THE TREND TOWARD FINDING EN; ERGY;SAVING AND SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES CONTINUES, from grocery stores and conve- nience stores to the largest big-box retailers.
The effort to keep costs down, reduce
energy use, build greener stores while
also enhancing the shopper experience
certainly will continue into the new year
According to industry numbers from E
Source, based in Boulder, Colo., U.S. grocery stores use an average of 52. 5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per
square foot each year.
Refrigeration and lighting represent about 47
percent of total electric
use in a typical grocery.
In concert with lighting upgrades, grocery
companies are seeking
and air movement technologies to improve energy use and customer
comfort throughout the
The environmental clash of warm air
from deli areas with the cooler air from
produce and frozen food sections creates
an enormous challenge from an HVAC perspective. The constant battle of these two
extremes can be difficult to design for and
can be an enormous waste of energy.
The associated problems that arise can
easily be mitigated with destratification—
balancing a facility’s temperature from
ceiling to floor and wall to wall with quiet,
steady air circulation. Destratification fan
systems are an easy and affordable solution to reduce an HVAC system’s frequent
starts and stops, as well as over-heating or
over-cooling that adds to energy costs.
Another great benefit, specifically in
cold and freezer case aisles, is the increase
in comfort as well as the reduction of condensation on the outside of case doors.
Owners and refrigeration specialists have
also found that destratification fans can
prevent icing on case coils.
Recently, grocers have begun replacing
existing motors on refrigeration systems
with more efficient electrically commutated (EC) motors to reduce electrical energy
consumption up to 40 to 70 percent.
Today, the same EC motor technology
is implemented in air destratification fan
systems. Energy-savvy engineers and
building managers are choosing new EC
fan motor options. New controls for the
EC motors can be tied to a building automation system to slow fans for times
when they do not need to operate at
full speed further reducing energy consumption.
Proper selection, placement and de-
sign of an air destratification fan system
are key to a successful installation. Plac-
ing the fans over circulation paths and
not directly over cases, shelving or check-
out stands is another factor in successful
implementation. Owners and engineers
should seek a product with high quality
construction, a wide range of control op-
tions and multiple sizes to suit varying
ceiling heights. They should consult with
an industry colleague who has experi-
ence with reputable products to receive
feedback to help in the selection process.
In lower dropped ceiling areas, perhaps
near an open dairy or cold case, destratification fans can be installed in a suspended
ceiling. Or, as frozen and prepared food
product choices increase for shoppers,
aisles may be narrower to increase product
space, making it difficult to direct air without case interference. New destratification
fans with an elongated airflow pattern are
now available to move air into narrower
spaces. Fans are also available with a fixed
blade stator to maintain a tight air column
to mitigate any interference with air inside
Every store is different, so destratification experts can advise design teams on
proper fan selection, layout and control
options. Typical information that needs
to be gathered prior to consulting with
a destratification expert includes: floor
plan, ceiling heights, ceiling type (open or
dropped) and preferred voltage.
Destratified sales floors not only reduce
energy use, but can increase product sales
as shoppers browse new products and
do not just grab and dash due to the increased comfort level. S
Christian Avedon is the director
of sales and marketing for Airius.
He can be reached at christian.
Retailers continue to search for more e;cient, energy saving systems.
By Christian Avedon