Intel Ireland Ltd and Irish Manufacturing Research have integrated the innovative Intel Quark technology with SolarCool, in a test designed to highlight SolarCool’s ability to reduce energy consumption in commercial refrigeration.
The SolarCool family of products was introduced to the European Market via SolarCool Energy in mid-2014 and has since enjoyed rapid success in the ever growing energy efficiency market. Specialist Irish energy efficiency player, SunSource Energy is now introducing the SolarCool Family of Products to high energy users in the Irish retail food sector, as well as the office and hospitality sectors, where air conditioning is the primary application.
SolarCool is retrofitted to well known compression cycle brands already installed for cooling and incorporates high efficiency solar thermal collectors. In standard cooling units, the compressor has to manage the full compression load. The expansion of the gas in the sealed system, heated by the SolarCool collector, takes over much of the compressor’s work load during daylight hours and thus significantly reduces the amount of electricity consumed by the compressor. This means the compressor has a much easier life and is less prone to breakdown when needed most.
The importance of measurement
When SunSource Energy started considering measuring devices and their capabilities, it was pointed by John Shaw, thought leader in the Internet of Things space and now cio at Fintrax, straight to Intel as offering the most solid underpinning for the next wave of these measurement devices.
The more closely electricity consumption can be measured, the more closely it can be managed. Measuring and monitoring electricity consumption leads to costs being permanently driven out of the business through deployment of latest technologies such as SolarCool and through control and behavioural change. So this places measurement devices at the heart of managing resource consumption, energy efficiency and ultimately national competitiveness.
Brian Quinn, director of the Intel Labs Europe Innovation Programme, said: “We have successfully integrated the Intel Quark technology with SunSource’s ingenious energy solution at a local Spar outlet as a test site. The platform and overall solution allows for real-time, remote assessment of energy supply (renewables) and usage within the store, giving opportunity for breakthrough intelligence and hence further efficiency actions. Ultimately assessment will be available to the store owner on a user device such as a smart phone or tablet.”
Michael O’Connor, managing director of SunSource, said: “We had been looking at the Intel Quark product for some time, it has a number of benefits, not only its core ability to collect the data the customer needs from SolarCool and other energy efficiency installations to see the savings, but even the neatness of the product makes it very versatile for the retail refrigeration applications we are working with. It goes further than electricity of course, on to other resources like water and gas, pretty much anything that can be metered or measured.”
The 4,000ft sq Spar retail outlet in Glen Easton, Leixlip, was introduced to SunSource by the Irish Spar operator BWG Foods as a representative demonstration site. BWG Foods has a strong presence across the Republic of Ireland through its brand portfolio of Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis, XL, Xpress Stop and Value Chain, incorporating over 1,000 retail outlets and convenience stores.
Michael O’Connor said: “This is a showcase for how the SolarCool family of products performs in the Irish context. A comparable installation across a chain of 13 Filling Stations with convenience stores – the Spar-branded Kay Group in the North of England - has delivered a 36% reduction in electricity consumption on average across its stores over the last 13 months – in line with original projections from SolarCool”.
Spar Glen Easton outlet owner, Bernard Kealy, said: “When SunSource approached us, we were on board from the outset. We have an annual electricity bill of just over €50,000, so we are open to anything that helps us reduce this overhead. It’s early days, so I can’t verify exact figures, but what I can say is that so far they are looking in line with what was originally projected. If that turns out to be the case, we will be very happy indeed.”
Mark Crabtree, ceo of SolarCool International, based in Freeport, Bahamas, said: “We are proud and excited to be partnered with a company of Intel’s standing, especially when it comes to having the opportunity to verify the collective benefits of SolarCool and the Quark product in measuring and reducing energy on one of the world’s largest consumers – refrigeration”
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