Engineering Notebook

By Daniel H. Nall, P.E., BEMP, HBDP, FAIA, Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE

Grocery stores are among the most energy-intensive commercial buildings, consuming two to three times as much energy per unit floor area as office buildings, with refrigeration causing the single-highest energy consumption.

In current standard practice, the refrigeration systems, the space conditioning system, and the service water heating system are entirely separate systems.

By recovering and using heat from refrigeration system for space heating, grocery stores will cut their energy costs.

By integrating refrigeration and HVAC, it’s possible to achieve at least 25% heat recovery, and higher rates are often possible and cost-effective.

Design of a heat recovery system will vary by climate, and type of refrigeration and HVAC system, but in essence, it can accomplish by:

  • Refrigerant heat recovery of service water heating
  • Integration of commercial refrigeration with HVAC
  • Climate-specific heat recovery strategies

To learn how to apply these solutions, please download ASHRAE’s Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building.

Members of the project committee that contributed to the guide include Dan Nall, Aaron Daly, Jim McClendon, Caleb Nelson and Doug Scott.