In the first article in our series on warehouse energy and lighting efficiency, we look at quick wins for energy savings – as well as the impacts you can expect from the implementation of next-generation lighting technology and lighting controls.
We argue that these are among the measures that can make a lasting difference to warehouse efficiency.
Thanks to a surge in online-based retailing and a renaissance in the manufacturing sector, demands on the UK warehousing sector are currently reaching levels without parallel in recent times. For warehouse owners this is in one sense excellent news, but it also obliges them to give very careful thought to operational efficiency and the steps that can be taken to keep up with demand for new or expanded facilities.
Changing order patterns and delivery cycles mean that warehouse space is now often being used more efficiently than ever before – with obvious benefits for balance sheets. But the smartest operators will be aware that, both in terms of reviewing existing premises and designing brand new ones, the latest energy-optimised technologies can make an equally pivotal contribution to profitability.
What We’re Thinking would therefore like to proffer these six top tips designed to boost your warehouse energy efficiency…
1) Optimise your use of next-generation lighting. Lighting can account for as much as 80% of a warehouse’s total energy bill, so there is an obvious imperative to invest in the latest lighting technology. For example, converting from older fluorescent to the latest LED lights can slash energy bills by up to 60%. And there will be further long-term benefits since the longer life-cycles of LED lighting spell an inevitable reduction in replacement and maintenance expenses.
2) Install the latest lighting sensors and controllers. Deploying next-generation lights in conjunction with sensors and control systems means that it is much easier to use light only when it is required, where it is required. In a large warehouse where significant areas may be unused or unoccupied for extended periods, this could significantly improve a facility’s overall energy efficiency.
3) Implement regular lighting system reviews. Tap the services of a leading specialist (such as our team here at Greenlite Group!) to ensure the use of lighting remains complementary to the changing requirements of the warehouse, and to keep abreast of broader technological changes that could deliver further efficiencies.
4) Consider installing boiler controls and other system optimisation. The efficiency of industrial boilers can be substantially improved by effective insulation and the introduction of boiler controls that help to boost overall system performance.
5) Review warehouse entrances and exits. Older warehouse doors can be unreliable and slow to open and close, meaning that they are sometimes left open around the clock in order not to inhibit normal operations. This can have a significant impact on the desired warehouse environment, with obvious implications for heating systems and air-conditioners, so investing in high-speed doors can make a lot of practical and financial sense.
6) Expand upwards, not across. Working on ways to maximise the use of existing space – principally by expanding upwards in facilities with high ceilings – can do much to improve warehouse efficiency, and for a relatively minimal investment too.
7) And finally, let’s talk voltage optimisation! The average voltage level in the UK is 242v, whereas most European appliances only demand between 220v-230v to function. A voltage management system will reduce the voltage level from the incoming supply to an appropriate voltage level demanded by the equipment, meaning you won’t pay for energy that’s being wasted. Now, surely that’s worth a second thought!
To talk through ideas, strategies and technologies to make your warehouse more energy efficient, give us call or drop us a line – we’d be happy to help.