Commissioning commercial refrigeration systems could yield hot energy savings, according to a new ASHRAE guide.
About 60% of energy use in supermarkets is attributed to refrigeration, and studies have shown that commissioning could result in 7-25% energy savings. Check out ASHRAE’s Refrigeration Commissioning Guide for Commercial and Industry Systems for user-friendly, how-to guidance on the process.
“Custom refrigeration systems are complex and individually designed for each facility,” says Richard Royal, chair of the committee that wrote the guide. “Deficiencies in the system design found at start-up are not easily resolved and, as a result, maintenance managers or operators deal with unnecessary shortcomings and expenses over the life of a facility.”
Commissioning of refrigeration is uncommon in the industry, Royal notes. One reason is a belief that commissioning results in added cost and time without sufficient measurable value.
“Certainly commissioning is an investment but it provides value in several ways,” says Royal. “Properly commissioned systems reduce energy costs, are easier to maintain, help minimize liabilities from refrigeration leaks, and reduce loss of product to system failures or unreliable performance.”
The guide can be used for systems in new projects, expansions, remodels, and existing systems in need of a tune-up. Funded by the DOE and NREL, it is available for free download.