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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Energy Efficiency Guidebook

The Energy Efficiency Guidebook is available online to all IRC Members. The guidebook is available for purchase by non-members here.

Industrial refrigeration is essential for the production of many food products consumed in the world today. Although it is an inherently energy-intensive process, careful application of engineering principles in design and operation can lead to significant improvements in both capacity and efficiency.

Energy is a fundamental commodity that fuels and sustains the growth and prosperity of mankind. As demand increases and the finite energy resources of our planet are depleted, the value of energy in the future will continue to increase. In the U.S. today, the true cost of energy is not reflected in the price to consumers, though many other countries have moved to price the commodity in accordance with its value. In any case, energy prices in the U.S. are increasing faster than inflation and one can reasonably expect the cost of energy to continue rising in the future as finite energy reserves deplete. This trend is driving end-users to improve the efficiency of energy intensive operations such as industrial refrigeration systems.

This Guidebook is intended to provide refrigeration plant operators, engineers, and managers with the information they need to improve the energy efficiency of their industrial refrigeration systems. This Guidebook is intended to be a "desk reference" to help those responsible for refrigeration systems achieve these improvements. Much of our focus on preparing this Guidebook has been on uncovering and presenting proven approaches that result in improvements in refrigeration system capacity and energy efficiency. We have also dedicated considerable space to discussing the barriers that commonly block implementation of the efficiency improvement strategies presented.

Understanding these barriers is a first step toward removing them and clearing a path for success.