chart 1.

Chart 1: ­Average prices for electricity U.S. & Los Angeles


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Despite California’s high-energy consumption, its per capita energy consumption is less than most states due in part to its mild climate and its energy efficiency programs. The Golden State primarily produces electricity from solar, geothermal, and biomass energy, making it one of the most energy-efficient states in the country – but that isn’t enough for California. The state has committed to reaching a goal of 100% renewable and zero-carbon electricity by 2045, and the California Energy Commission (CEC) is leading the way.

The CEC supports energy research and development programs to spur innovation in energy efficiency and has lately completed a major study on the route to zero net energy (ZNE), which includes Viking Cold Solutions’ Thermal Energy Storage (TES) in the blueprint for a path to net zero emissions for commercial buildings. The Viking Cold TES system was installed in the walk-in grocery freezer at a San Francisco Whole Foods store. This installation included Phase Change Materials (PCM) mounted on the ceiling of the walk-in freezer as well as cloud-based intelligent controls integrated with the existing refrigeration controls.

According to the report, refrigeration accounts for a majority of the store’s electrical load, therefore thermal PCM, also known as thermal energy storage or TES, is a promising method for storing small amounts of excess energy. TES allows refrigeration compressors to run less often when energy costs are high (and energy production is low) and to run more often and store thermal energy when energy costs are low (and there is excess generation). This reduces cycling of the compressors and refrigeration energy costs, ultimately improving the efficiency of existing refrigeration systems. This is done by increasing the percentage of the total refrigeration run time that occurs during hours with lower ambient temperatures, thereby running the compressors at higher efficiency levels – see Chart 2.

Chart 2: ­Plot comparing the predicted baseline energy with post-retrofit energy consumption for Viking Cold System


Source: CEC Report, Figure D-9

TES technology combines intelligence with PCM to maximize the energy efficiency of the refrigeration system. Viking Cold PCM cells add thermal mass to a room, providing the ability to hold designated temperatures for much longer periods, which helps reduce refrigeration runtimes. Intelligent controls and an energy-management system help maintain a constant temperature and alert operators about any mechanical malfunction or power outage. The CEC study concluded that TES technology produced 25% energy savings and was proven as an applicable energy conservation measure to help achieve California’s energy efficiency goals. The results of this study were released by the CEC as a blueprint for a successful path to ZNE commercial buildings in California, but this blueprint could easily be one for the entire world.

Read more about Viking Cold’s approach to cold storage efficiency here. For additional information about the CEC study, click here.

Viking Cold Solutions Wins pv magazine’s Sustainability Award

March 29, 2022 Blog Articles

pv magazine recently recognized Viking Cold Solutions as the 2021 Sustainability Award winner for its innovative Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology and services. This accolade is awarded to companies with technological innovations and groundbreaking solutions in the solar and energy storage industries.

An independent panel of jurors cited the energy efficiency and the scalability of the company’s TES technology as two of the reasons Viking Cold was selected over hundreds of other companies vying for awards. This international recognition of TES technology’s contributions to greater efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from energy-intensive temperature-controlled facilities supports Viking Cold’s core mission:

To transform refrigeration by reducing its carbon footprint, operating costs, food loss, and electrical grid impacts using innovative Thermal Energy Storage technology and services.

The Sustainability Award was presented to Viking Cold during a globally live-streamed ceremony from Berlin, Germany, in February.

View full video: here.

During the event, pv magazine’s panel discussion with Viking Cold’s CEO, James Bell, further revealed that TES technology offers an effective and sustainable solution to a major environmental challenge: food degradation and waste. In fact, Viking Cold has developed the only proven, environmentally-friendly way to store solar energy in the cold storage industry.

James commented, “TES allows energy-intensive refrigeration equipment in C&I facilities to be cycled down during peak hours of the day, effectively cutting the production of carbon emissions and reducing carbon footprint by tens of thousands of metric tons.” Users can expect improved temperature stability and to save up to 50% on their energy expenses while improving their refrigeration system efficiency by 20% to 30%.

With a 20-year system life and no mechanical components, TES is an effective solution to managing demand and storing solar or other renewable energy in the cold chain. “This is an ingenious and very efficient solution to solar’s ‘duck curve’ problem and we hope to see widespread deployment,” said one juror from the selection committee.

Read more about Viking Cold’s approach to cold storage efficiency here. For more details on our recent awards and milestones, check out our latest press release. And for more information about a TES solution for your facility, contact us here.

Another successful TES installation for a sustainability focused 3PL company

January 28, 2022 Blog Articles, Case Studies, Cold Storage, Energy Storage, News Articles, Supermarket

Initial results show 20%-30% energy savings on a recent deployment of Thermal Energy Storage technology in a US Cold facility in Tulare, California.

