In April this year, an evaluation of using Gel-clear as part of a PPM regime across a large estate over three years produced some interesting findings.
Blocked condensate drains not only causes unwanted engineer call outs and disruption, but prevents retail refrigeration units from working at optimum efficiency. This inefficiency can lead to higher electricity consumption, damage to units and shorter unit lifespans.
If units aren’t operating at maximum efficiency, more electricity is required to achieve the same temperatures. If all electricity came from renewable sources this wouldn’t be so bad but this isn’t the case. In Europe, around half of all electricity generated comes from fossil fuels, so inefficiency in retail refrigeration can be directly linked to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Having to replace units early or replace parts more often can also lead to increased emissions as it involves disposing of old units and the transportation and manufacture of new ones, increasing the carbon footprint of the cold chain.
The Carbon Trust has analysed the electricity consumption of the UK’s cold chain, revealing refrigerated retail display cabinets as the largest consumer in the chain. They discovered that each year they use around 5,800 GWh of electricity – more than a million UK households. They are also the No1 consumers of the UK’s retail electricity, using more electricity than any other process or stage in the cold chain.
The Carbon Trust’s ‘Roadmap for Refrigeration report pinpoints cleaning and maintenance as the No1 area for energy efficiency improvement. In fact, it easily tops the list with 20% of all possible energy savings. As we know, blocked condensate drains can account for anywhere between 30-50% of reactive maintenance call outs in food retail refrigeration. Planned or preventative maintenance in today’s retail environment is operationally challenging and disruptive to trade, so it is avoided or neglected or not prioritised as highly as it should.
Gel-clear tablets help to overcome this problem. In fact, they are proven to cut the frequency of refrigeration water leak reactive call outs by over 90%. A recent analysis of using Gel-clear across a whole retail estate revealed some interesting findings. Using Gel-clear on the HT chillers delivered a reduction of over 70% in water leak call outs across the whole estate, and a reduction of fan motor replacements by 35% in the same year.
This has a massive impact on the operational efficiency of the units. This keeps them running for longer, reduces the disturbance to the retailer, and reduces their carbon footprint.
Globally, the demand for supermarket cooling is growing rapidly. The Carbon Trust estimates that by 2030 this global cooling power demand may grow by the equivalent of three times the current electricity capacity of the UK. Innovations in cooling technologies and improved efficiency will partly offset the increased carbon footprint, but will only be effective if machines can run efficiently. This is why Gel-clear tablets offer clear environmental benefits as they enable advanced technology to perform without the hindrance of blocked drains. This helps retailers both large and small to tackle global heating and exceed energy efficiency standards.