For operators of chilled display cabinets the challenge of saving energy, for both environmental and economic reasons, is becoming ever-harder. Incremental improvements in systems and component design can achieve only small savings in running costs. ISA (UK), however, is launching a chilled multi-deck cabinet range that can offer 35 to 40% energy savings over existing designs. ISA’s ‘In-Touch’ technology is attracting a great deal of interest and the design has already been shortlisted as a Finalist for the Environmental Product of the Year (Refrigeration) in the prestigious Cooling Industry Awards 2009.
Featuring patent-pending ‘In-Touch’ technology, the new energy saving system is designed for use on ISA’s and Tasselli’s new open-front, multi-deck cabinets, for both remote and integral application. The technology incorporates an automatic, transparent shutter system that can enclose the cabinet at the front. However, even when closed the transparent shutters allow the products on the shelf to be seen clearly. As a customer approaches the cabinet, the shutters in that section open automatically, stay open while a product is selected and then close after the person has moved away. The shutters are opened and closed automatically by means of a movement sensor located on the top canopy. This can be adjusted to differing angles, reducing or increasing the field of operation.
A number of design features enhance the functionality and efficiency of the unit. For example, a special safety feature detects any resistance against the closing of the shutters and ensures they open again immediately and automatically. This could occur, for example, if a product has been left blocking the shutter. Also, on new production units featuring ‘In-Touch’, the air curtain has been moved further to the front of the unit. Because of this the depth of the shelves can be increased significantly – a typical shelf can be deeper by 130mm. This can increase the overall capacity of a cabinet by approximately 25% in the same footprint.
The shutter system is made up of a series of three Plexiglas panels in front of each shelf and operates very simply. The shutter mechanisms are arranged in bays, each 1.25m long with each bay opening and closing independently. For example, a 3.75m long multi-deck cabinet would have three 1.25m shutter bays, all operating independently of each other. Every shutter panel can be removed for ease of cleaning.
The system has been designed to be included as an option on the new ISA and Tasselli multi-deck cabinet range.
In operation the system displays all the key marketing advantages of open-front cabinets without the disadvantages of those with doors. There is full visibility of the product, there are no barriers to selection, impulse purchases are possible without having to open doors, more than one person at once can select from the same cabinet and no aisle space is taken up with door opening. Combining these benefits with the energy saving potential is a winning formula.
What Energy Savings are Achievable?
During the development of the system ISA has not only carried out exhaustive performance tests in its laboratories, but also studied typical usage patterns of cabinets already installed in a variety of retail outlets. These tests revealed massive energy savings – up to 40% depending on use, compared with the standard cabinet. ISA (UK) is more than happy to share the findings of these tests with potential customers.
Even this huge saving can look even more remarkable when the increase in shelf space of the cabinet is taken into account. By increasing the capacity of the cabinet the overall energy cost is shared by more products, reducing the average energy consumption per product still further.
Other benefits can arise from using these efficient cabinets that spill less cold air. Store comfort can be considerably enhanced because aisle temperatures can be maintained at more stable, shopper-friendly levels. Overall heating and/or air conditioning energy costs are likely to be more predictable and therefore more controllable, leading to further cost savings.
New ISA and Tasselli cabinets that feature the ‘In-Touch’ system also incorporate CO2 blown insulation, resulting in an exceptionally environmentally-friendly range. As energy costs continue to increase, and environmental issues remain centre-stage, such a range has enormous potential throughout the world.
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