US Cold references the energy saving and carbon reducing technology in their quarterly newsletter- the Shield- accessible here.

Here at Viking Cold we are excited that another world class company has embraced the energy and cost savings of TES technology and the sustainability and carbon reduction that it provides to the cold chain which consumes more electricity than any other source except lighting.

#sustainability #carbonreduction #vikingcoldsolutions

Another Successful, Sustainable Thermal Energy Storage Installation in Mexico

October 8, 2021 All News, Blog Articles, Case Studies, Cold Storage, Energy Storage

Viking Cold has successfully installed another Thermal Energy Storage (TES) and refrigeration optimization system inside a third-party logistics frozen food warehouse in Mexico. Our client, Frigoríficos ARCOSA, is a leading cold storage provider with distribution centers across Mexico and has over three decades of experience providing temperature-controlled solutions and support services to their food & beverage and retail clients. They are also proud members of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA).

Operating energy-intensive refrigerated facilities in Mexico presents many challenges. Not only do operators like ARCOSA have to deal with the expected business and logistical challenges of cold storage, but the energy market in Mexico has variability which creates difficulties for operations budgets and profitability. After payroll, energy related expenses are typically the second highest cost for cold storage facilities, and refrigeration can be up to 90% of their energy costs. Without technologies and strategies that add energy flexibility, variable energy prices can negatively impact the bottom line.

In Mexico, like many other places around the globe, energy prices vary based on time-of-use with consumption and demand charges significantly higher during peak periods and intermediate peak periods (sometimes referred to as partial peak periods). Because cold storage warehouses must maintain temperatures to protect food quality, technologies that safely reduce refrigeration energy consumption and demand during Mexico’s high-priced periods without loss of temperature control are critical to cold storage profitability.

With these needs in mind, ARCOSA approached Viking Cold to see if refrigeration optimization and TES technology with Phase Change Material (PCM) could provide the energy flexibility needed to reduce energy costs and GHG emissions in their refrigerated warehouses in Mexico. Viking Cold first evaluated their 64,000 square foot freezer in Juquila.

At the time of evaluation and installation, this plant experienced intermediate peak prices up to 17 hours per day and peak prices up to four hours per day with some seasonal variations. The operating strategy had three goals:

  1. Minimize energy demand (kW) and reduce energy consumption (kWh) during each of the seasonal peak periods and intermediate periods
  2. Maintain temperature protocols
  3. Not increase energy use during any period

An interface between existing refrigeration controls and Viking Cold’s refrigeration optimization software was implemented, additional sensors were added, and TES modules containing PCM specifically engineered to the warehouse’s temperature requirements were easily integrated into the existing warehouse infrastructure.

Results have exceeded expectations, since installation of the TES and refrigeration optimization solutions:

  • Demand reductions over 380 kW during all peak periods
  • Annual weather-normalized consumption reduction of over 400,000 kWh – the equivalent of 280 metric tons of GHG emissions
  • Temperatures held within requirements
  • Approximately $120,000 (MEX$2,400,000) of annual savings at current energy prices

ARCOSA owner and President Gabriel Guzman noted, “ARCOSA’s partnership with Viking Cold has begun with positive results for both cost reductions and sustainability improvements that we hope to replicate in our other facilities.”

The flexibility Viking Cold provided to manage when and how their refrigeration system uses electricity has provided ARCOSA with confidence that when energy market changes do occur, they have technology-enabled flexibility that reduces energy risks and improves the sustainability of their cold chain operations.

North American Clean Energy: Why Refrigerated Warehouses Need Long-Duration Thermal Energy Storage

July 16, 2021 Cold Storage, Energy Storage, News Articles, Utility & Grid

North American Clean Energy has published an article by Viking Cold’s Director of Marketing, Damon Vance, that discusses how many commercial & industrial (C&I) refrigerated warehouses across the country are contributing to solutions for some of the challenges on the electrical grid. The C&I facilities in the cold chain, when utilizing energy storage and refrigeration optimization solutions like Viking Cold’s, represent a significant opportunity to help reach the goals of utility operators and the Biden Administration’s $36 billion decarbonization plan. By enabling cold chain facilities with added sustainability, resiliency, and flexibility operators of both cold storage and the electrical grid can reduce costs and GHG emissions.

Read the article or contact Viking Cold to learn more about the intense electrical load, aging infrastructure, and rapid growth rate of the refrigerated cold chain and how new technologies like Thermal Energy Storage (TES) are helping them improve refrigeration efficiencies, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to the growth of renewable energy sources as we enter the energy transition.

