Energy use to operate a cold storage facility is a combination of refrigeration, fans for air circulation, lighting, and humidification. Well insulated walls, ceilings and floors will reduce conduction heat gain and using high efficiency fan motors and LED lamps will reduce equipment heat generation. A refrigeration system needs to be size for worse case situation – hot day, many opening of cooler door and large quantities of warm produce entering the cooler. If a cooler is just being used in the fall and winter months the size of the refrigeration unit can be smaller. The Wisconsin Walk-in Cooler Energy Estimator is a spreadsheet application to aid in estimating the energy use for a prospective cooler or estimate if your usage is reasonable. This tool is just an estimate and uses may assumptions to reduce the amount of technical questions and likely will over estimate the energy use. The weather data used is based on a “Typical Weather Year” as defined by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory so it is unlikely to match last year, this year or next years temperatures but should be representative of the weather over many years.
Click on the tool to open. You’ll need to download it and open it on your computer.