Industrial Refrigeration: Are 'Net Zero' Food Plants Realistic?

Jan. 15, 2014
The educational staff at the University of Wisconsin Madison explores the potential of creating a net-zero food production plant, using renewable electricity generated from solar and wind. Link to the article to read all about it.

The most excellent team of instructors at the University of Wisconsin Madison — Director Doug Reindl, Assistant Director Todd Jekel, and Researcher Dan Dettmers — always have something interesting and valuable to add to the discussion of refrigeration energy efficiency in the real world. Here's a brief description of their latest offering, as published in "The Cold Front" this week. A link to the publication follows.

As efforts grow to curb energy use and reduce energy-related costs, the concept of “net-zero” buildings has garnered a great deal of attention recently. To date, the research and development efforts for net-zero energy building concepts have been aimed toward residential and commercial facilities. Several net-zero concepts for single family dwellings have been developed and demonstrated; however, the ability to achieve net-zero for larger commercial buildings presents a much more difficult challenge. There are virtually no studies that have considered the potential for a net-zero food production facility. Given the energy intensity of food production plants, the possibility of achieving net-zero for this type of facility is exponentially tougher when compared to a residential or small commercial building.

Obtain a PDF with this comprehensive article here.