The typical U.S. warehouse generally consists of a huge storage space with ample fixtures that generate high energy costs, which typically run upwards of 64%, however, Smart warehouses have opened the door for warehouse owners to run sophisticated operations, while also saving on energy costs.
Smart warehouses help save energy costs, increase energy efficiency and lower their carbon footprint in the following three ways:
As a rule of thumb, HVAC systems should be fitted according to the energy loads required. Incorporating large destratification fans along with the HVAC system, during cooler months, will help keep temperatures at a comfortable level by forcing warm air down.
Clean HVAC filters also help improve HVAC efficiency, therefore, filters should be exchanged on a regular basis in order to reap the benefits. Combining a programmable thermostat with your HVAC system also increases energy efficiency by allowing owners to heat and cool various areas within the warehouse for a desired length of time.
Variable speed drives for fans, pumps, HVAC and cooling towers synchronize motor speeds to the current loads, which can reduce power usage by up to 50%. Owners should also consider replacing electric forklifts with diesel ones, because they do not place the same demand on HVAC systems.
Owners should also note that utility companies offer rebates for warehouses that reduce their demand during peak-load hours.
Proper insulation helps keep cool air out and warm air in, which also helps increase warehouse energy efficiency. Plug spaces in door seals and consider dock shelters as opposed to roll up dock doors, which offer more energy efficiency. Warehouse owners should also consider using spray foam or loose foam as opposed to batt insulation, which does not offer the same energy efficiency.
Temperature-controlled warehouses allow air exchange with outside weather conditions when unloading and loading, which can increase energy loads. Cool roofs display the same properties as thermal emittance and high solar reflectance, which helps keep inside temperatures fairly low, though they are most effective in locations where outside temperatures are mild.
Proper wall and roof insulation can help save warehouse owners up to 40% on energy costs.
Natural lighting provides the perfect solution for reducing energy costs. The addition of solar tubes reflect natural light into the space without disturbing the structure of the warehouse. Skylights and task lights placed where needed, also decrease energy consumption. Likewise, vacancy and occupation sensors and bi-level switches used in conjunction with Super T8 linear fluorescent light fixtures also help decrease energy costs because of their quick response times. Lastly, painting the walls white helps improve light reflection, so there is less need for high-power lighting, which helps save energy.