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.
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:
Minimize energy demand (kW) and reduce energy consumption (kWh) during each of the seasonal peak periods and intermediate periods
Maintain temperature protocols
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
POWER Magazine’s Associate Editor Darrell Proctor recently published an article focused on the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid after a number of devastating hurricanes including Hurricane Maria in 2017. “The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has embarked on a $20 billion plan to rebuild the island’s power grid. The initiative includes a commitment to generate 40% of the island’s power from renewable resources by 2025, and 100% by 2050. C&I enterprises using distributed power generation are a large part of the effort.”
Isla Frio, a cold storage company on the island, is building a new 147,000 square foot facility with Viking Cold’s Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology to add hurricane-resistant food storage capacity to the island. The second phase of the project will include the addition of onsite solar power generation. The combination of renewables with the existing TES installed during construction will maximize the cost-effectiveness of their solar-plus-storage investment and help Puerto Rico meet its aggressive goals to add resilient renewable generation to the grid.
Kevin Lawton, the host of The New Warehouse Podcast, interviewed Viking Cold Solutions’ President & CEO James Bell to discuss the current and future state of digitization and sustainability inside refrigerated warehouses. They discuss how digitization and thermal energy storage work in cold storage to maximize the efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability of the cold chain.
The conversation also covers some of the additional levels of complexity of refrigerated spaces and how the impacts of the pandemic have driven the adoption of technologies such as WMS, automation, robotics, and thermal energy storage inside refrigerated warehouses. James and Kevin also discuss the market conditions driving more construction of cold storage facilities and how digitization and new technology is being included in the design and building of new warehouses.
Additionally, Kevin and James cover the electrical grid impacts of refrigerated spaces, and how with thermal energy storage and warehouse digitization operators can reduce costs and create new revenue streams.
Food Logistics has recognized Viking Cold Solutions among the top logistics software providers for 2020, as one of the leading software and technology partners to the food and beverage industry, for the second year in a row.
The publication named Viking Cold as a winner of its 2020 FL100+ Award in recognition of the significant reductions in both energy usage and costs and operational improvements that Viking Cold’s Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology delivers in cold chain settings.
Now in its 17th year, the FL100+ is a highly respected annual listing of top logistics software providers that are addressing the unique challenges of today’s food and beverage supply chain. Recipients are judged to deliver products and services that support efficient transportation and warehousing, minimize operational waste, facilitate safe operations, and assure regulatory compliance.
Viking Cold was selected for the strengths of its innovative Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology, which equips cold chain facilities with the means to enhance refrigeration efficiency and increase operational resilience. This not only helps customers reduce their carbon footprint, but also achieves a reduction in energy costs of up to 50%.
Combining environmentally friendly phase change materials with a powerful suite of cloud-based operational tools, TES integrates easily with existing controls to provide real-time monitoring and analytics of temperatures, equipment status, and energy use.
These data-driven insights are made available to warehouse managers via the Viking Cold client portal with custom reports, notifications, and analytics giving them the actionable intelligence to improve cold storage operations and reduce costly peak-period energy consumption for up to 13 hours per day.
All the while, TES ensures stable refrigerated temperatures are maintained, which safeguards food products, limits waste, and minimizes disruption during periods of downtime or power outage.
The full list of FL100+ Award winners was revealed by Food Logistics in an announcement on December 16. Full details will be published in the November/December 2020 print issue of the magazine.
For more information on the technology behind Viking Cold’s award-winning thermal energy storage solution, and how it can reduce energy consumption and costs for your food warehousing operations, get in touch today.