Case Study: Blacksburg Food Pantry
FluxTeq consulted with the Interfaith Food Pantry in Blacksburg, Virginia, who were concerned about their $9,000/year electric bill and wanted to understand where most of their energy losses were occurring and how to make their building greener.
Just a few simple tests using FluxTeq’s PHFS-09e heat flux sensors determined that a large amount of heat was being lost to the sides of the food storage room as well as the refrigerators and freezer units.
For the facility walls, heat flux and temperature measurements were taken on a cold day to determine not only how much heat was being lost through the walls, but the R-value as well. An average heat flux of 60W/m^2 was measured through the wall with the current insulation, which would spike as high as 110W/m^2 with the facility’s heating unit turned on. An R-value of only R-7 was determined from sensors placed both inside and outside the facility. After installing new insulation on the walls with the help of a team from Virginia Tech, an R-value of R-20 was achieved and resulting average heat flux of around 10W/m^2 for a cold day.
FluxTeq sensors were also used to show significant energy losses from the sides and doors of the refrigerators and freezers. R-5 insulation was installed on the freezer doors and new refrigerators were purchased due to the very poor performance of the current units.
The retrofits made will save about $1,582/year, which is very significant for a small food pantry facility meant to help feed the poor. Data from FluxTeq heat flux and temperature sensors determined exactly what modifications needed to be made to save the most energy and money.