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.

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.

Viking Cold Named Platinum Winner of Cleanie Award’s Project of the Year

September 24, 2019 All News, Case Studies, Cold Storage, Energy Storage, Food Processing, News Articles, Utility & Grid

Viking Cold is honored to be the Platinum Winner of The Cleanie Awards Project of the Year for our storage and demand management project with Massachusetts utility Eversource. The awards program recognizes innovation excellence, business leadership, and superior programs within the cleantech and renewable energy sectors. The project involved the installation and commissioning of TES systems to store refrigeration energy and facilitate 1.3 MW of energy demand reduction across eight customer facilities, without requiring any additional real estate for the system components. The average size of the cold storage facilities in the program is approximately 50,000 square feet, with the largest being 157,000 square feet. The end-user customers of the program included Sysco (the world’s largest foodservice distributor), Americold (the world’s largest third-party cold storage company), Greater Boston Food Bank, and multiple frozen food processing companies.

 

Release: Viking Cold Solutions Installs 1.3 MW of Thermal Energy Storage in Industrial Cold Storage Facilities as Part of a Massachusetts Utility Demand Management Program

June 10, 2019 All News, Case Studies, Cold Storage, Energy Storage, Press Releases, Utility & Grid

ENERGY-SAVING THERMAL STORAGE SYSTEMS SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED IN WAREHOUSES OWNED BY LOGISTICS COMPANIES, FOODSERVICE DISTRIBUTORS, FOOD PROCESSORS, AND NON-PROFITS

HOUSTON and BOSTON (GLOBE NEWS WIRE) – Viking Cold Solutions, the leading thermal energy storage provider for low-temperature cold storage industries, has completed the installation of eight Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems as part of a utility-backed demand management program in Massachusetts. These eight behind-the-meter TES systems store and facilitate management of approximately 1.3 megawatts (MW) of energy onsite, and do not require any additional real estate for the system components. The average size of the cold storage facilities in the program is approximately 50,000 square feet, with the largest being 157,000 square feet.

TES system quote Collin CokerInstallation time averaged 127 days from agreement to commissioning and removal of demand from the grid. The Greater Boston Food Bank was the first TES installation of the demand management program, which also includes industrial facilities owned by the world’s largest third-party cold storage company, the world’s largest foodservice distributor, and numerous frozen food processing companies.

Energy is the second highest direct operating cost for cold storage operators, who must run their refrigeration systems nearly 24 hours per day. Additionally, these facilities have the highest energy demand per cubic foot of any industrial category on the grid. Viking Cold’s TES systems not only store enough energy to cycle off refrigeration for up to 13 hours per day to avoid time-of-use and demand charges, they also improve the existing refrigeration systems’ efficiency and reduce consumption by more than 25 percent.

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PLMA recognized Viking Cold as a 2019 Technology Pioneer

April 18, 2019 All News, Case Studies, Cold Storage, Energy Storage, News Articles, Utility & Grid

16th Anual PLMA tech pioneer logoPeak Load Management Alliance has announced its eight recipients of the 16th annual PLMA awards. Viking Cold has been named a Technology Pioneer being recognized as an industry leader who created innovative ideas, methods, programs, and technologies to meet peak load needs and support successful grid integration of distributed energy resources during calendar year 2018.  Click here to learn more about PLMA awards.

GCCA Cold Facts – Thermal Energy Storage Reaps Financial Benefits

January 7, 2019 All News, Case Studies, Cold Storage, Cold Storage Construction, News Articles

GCCA Cold Facts - Thermal Energy StorageCold Facts, the official publication of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), has published an article highlighting one of our case studies and the resulting benefits of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) in commercial frozen food warehouses.  Findings include 35% added efficiency and the flexibility to shed refrigeration load for 13 hours each day while improving temperature stability inside the freezer. You can view the full Cold Facts article with charts and graphs HERE and read the full case study HERE.

C&I Case Study: 43% Reduced Consumption for 13 Hours on UtilityDive.com

December 13, 2018 All News, Case Studies, Cold Storage Construction, Energy Storage, News Articles, Utility & Grid

Case Study: 43% Reduced ConsumptionThe commercial and industrial application of our thermal energy storage (TES) technology has shown tremendous results in an ammonia-refrigerated frozen food warehouse in California. By storing energy in the form of cold and delivering discharge times up to 13 hours per day TES provides utilities a behind-the-meter distributed energy resource (DER) to help manage the inflexible and difficult demand profile of the cold storage industry. Utility Dive has posted an article outlining the temperature, peak demand, and consumption benefits of TES in cold storage facilities outlined in our case study.

Release: Mexican Cold Storage Operator Reduces Energy Consumption 20% Using Thermal Energy Storage

October 2, 2018 All News, Case Studies, Cold Storage, News Articles, Press Releases

Viking Cold’s first installation at Red de Frios in Monterrey, Mexico is also the first energy management system of its kind in the Mexican cold storage industry.

MONTERREY, MEXICO and HOUSTON, TX (Business Wire)Viking Cold Solutions, the leading Thermal Energy Storage (TES) provider for the low-temperature cold storage industry, announced its partnership with Red de Frios to manage energy usage in one of its 2,500 square foot frozen food warehouses at Almacén Ruíz Cortines in Monterrey, Mexico. Viking Cold’s patented TES system reduces overall electricity consumption and shifts energy usage to less expensive periods of the day. This project is the first of its kind in Mexico, the second largest economy in Latin America, and marks the first installation of Viking Cold Solutions’ technology in Latin America outside of the Caribbean.

Energy Consumption 20% Using Thermal Energy Storage quoteViking Cold’s system was configured to operate specifically for Red de Frios’ utility rate structure and facility requirements. During the months of July, August, and September, some of the warmest months of the year, Red de Frios has seen a 20% reduction in energy consumption due to the TES system’s added efficiency. Additionally, during daily periods of high energy costs when refrigeration equipment is cycled off, Red de Frios has seen a slower increase in temperatures and greater temperature stability.

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