The Bel-Garden Bi-Rite Grocery Store was experiencing energy costs substantially higher than the national average for grocery stores. In addition, high humidity was creating frost and condensation problems in several areas of the store. The owner of the store had spent a substantial amount of capital and resources trying to resolve the problem without seeing any results. Lastly, the owner had been approached by several vendors with energy saving technologies but didn’t know which technologies would result in the highest return on investment.
OurEnergy Efficient Technologies team, along with Intelligent Power and Air Solutions, brought in a new concept that changed the approach to the problem – a HOLISTIC assessment. This approach involved evaluating the energy consumption levels for every piece of equipment. Our team installed permanent monitoring devices on several large subsystems and tested all of the smaller subsystems to determine the electricity consumption of each system. Our team was surprised to find that there were several energy-saving opportunities which didn’t cost anything to deploy.
The data collected by the monitoring equipment allowed the team to prepare a thorough assessment of each system in the store. The systems were assessed based on current operating conditions versus potential energy savings if the equipment were modified or replaced. The ideal solution was to improve the system by changing the way it operates, and automating it to be turned on and off rather than replacing the entire system.
Two systems needed to be replaced. The lights in the store were outdated, and the store was substantially over lit. We recommended that the lighting be replaced with higher efficiency fixtures. In addition, we replaced the old HVAC unit with an Advantix liquid desiccant system.
The team deployed the Advantix system utilizing existing ductwork. After deployment, humidity in the store was immediately cut in half from 70 percent relative humidity to 35 percent relative humidity.
There are three very substantial benefits to the installation of the Advantix system:
1. The Advantix system cut energy consumption by 18% versus a traditional DX cooling system.
2. Because humidity levels in the store were lowered, the thermostats could be raised 5 degrees providing a more comfortable space while reducing HVAC energy usage.
3. With reduced humidity levels, the door defrosters could be turned off.
Overall, integrating the Advantix system into the building energy management system will save the store up to $35,000 a year in electricity costs. When combining the Advantix systems along with other electricity reduction measures, the store could reduce energy consumption up to 35 percent and save approximately $80,000 annually.