Inbound Logistics Podcast: Sustainable and Profitable Refrigerated Logistics

July 14, 2021 Blog Articles, Cold Storage, Energy Storage, Food Processing, Supermarket, Utility & Grid, Webinars & Podcasts

Jeof Vita, the host of the Inbound Logistics Podcast, spoke with Viking Cold President & CEO, James Bell to discuss how Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology is helping cold chain operators balance their need to be more sustainable and profitable with the amount of refrigeration required to protect their food’s quality (Episode 118).  Utilizing Viking Cold’s refrigeration optimization solutions to address the unique temperature and energy challenges of different cold storage facilities from food producers and 3PL providers to foodservice distributors and retailers is also discussed. Additionally, they cover how the unique energy storage and efficiency capabilities of TES are improving how refrigerated facilities are interacting with the electrical grid for improved sustainability and reduced operating costs.

Refrigeration Engineers Presentation – Efficient, Flexible, Sustainable Refrigeration with Thermal Energy Storage

June 23, 2021 Blog Articles, Cold Storage, Cold Storage Construction, Food Processing, Supermarket, Webinars & Podcasts

Refrigeration engineers often receive a lot of valuable training and education through their professional organizations. Viking Cold’s Global Director Brad North, P.E., CEM presents some of the key benefits of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) using Phase Change Material (PCM) in refrigeration applications to a national HVAC and refrigeration engineering association. In this 21-minute video presentation to engineers in the HVACR industry, refrigeration benefits such as reducing energy use, improving sustainability, minimizing temperature stratification, extending temperature resiliency, and improving interconnectivity with power from the electrical grid are covered.

Brad begins his presentation with relevant cold chain statistics about facilities where refrigeration optimization with intelligent Thermal Energy Storage is being achieved by leveraging PCM. He also explains some of the unique thermodynamic properties of PCM that allow TES systems to achieve positive refrigeration energy and temperature management results. He then covers how the PCM is configured and easily installed into various cold storage refrigerated facilities without additional space requirements or the loss of valuable storage area.

Also covered in the presentation is a brief evolutionary history of the refrigeration practice known as flywheeling – subcooling the food and surrounding room to then minimize refrigeration during periods with high energy costs. Brad discusses factors that influenced the start of flywheeling, are transforming flywheeling practices with new technologies, as well as how PCM safely extends the length of flywheeling periods while reducing the risk to food quality and shelf life. He also shares how PCM is able to slow temperature increases in a room without active refrigeration and shows case study data illustrating a reduced rate-of-rise and improved temperature stability.

Inside cold storage facilities temperature stratification throughout the room generally occurs. Brad shows some examples of how properly installed PCM combined with intelligence reduces the extent of temperature stratification and creates a more uniform temperature across the vertical space of these refrigerated rooms.  With the introduction of PCM a new “stratification floor” is created that consolidates more of the heat near the ceiling in the airflow of the evaporators for improved temperatures around the food and for easy removal of the heat by the refrigeration system.

Thermal Energy Storage is often considered a way to simply shift when energy is consumed by refrigeration systems. Brad explains many of the factors that allow Viking Cold’s TES technology to not only shift the timing of refrigeration but also to safely reduce the total kWh energy consumption (energy efficiency) of the refrigeration systems. Hear about the factors that enable this such as reducing the horsepower per ton ratio, the ability to run refrigeration systems at maximum designed efficiency or “fully loaded”, the consolidation of up to 85% of the heat infiltration near the top of the room, the PCM’s higher heat capacity and heat transfer rates, and the fact that TES systems do not have mechanical components that cannibalize the energy savings with parasitic losses.

Also discussed in this refrigeration engineer’s presentation are additional attributes of TES that provide energy flexibility and the ability to safely and easily participate in multiple utility and grid operator programs. Many of these programs reduce costs, some provide financial incentives for technology upgrades, and some programs can generate revenue streams for operators of refrigerated facilities. The added refrigeration flexibility from TES enables participation in programs such as demand response, permanent load shed, targeted load shed, peak shaving, responding to market index pricing signals, renewables plus storage, and capacity programs.

Temperature resiliency inside the refrigerated cold chain is paramount to maintaining food quality and shelf life while minimizing food loss. Brad also explains how PCM adds resiliency to cold storage rooms. Common scenarios that disrupt cold storage operations and create a need for temperature resiliency are becoming more common and include mechanical breakdown of refrigeration system components and loss of power from ice storms, hurricanes, wildfires, utility-initiated de-energization, and more. Refrigerated facilities that have TES installed have up to three times longer temperature protection during any of these situations that may cause the loss of refrigeration.

