Retail distribution centers use significant quantities of energy in unique ways. Because the loads are diverse it is difficult for facility managers to get a handle on steps to effectively reduce usage.
The diversity is attributed to discrete power users performing stand-alone functions including:
- Ventilation – roof top fans, industrial ceiling fans, spot circulation fans, air curtains, and personal work space fans
- Battery charging stations – central sites for lift trucks and spot chargers for special purpose equipment
- Air compressor stations – sizing and controls
- Lighting – high-bay lights and task lighting
- Conveyor systems – motors and controls
- External parking lot lighting, signage, and wall illumination
- Office areas – HVAC, computers, copiers, break room refrigeration, and cafeteria
Burton Energy Group approaches distribution center optimization as a comprehensive exercise. Through site visits and facility manager interviews, we create an energy usage profile of the facility to identify areas with the highest potential payback. We have found that obtaining interval data and performing routine analysis of that data can be valuable in managing usage at a distribution center. We also consider alternative energy projects, such as solar and fuel cells, along with participation in demand response programs.
Employee awareness is a key component of the Burton Energy approach to distribution center optimization. Education programs targeted to the associates arm the client with eyes and ears to identify energy waste on a continual basis. Associate meetings, recurring webinars on relevant energy topics, associate incentives to find waste, etc. keep the quest for waste elimination fresh.
By following this approach, one Burton client reduced energy consumption in their network of distribution centers by 13% via workforce awareness and education and over 30% when capital investment recommendations were implemented.
Please contact us today to learn how we can help you improve the energy efficiency and profitability of your distribution operations.