Energy Savings For Food And Drink Sector

food manufacturing



Where should the HVAC industry aim its efforts to get the greatest ‘bang for its buck’ in terms of energy efficiency? The answer really is a no-brainer: the larger the manufacturing sector, the greater are the potential energy savings.

And the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK is food and drink which boasts a staggering £95.4 billion turnover. The UK food and drink industry’s Gross Value Added (GVA) is £21.9bn, 14% of total GVA in UK manufacturing and the industry directly employs around 400,000 people.

A recent survey of the food and drink industry by consultancy BDO in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has revealed that nearly half the survey respondents (45%) employ strategies to mitigate changing energy prices. The most popular among these were arranging fixed price agreements with energy suppliers (70%) and to invest in energy efficient technology and machinery (65%).

The latter need not be exceptionally expensive. For example, ECEX Air Intake Screens offer a simple, but extremely effective solution, cutting maintenance times as well as contributing to carbon reduction – a classic win-win situation.

ECEX Air Intake Screens are long lasting, weather-resistant filters designed specifically for high velocity airflow applications such as chillers, dry air coolers, air handling units, cooling towers and air conditioning units.

Distributed by ECEX across the UK and Europe, air intake screens offer a simple method of saving money and maintenance time for building or facilities managers.

In the food and drink sector, these simple, but effective products are helping to save energy and improve operational efficiency at leading soft drinks manufacturer Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s (LRS’s) factory in Coleford, The Forest of Dean.

LRS’s factory is located in a forest environment so pollen, leaves and dust are deposited on filters and heating/cooling coils. This reduces airflow, decreases heat exchanger efficiency and lowers HVAC system capacity, significantly increasing energy consumption. On top of this, the cost of repairs can be high and air inflows require constant cleaning and maintenance to ensure optimum airflow and energy performance.

ECEX’s solution was to fit four Air Intake Screens to the supply air intakes, replacing existing banks of pre-filter media in-front of the intake louvres to reduce clogging from dust, and a further two Air Intake Screens on the cooling towers to prevent fans and pumps being affected by leaves, pollen and dust.

The results have been impressive – including big savings on filter changing costs and a dramatic reduction in energy consumption. The cooling towers will also benefit from less maintenance and faster servicing since the towers no longer needing to be stripped down to clean the internal components.

Read the full LRS case study, here.