In view of the increasing demand for energy and the escalating costs of energy from all sources, energy management and energy conservation are becoming increasingly important in all industries and obviously also in the food systems.
Even if a number of investigations have shown that freezing and frozen storage, as well as chilled storage, are less energy demanding than some other preservation methods used for foods, good energy management and energy conservation are important factors in the operation of cold stores.
Energy consumption obviously has to be regarded already at the planning and design stages of a cold store. Large savings can be made by careful selection and assembly of components. Choosing efficient evaporator fans with the correct mass air flow and air throw for the store dimensions and optimising the insulation thickness taking relevant location conditions into account can show considerable savings.
Heat pumps can be used to utilise condenser heat for heating purposes, e.g., hot water for cleaning or heating. All buildings should be of a light colour. The loading dock should preferably be enclosed. This is just to mention a few measures to be taken. Today, most of the relevant actions are taken in the cold store design as long as experienced consultants are used.
The measures to be taken from an operational point of view range from proper control of lighting and air conditioning, to the proper running and maintenance of the engine room.
However the storage temperature should be kept lower than -18°C and preferably -24°C to -30°C, especially for fish products. Even if the energy bill could be reduced by increased storage temperature, this saving is minimal compared to the total saving possible by an adequate energy management.