Whether you are a facilities or business leader, refrigeration engineer, cold storage operator, or somewhere in the temperature-controlled cold chain, there is something in this short professional association presentation for you. Quickly learn about mitigating risk, cutting costs, improving sustainability, stabilizing temperatures, and more.

Click above to watch this short 21-minute refrigeration engineer professional association presentation. Or contact us today to learn how our refrigeration optimization and thermal energy storage solutions will save you energy and money.

 

 

Viking Cold Earns 5th Top Green Provider Award from Food Logistics

June 22, 2021 Awards, Blog Articles, Cold Storage, Cold Storage Construction, Food Processing, Press Releases

Viking Cold Solutions Named Top Green Provider by Food Logistics
for Fifth Consecutive Year

The award recognizes companies whose products, services or exemplary leadership are enhancing sustainability within the cold food and beverage industry

HOUSTON, June 22, 2021 – Viking Cold Solutions, the leading thermal energy storage and refrigeration optimization service provider for low-temperature cold storage industries, announces it has been included in the 2021 Top Green Providers list from Food Logistics for the fifth consecutive year, underscoring the company’s sustainability contributions to the global cold chain.

The editorial staff evaluates a company’s participation in such programs as the EPA’s SmartWay and other recognized sustainability programs; facilities that are LEED-certified and/or feature solar panels, LED lighting and other energy-saving installations and retrofits; and other means of producing measurable reductions in GHG emissions.

“When the pandemic hit, I thought for sure that sustainability would be pushed to the wayside. But, in fact, the complete opposite happened. And, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the supply chain industry’s efforts in making sustainability top of mind in every aspect of their organization despite the many supply chain disruptions they continue to face,” said Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “Sustainability is the key to success, and the recipients of this year’s award prove that when sustainability matters to them, they will continue to do great things and make a difference in the industry.”

Viking Cold Solutions Director of Marketing Damon Vance shared: “We are honored to once again be recognized by Food Logistics as a Top Green Provider. Our goal is not only to deliver cost-effective optimization solutions to refrigerated facilities but to also offer sustainable technology that helps preserve our planet for future generations.”

Recipients of this year’s award will be profiled in the June 2021 print issue. Go to www.FoodLogistics.com to view the full list of all 2021 Top Green Providers.

About Viking Cold Solutions
Viking Cold Solutions is the leading long-duration thermal energy storage and refrigeration optimization service provider to the energy-intensive frozen/low-temperature cold storage industry. Viking Cold delivers cost-effective and flexible energy management services which protect food and help reduce the environmental impact of refrigeration. Its patented Thermal Energy Storage system with phase change material (PCM) and intelligent controls reduce cold storage energy costs up to 35 percent or more, while improving temperature stability and optimizing refrigeration operations. Viking Cold Solutions’ TES systems have been measured, verified, and incentivized by energy utilities across the U.S. and are currently in use around the world providing efficiency to grocery stores, low-temperature warehouses, and restaurants.

For additional information, please visit www.vikingcold.com.

About Food Logistics
Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global cold food supply chain, focusing on trucking, warehousing, packaging, risk management, food safety and more. Go to www.FoodLogistics.com.

Press Contact:
Damon Vance
Marketing Director
dvance@vikingcold.com
+1.832.899.4771

Energy Cast Podcast: Thermal Thinking with Viking Cold

May 12, 2021 Blog Articles

Jay Dauenhauer, the host of Energy Cast podcast, recently interviewed James Bell, Viking Cold President & CEO.  They discuss predecessors in the thermal energy storage (TES) market, lessons learned, the benefits of Viking Cold’s TES solutions, and why TES is critical to the future electrical grid and the entire food distribution network. Listen to this fast-paced interview to hear more about how TES is shifting refrigeration load (the highest on the grid per cubic foot), reducing refrigeration consumption (third highest behind only lighting and HVAC), cutting costs for our clients in the food industry, a few nuggets about the genesis of Viking Cold, and the “lightning round” conversation about the future of energy technologies.

Dairy Foods: Mechanization picks ups steam in dairy processing warehouses

March 25, 2021 All News, Food Processing

A recent article in Dairy Foods Magazine highlights the mechanization and automation trends in dairy food production facilities.  Topics include materials-handling automation, software upgrades, refrigeration optimization, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), and how technologies will be integrated to maximize efficiency, traceability, transparency, storage density, optimal material flow, and to better manage warehouse labor in their operations. Viking Cold’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Collin Coker, was interviewed along with other food production warehouse technology providers including LIDD, Tippman Group, Signode Industrial Group, Applied Net Solutions, Westfalia Technologies Inc., and Quest Industrial LLC.

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