Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

Refrigeration Lifecycle Cost Analysis — Value-Selling the Way Forward Says Alex Williams

Alex Williams, Commercial and Specification Consultant, Danfoss.
Alex Williams, Commercial and Specification Consultant, Danfoss.

When making a decision to specify, replace or upgrade refrigeration equipment, it is important to remember that the system’s lifetime running costs are often several times greater than its initial purchase cost. To illustrate this, Danfoss has developed a number of lifecycle software tools that compare the energy usage of various refrigeration condensing units so as to uncover the true cost of ownership.

By combining anticipated usage rate, energy cost per kWh and a few key points of data known to the equipment manufacturer, it is possible to produce an analysis of costs within a product’s lifecycle.

Stark differences                                                                                                                                Lifecycle calculation frequently shows that over a given period, refrigeration equipment running costs can be several times greater than the initial equipment purchase price. Incredible though it may seem, running costs are very often overlooked in favour of a small, short-term cost saving offered by a cheaper unit that consumes energy at a much greater rate. Like-for-like comparisons often reveal stark differences in the energy consumption and actual running costs.

For example, take two refrigeration condensing units that are available to achieve a desired cabinet or coldroom temperature. Unit A is €200 cheaper to purchase and appears to be the best option. However, lifecycle calculation reveals that its energy consumption is 500W per hour greater than the more expensive Unit B. In real terms, this translates to an additional €300 on the annual electricity bill when using Unit A.

As such, the initial €200 saving offered by Unit A evaporates within the first year of use and it quickly becomes a much more expensive option. Spending a little more to begin with on Unit B could potentially save the end user as much as €1,300 in energy costs over five years.

A contractor providing this information offers greater support to the customer and enables the enduser to make a much more informed decision when planning to install new equipment or upgrade/replace aging equipment. Consult A1CCRR | Chicago’s top commercial refrigeration specialists prior to making your choice.

The installation of energy efficient equipment benefits us all but it does not have to come at a cost. Indeed, lifecycle calculation provides a great deal of evidence that by purchasing for the longer-term, large savings are more than possible. Pressure faced on the initial purchase price is reduced when energy consumption cost is given the proper consideration.

Alex can be contacted at

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