As I shared in a recent blog post, installation of a facility control system can provide savings and improve operations of a convenience store. Refrigeration, lighting and HVAC are the three key areas included in a store-level control strategy. While each area of controls can be set up separately, a control system works best and is most cost effective when all three levels are combined under one platform. Below are benefits and strategies of using system controls at each level.
- Refrigeration Controls: An installation of electronic controls in a refrigeration system can help to not only reduce compressor run time, but also assist with monitoring the opening and closing of case doors. Leveraging alarm management in refrigeration cases can alert you to potential issues and prevent food loss. Using the monitoring data from your refrigeration system controls can allow you to be more proactive with your strategy and reduce overall maintenance expenses.
- Lighting Controls: With lighting controls, a store can ensure that various lights are turned on and off at the times they should be. Controls can be put in place for ambient light, dimming and modulation. Lighting schedules can be automated and maintained through a control system, ensuring store lighting procedures are followed.
- HVAC Controls: A key benefit to having HVAC system controls is the ability to program thermostat setpoints appropriately. Controls also help to ensure policies are implemented correctly at each store – for example, restrictions on override capabilities can be set during specific times through the supervisory control system.
Keep the Door Closed!
Why is it important to use controls to ensure store policies are being enforced? Based on a study we conducted with a customer around walk-in doors, we found that store personnel or vendors have a tendency to prop open these doors for various reasons. The industry average shows that walk-in doors are open about 25 percent of the time. While the amount of refrigeration varies by store, this could equal about 19.8 KWh or $2 per day, which amounts to about $730 per year in energy usage costs.
Using a supervisory system for monitoring, an alarm can sound when a walk-in door is left open for too long, giving a store manager the insight to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Adding the enterprise management level onto the controls allows you to collect data across all stores within an enterprise to identify problem sites and make corrections to result in cost savings.
For more information on convenience store solutions, check back here over the next several weeks for additional blog posts on this topic.
Questions or feedback? Please share in the comments below.
Director of Innovation, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies