The West Ohio Food Bank is a Lima, Ohio-based affiliate of Feeding America, a hunger relief organization. It serves 170 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters throughout 11 counties in western Ohio.

Operational efficiency is key for any food storage and distribution facility however a food bank typically operates on a budget that relies on the kindness of individual and corporate donors. Keeping operating costs low and maintaining capital equipment is imperative for the organization to serve those who depend on it. The West Ohio Food Bank is housed in a 30-year-old building that once was a food distribution facility prior to the food bank taking occupancy in 2006.

All of the freezer and refrigeration system’s mechanical components were the same age as the building, and maintenance increased to the point where it came time to replace; the food bank endured expenditures of $20,000 for emergency repair costs.

So, the food bank replaced the existing compressor and rewired the unit with a digital controller, resulting in a business incentive rebate from AEP Ohio, the local utility.

The food bank worked closely with Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc., St. Louis, and All-Temp Refrigeration, Inc., a Madisonville, La., division of ATR Mechanical. As the floating head concept is relatively new to food storage, the installation and initial operation was a learning experience for the food bank operations staff and the contractor.

Assistance by Emerson personnel helped keep installation and startup on track. The system now operates at lower temperature. A data logging device was installed to verify the energy efficiency improvement for the AEP Ohio rebate program application.

• West Ohio Food Bank reduced energy cost, improved system reliability and received a rebate check for $2,449.43 from AEP Ohio, the local energy provider.

• All-Temp Refrigeration gained valuable experience with low condensing and digital retrofit technology, including installing the Emerson EX valve, VFD fan control and digital controller.

• West Ohio Food Bank’s operating budget is more stable and unexpected repairs and maintenance have been minimized.

The Copeland Discus Digital compressor, XC643 digital controller, Emerson electronic expansion valves (EXV) and drivers and control techniques variable frequency drive (VFD) condenser fan controller combine to offer greater efficiency and system reliability. The keys to energy efficiency are the Copeland digital technology, which provides effective load matching and low condensing, which is enabled by the EXV valve and condensing fan variable frequency drive.