Bakery plants can be notoriously hot, especially in areas where ovens are located or then the close by areas where packaging takes place. High temperatures not only make working conditions uncomfortable for employees, but they can also have a negative impact on product quality and safety. This is where spot cooling can come in handy, providing a more targeted and energy-efficient solution to cooling specific areas of the plant. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the benefits of spot cooling in a bakery plant, and how it can be a more logical solution for hot zones.
Spot cooling is a type of cooling system that focuses on cooling specific areas, rather than cooling an entire space. This can be achieved using portable air conditioners, fans, or other cooling devices. Compared to traditional cooling systems, such as central air conditioning or HVAC systems, spot cooling is often more energy-efficient and cost-effective. This is because spot cooling only cools the areas where it is needed, rather than wasting energy cooling areas that don't need it.
Let's take a look at an example to illustrate the potential cost savings of spot cooling in a bakery plant. Assume a 500 square meter packaging hall with 10 cooling spots for operators and packers. The traditional cooling system in this hall consumes an average of 25 kWh per hour, while a spot cooling system using portable air conditioners or fans would consume an average of 3.5 kWh per hour. Assuming the cost of one kWh is 0.2 USD, we can estimate the annual energy savings achieved through the use of spot cooling as follows:
Annual energy savings = (25 kWh/hour - 3.5 kWh/hour) x 8 hours per day x 300 days per year x 0.2 USD/kWh
Annual energy savings = 10,320 USD per year
In addition to energy savings, spot cooling can also provide other benefits such as improved employee comfort and productivity, reduced product spoilage, and increased product safety. By targeting specific areas of the plant with cooling, employees can work more comfortably, which can lead to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. Additionally, cooler temperatures can help preserve product quality and safety, especially for products that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
Another advantage of spot cooling in a bakery plant is its flexibility. Portable air conditioners or fans can be moved around as needed, allowing for greater control over where cooling is directed. This is especially useful in areas where ovens or other heat-generating equipment are located, as it allows for targeted cooling in these hot zones.
It's worth noting that the initial investment cost for a spot cooling system will depend on various factors, such as the size of the packaging hall, the number of cooling spots required, and the type of spot cooling system installed. However, in many cases, the energy savings achieved through spot cooling can provide a relatively quick return on investment. Assuming we need an ROI of less than 3 years we can say maximum cost of the system should be as below
Maximum allowed investment for spot cooling system = 3 years x 10,320 USD/ year
Maximum allowed investment for spot cooling system = 30,960 USD
Figure 1. Illustration for a spot cooling system
It is easy to purchase this type of system within a budget of 30,960 USD. If there is access chilled water available in the bakery plant which is the case most of the time, the cost can go even further down easily.
All these calculations are for the purpose of showing an opportunity, to get precise numbers please get in touch with HVAC experts in your area.