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Combined Expertise Pays Dividends for Sustainable Retailer

The Project

Tony Ingpen’s family has owned and operated the Mount Evelyn licensed supermarket in Victoria, Australia for over 40 years which currently trades under the Supa IGA franchise banner. With a genuine desire to help create a sustainable independent retail industry, Tony is focused on the current and future challenges independent retailers face – such as increasing energy prices. The Mount Evelyn Supa IGA team are fully committed to achieving sustainable outcomes that are mutually beneficial to the end consumer, retailer, and their suppliers.

Tony was quick to act when approached by his incumbent facilities management provider (John A Gordon Refrigeration Services (JAG)) with the opportunity to reduce energy consumption. The solution proposed was the use of RDM controls to improve control and monitoring visibility of his store. The mitigation of future scheduled energy price rises would additionally help to maintain the mutually beneficial relationship with customers and suppliers.

The Solution

JAG engaged RDM Australia and ICE Electrical Contractors, and all three parties designed a complete solution with improved control and visibility that would fundamentally save energy. A site visit and thorough review of current assets guided the customisation of the site-specific solution.   

RDM controls were installed on the refrigeration system which included racks, condensers, and cases. Refrigeration optimisation features were enabled on the Data Manager (DMTouch, RDM’s control and monitoring front-end) to maximise savings opportunities alongside unloaders for increased capacity control on the racks. The HVAC system contained an air handling unit, direct expansion cooling, and heat reclamation, which are all now controlled using an RDM Intuitive TDB Controller: RDM’s flagship programmable logic controller (PLC). A variable speed drive was installed on the air handling unit which enables the unit to achieve energy savings while maintaining comfort levels within the store.

An RDM Intuitive TDB Controller was again used to control the sites internal and external lighting to allow for customisation and zone switching based on time of day and occupancy levels. Live energy submeters were also installed via a high-level interface to provide power quality information to assist with load shedding and energy optimisation. This information additionally provides a clear energy use breakdown to guide further energy saving efforts.

The RDM energy features were intuitive and easy to setup, allowing for fast commissioning and full optimisation. By pre-programing the refrigeration controls, the switchover took only four hours. This minimised the risk of products exceeding safe temperatures and allowed for rapid decommissioning of the entire legacy system. The compatibility of RDM controls with a range of third-party sensors contributed to the fast turnaround, and saved additional costs on the supply and installation of new equipment.

 

Controls

 

The Benefits

Optimisation features have enabled the refrigeration system to work smarter by continuously monitoring cases and racks to ensure floating head pressures and suction head pressures are maximised at all times without compromising the operation. This has significantly improved the Coefficient of Performance (CoP) of the refrigeration system.

One energy saving feature of the DMTouch, the Temperature Performance Indicator (TPI) (used for preventative maintenance and performance monitoring) was utilised within the first week by identifying the freezer room dropping an evaporator fan. The system generated a TPI alarm and alerted the facilities management team who resolved the failure within an acceptable time frame. The identification of the issue before it became problematic avoided an out-of-hours call out and potential removal of stock.

The site’s energy meters feed into the integrated DMTouch Energy Dashboard, which monitors and reports on site energy consumptions. This smart set up allows the store staff to see how consumption relates to costs, and ensures that savings achieved are sustained.

Remote access to the system was also provided, allowing JAG and store teams to access any device with an internet browser. Store staff can view the operation, alarms, temperatures and reports, plus modify settings if required. The entire RDM system forwards alarms and emails to both facilities management and store teams, allowing for remote investigation and rectification (if necessary), saving call out costs.

 

Controls

 

“I am pleased – JAG Refrigeration approached me with a great solution and it could not have been easier dealing with the teams from RDM, JAG & ICE. The work was finished on time with no fuss and it looks like one of the best investments I have ever made; a dollar saved is a dollar earned.”

“The RDM system has delivered a fantastic outcome. I am able to view my energy use and plant performance remotely via my smart phone, tablet or PC. If there is an alarm, I can quickly check whether it is something serious or can wait until morning, without even getting out of bed.” Tony Ingpen – Store Owner

Energy & Cost Savings

By reviewing the main billing meter data from the 1st of June 2014 in an energy management system for analysis it is clear that the new solution is achieving the lowest daily consumption of energy recorded. The savings achieved are currently 28% of previous total site electricity.

These savings translate to a financial saving of AU$52,248 per year. With capital expenditure of AU$60,000 for the project, it is expected to yield a complete return on investment in just over one year.

By reducing the electricity consumption of the store, it is estimated that the carbon reduction equivalent will be 292,000kg per year.

  • Average annual consumption: 933,000 kWh
  • Estimated cost per annum: AU$186,000
    N.B. Estimates calculated prior to energy price increases as of July 2017.
  • Savings achieved and sustained: 28%
  • Estimated energy savings per annum: 261,240 kWh
  • Estimated financial savings per annum: AU$52,248
  • Cost of capital expenditure: AU$60,000
  • Return on investment: 1.14 years
  • Carbon reduction of 292,000kg/year (292 tons per year)

 

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