PennTAP Conducts Boiler Energy Assessment for Pennsylvania Food Processing Facility

“The PennTAP partnership has been excellent in identifying energy efficiency  opportunities at our manufacturing plants. We are thankful, and we continue to seek their guidance in improving the greenhouse gas  footprint  of the company.”

The Need

A Pennsylvania company that produces food products wanted to investigate ways to reduce their energy use and costs and increase the efficiency of their energy systems.

The PennTAP Connection

Two PennTAP senior technical advisors and a group of Energy Engineering students visited the facility to observe and collect data on the energy systems.

The Project

While on-site, PennTAP and the students surveyed the facility with thermal imaging cameras to find areas of heat leakage. The thermal imaging data was used to identify heat escaping from a cooking process as well as to find heat leaking into cold rooms and freezers. PennTAP was able to recommend simple fixes to stop unwanted leakage.

The PennTAP team observed that the company was cooking food in a large cold room. The facility was set up this way to reduce food transportation distance; however, it had the unintended side effect of both heating and cooling the room at the same time. As steam was added to the room, the chiller system needed to work harder to remove that heat from the room in order to maintain the near-freezing temperature. In essence, the company was paying money to produce heat in the form of steam, and then paying to remove the heat through electricity. PennTAP recommended that the site install movable heat curtains to contain the heat within the cooking area of the room.

PennTAP also quantified the cost savings of upgrading lighting, adding insulation to pipes and tanks, improving the seals around doors, conducting a boiler tune-up regularly, and updating lighting.

The Outcome

The overall cost savings from these system recommendations is estimated to be $208,000/year and equates to energy savings of 9.652 million British Thermal Units per year.