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Pepsi Pre-Cool System Expected to Cut Energy Use 26%

PepsiCo has begun testing a Cool-n-Save pre-cool system for air conditioning at its bottling facility in Tulsa, Okla.

Greenway Design Group says it expects its pre-cooling system to reduce the bottling facility’s energy use from air conditioning as much as 30 percent, with an average savings of about 26 percent during peak heat seasons. PepsiCo will test the system for two weeks.

Cool-n-Save reduces the temperature of outdoor air as it is being blown through the AC system’s condensing coils. Greenway Design Group says, according to one paper published by Colorado Springs Utilities and the company’s own field studies, air conditioning will use 25 percent less energy when outdoor temperatures are at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 95-degree temperatures. By saving money from energy consumption, companies can earn back the cost of installation and maintenance in about 12 months, Greenway Design Group says.

PepsiCo won a 2011 Energy Star Sustained Excellence award in recognition of its continued energy-efficiency efforts.

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5 thoughts on “Pepsi Pre-Cool System Expected to Cut Energy Use 26%

  1. This is very unclear.

    It is good that Pepsi is taking some initiatives to save energy, particularly after long issues regarding water use of which they seem to be gradually becoming aware.

    However, reduced energy spend (per the article) is driven by lower outside temperature, which even Pepsi cannot control.

    Either this is a solution that relies on re-scheduling load (a very good idea if plant is not at capacity), but that one would normally have been considered many years ago – Are Pepsi playing catch up and making big claims as green wash).

    Perhaps it is about simple use of so called “free-cooling” overnight where the same applies – again laudable and again overdue..

    Perhaps this is a case of thermal storage (where costly cooling is conducted and a cold mass stored (perhaps as ice) for use later when loads are higher, electricity costs greater and chilling less efficient. If it is again this is nothing spectacular – server farms and process sites around the world do this.

    Finally it could be a case of recovery (heat transfer to cooler exhaust gases at the end of a process) which is a process achieved in the majority of european households with balanced flues – not news!

    So unless this is a very old story – in which case it is a green fluff piece.

    It is a new technology (or a smarter application of an existing one). If that is the case it would be more eco-aware to give some idea of the method and technology.

    Therefore – however you look at this is must be assumed to be a fail until otherwise clarified.

    We need to encourage local initiatives (even when late against the bigger market). We need to encourage new adopters and inventive solutions.

    But we must condemn – one posing as the other (if this is the case) because it excuses lax practice under the guise of stealing the newsworthy credit that should be ascrivbed to those making genuine innovation.

    So Pepsi / Greenway – Which is it ?

  2. Regarding above criticism – I have just researched the product – This is called an http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler technology – a tchnology that has been known for thousands of years. Spray water into air and it cools down unless the air is already very humid. Misting ! You may have noticed in shady still air where there is foliage the air may be cooler and moister.

    So Pepsi are resting their laurels on a technology that is for sale in numerous guises and has been (even n modern technological forms) for thousands of years.

    – The expression publish and be damned leaps to mind.

  3. @ James – they can control the outdoor temperature by evaporating water (tiny droplets, presumably) into the condenser air stream. People don’t like the added humidity along with the cooler temperature but the condensing coil only cares about temperature, which will be lower.

  4. We’ve seen some indirect evap cooling units for RTUs, where the humidity isn’t brought into the space because the evap part happens outdoors. There were issues there too — not sure if they’ve been solved, but it seemed a very clever approach to cooling fresh air (sort of like an HRV, only with evap-cooled grid for the incoming air). Wonder if that’s what they’re doing here?

  5. Why not go with a Hybrid Geothermal Heat Pump System instead? It seems that utilizing water to pre-cool the coils wastes water unless the unit recycles the water it uses. Also, it appears that this system won’t help with any heating needs should they arise. Geothermal Heat Pump System reduces the energy needed for heating by 30%-60% but also does the same for meeting the heating needs and its a renewable source.

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