How Thermal Energy Storage Works to Save You Money

February 16, 2017

Energy is fundamental to human life, but why does it have to be so expensive? The cost of powering lights, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems can have a substantial impact on a commercial consumer’s bottom line. At Viking Cold Solutions, we believe organizations with refrigeration needs shouldn’t have to spend considerable financial resources on energy costs. That’s why we develop energy saving solutions for businesses like grocers, warehouse operators, and food processing facilities with specific temperature needs. By optimizing existing refrigeration systems with groundbreaking technology, we help decrease energy consumption, reduce carbon footprints, and save businesses money that they can use to invest in their people and core mission.

The way we optimize energy efficiency is by utilizing an innovative method called Thermal Energy Storage (TES). Here’s how it works:

Features of Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Absorbs 300X More Heat vs. Food

No Mechanical Parts

Refrigeration System Agnostic

Product Life 20+ Years

No Storage Space Reduction

Imagine a 100,000-sq. ft. frozen warehouse with the standard ammonia refrigeration system comprised of multiple screw compressors, condensing units, and evaporators. It requires a tremendous amount of power to keep a facility this large at a specific cold temperature in order to avoid the possibility of product spoilage. However, these costs can be mitigated by complementing the existing refrigeration system with a TES system. The Viking Cold TES system utilizes phase change material, which absorbs 300 times more heat per pound than common food products. In total, the TES system stores the equivalent of over 900 tons of refrigeration.

Normally, several of the compressors would supply the entire refrigeration load in order to maintain temperatures in the warehouse. The energy stored by the TES cells offers supplemental refrigeration, reducing the facility’s reliance on energy draining compressors. Even during the hottest period of the day only one of the compressors would be needed to maintain desired cooling. The heat absorbed by the TES cells must be removed at some point. This would happen at night, during cheaper off-peak hours, where only three compressors would remove heat from the TES system in preparation for the next day. It is very advantageous to run the compressors more at night when there is excess refrigeration capacity available due to lower condensing temperatures and less radiative heat load on the warehouse.

Operating fewer compressors and evaporator fans during the day, and shifting more refrigeration to night reduces overall energy consumption by 22%.  The advanced technology behind thermal energy storage minimizes refrigeration runtime, decreases kWh consumption, and saves money through enhanced efficiency. Find out how Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, CA, reduced energy consumption by 35% in our latest case study.

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