Food processing facilities consume a great amount of energy during everyday operations. To improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption, there are many strategies which can be utilized in a food processing facility to create a green building in Vancouver. There are multiple opportunities available within the industry to save energy, save money, and reduce environmental impact.
Green buildings in Vancouver deploy energy saving strategies across multiple areas to maximize the benefits and investment. In food processing facilities, measures can be used to save energy during production and at the facility level. The payback period of efficiency measures varies from facility to facility, and depends greatly on the type of processing which is conducted, the location of the facility, and facility size.
When improving the efficiency of a food processing facility’s boiler systems, focus should be placed on improving boiler process control, minimizing heat loss and improving heat recovery. If new boiler systems are warranted, a customized system should be designed and installed to meet the facility’s specific needs and maximize efficiency. It is crucial that boiler systems be properly sized to prevent energy loss due to underutilizing capacity, especially in food processing facilities which are affected by seasonal production, such as fruit and vegetable processing. Insulating current and new boiler systems reduces heat loss and limits temperature fluctuations.
Refrigeration systems are crucial to the operation of various types of food processing facilities, and are a major consumer of energy within a building. Refrigeration systems provide cool air for cold storage and freezing, and are often affected by seasonal temperature fluctuations which can affect their efficiency and increase their load. One of the most beneficial energy saving strategies for green buildings in Vancouver is cooling load reduction, which is especially true for the food processing industry. Minimizing the heat sources which can add unnecessary heat in cold storage areas as well as reducing the infiltration of outside heat in these areas can significantly improve the efficiency of refrigeration systems. For instance, replacing faulty seals can reduce energy consumption by approximately 11 percent.
HVAC systems in food processing facilities are another significant consumer of energy, but they also offer the greatest opportunity for increasing efficiency. While properly sizing an HVAC system during a facility’s planning and design stages, retrofits can be performed in existing facilities to improve energy efficiency. Duct leaks are a major source of energy loss within a commercial HVAC system, especially through duct leaks- repairing duct leaks can reduce the energy consumption of an HVAC system by up to 30 percent. Heat recovery systems can be integrated with a building’s HVAC system in order to capture and reuse a building’s wasted thermal energy, which reduces the building’s heating and cooling need. Improving the efficiency of commercial HVAC systems in green buildings in Vancouver, including food processing facilities, affects all areas of a facility, not just processing areas- office space, laboratories, and storage spaces also consume less energy.