SGS Produce, a full-service wholesale produce company based in Los Angeles, operates a warehouse where produce is stored before being shipped out to various segments of the food industry. SGS runs evaporators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to maintain optimal produce cold storage temperatures in the warehouse.

The problem
Running evaporator fan motors 24/7 for 365 days a year results in a huge energy bill. That’s why Carole Shandler, president of SGS Produce, is always looking for ways to reduce expenses.

The solution
Carlisle Energy Solutions, Irvine, Calif., prepared a savings analysis and found that by retrofitting the evaporator coils in one of their coolers with Frigitek controllers and 1.5 HP EC Motors, SGS will save approximately $225,000 in the next five years. In fact, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Frigitek incentive of $27,547.45 allowed this project to pay for itself in less than six months.

Frigitek motor controllers function by sensing the operational status of the cooling system and controlling the speed of the evaporator fans. By operating the fans at a low speed when no cooling is called for, the fans circulate about 40% as much as normal and use only 10% as much energy without impacting cooling requirements. The addition of either the Frigitek Single or 3-Phase motor controller is said to increase energy savings by approximately 50% over what EC motors alone will provide.