Ways to increase energy efficiency in cool rooms?

The three major factors influencing the energy efficiency of cool rooms are cool room design, system maintenance and equipment upgrades.

Cool room design-

A number of design elements can reduce energy use. The orientation of packing sheds, cool rooms, docking facilities, pre-coolers, offices and surrounding areas can have impact. Generally, cool rooms are best placed in the southern ends of the property with any openings facing towards the south to have minimal interferences with the sun, using shade as a consideration. Trees or other shading structures may also assist with this.

Automated doors are a good option to reduce loss of controlled air when loading and unloading. This should be considered in the design/ budgeting process. You can also hang strip curtains as a cheaper alternative to keep the controlled air inside the facility as much as possible.

A correctly built cool room will decrease costs due to being well insulated, without any air leaks. It is important to engage an experienced, professional and quality builder to ensure this occurs.

System Maintenance-

With little planning and minimal financial outlay you can increase the energy efficiency of your cool room easily with regular maintenance checks. This will ensure things are running smoothly, ensures longer service life of the equipment and ensures a lower risk of breakdowns or issues.

Important things to consider are checking door seals and insulation, ensuring temperature thermostats are correct, checking for any damage to walls, pipes or other obvious problems, cleaning of condensers and fans, checking for any undue noise or vibrations and checking all safety controls.

Consider the benefits of modern equipment upgrades as they employ newer technologies that tend to have more energy efficient motors where practical and cost effective as well.

If you need information or advice about the best cool room design and system maintenance for your facility please do not hesitate to give us a call at KB building group on ph. 1300 KB KOOL.

Cleaning And Maintenance of Cool Room Panels

Cool rooms are places where food and drinks are processed and stored. Consequently, a cool room tends to get dirty and contaminated by bacteria very quickly.

The following key items are recommended good practice when caring for your insulated panels to preserve quality and ensure longer life spans of your cool room.

Inspect the slip joints on a regular basis, as any problems will be visible and can be addressed before they become too much of an issue.

Once moisture has entered the panel it will cause bulging. This bulging may cause outside air to enter the panel, reducing the efficiency of the cool room. Moisture could enter by of any of the following means- a poorly sealed slip joint, an excessive gap that has developed between the panels, a panel has been punctured, or by panels not being assembled correctly. Any of these issues need to be addressed immediately.

When cleaning, use chemicals specifically designed for cool rooms and do not exceed the concentration of the mixture specified. Clean from top to bottom avoiding excessive exposure on panel joints. Using steam cleaners should be avoided, as it will damage the surface. High pressure washers can be used but not too closely.

Clean using a soft bristle nylon broom to gently wipe down the walls from top to bottom. Avoid excessive scrubbing as this can damage the surface seal.

Monitor sealant performance at the base of the panels to ensure that water is not being absorbed into the panels.

Design a maintenance schedule for your staff. Record any abnormalities so that you can detect developing trends. Place emphasis on observing any irregularities as small issues could grow into big problems. Hire a professional for regular maintenance checks when warranted, and to repair any damage correctly.

Ten Farms- 3 additional ripening rooms

Ten Farms operate an advanced ripening, packing and distribution centre at the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable markets in Epping, Victoria.

With growing needs, Ten Farms wanted to expand their Epping facility with the addition of three new ripening rooms to compliment their existing ripening rooms, built previously.

With additional rooms Ten Farms can achieve greater production in the ripening of their bananas.

KB building group was able to work with other contractors to complete the facility with minimal disruptions to the existing business, within the agreed time frames and to the specifications of the customer. From the building permits to the final certificate of occupancy, KB building group worked to make the process as easy as possible for all involved.

Working with refrigeration company Oomiak who designed, installed and commissioned the refrigeration systems that served the new rooms.

Feedback from the client David Holman of Ten Farms is shown below-

“Having recently completed a new fitout to complement our existing ripening facilities, we are very pleased to endorse Kieran and KB Building services at completion of the works.

Our brief for the new fitout, was to replicate the existing ripening infra-structure adjacent to current ripening rooms, and Kieran delivered an excellent result in providing a seamless extension to our rooms.

Our history has spanned 3 business in Victoria and NSW as Banana ripeners for over 30 years, we have also used substantial general cold storage facilities. This was our first engagement with Kieran and he was able to meet our expectations as well as manage -:

  • Proper room sealing
  • Provision for unique large internal doors because we are in an insulated facility
  • Facilitate the sprinkler system internally within the rooms in accordance with regulations
  • Apply for, and complete the building permit through to provision of the certificate of occupancy Kieran managed to deliver the job within our agreed timeframe which was very important to us, and he provided weekly reports as to progress so that we were aware of any factors that may have impacted final delivery.

We would certainly engage KB Building group again, and extend our thanks to Kieran for a job well done. Yours Truly, David Holman, Director – Tenfarms Pty Ltd