Loading bays are essential for facilities movement of goods. It is what allows their goods to reach their customers, ultimately creating revenue for the company. While loading bays are critical to enabling profits, they can also incur high energy costs.
The High Cost of Energy Loss
Inefficient energy usage can occur within a warehouse facility in a variety of ways, but the loading bay provides a large opportunity for generated energy to become wasted, and for money to literally be thrown out the door.
Warehouse facilities typically have numerous loading bay doors that are in use several hours a day, if not 24/7. Every second the bay door is open, energy generated to produce the cool air or heat within the facility slips through the cracks.
This issue is especially present in cold storage warehouses, where a significant amount of energy is used to keep the facility cool and preserve the quality of the goods.
An article from Star Refrigeration explains this further: “For a chilled facility at +2°C on a warm, humid day, where the ambient air is +32°C and 70% RH, air entering the building and being cooled to the +2°C condition requires around 100kJ/m3 of heat extraction. This corresponds to 100kW of energy per 1m3 of air entering the store. Assuming it is an efficient cooling system with a CoP of 3, this means 33kW of electrical energy is required to remove this heat – and at 6p/kWhr, this equates to a running cost of over £48 per day.” That cost can accumulate quickly, coming in at £17,520 annually.
In addition, the article goes on to say that if the goods were required to stay at a freezing temperature, such as -25°C, the load and operating costs would increase by an additional 40%.
Solutions are available to prevent the loss of energy through loading bay doors, and the high costs associated with it. Loading bay seals and shelters are both relatively simple solutions that aid in temperature control and minimise the amount of cool air, or heat, lost through the cracks of the trailer and bay. Seals are typically made from a foam material that compresses when a trailer backs up to the bay during loading/unloading. This creates a suction like seal between the bay and trailer, limiting the cool air or heat escaping the warehouse.
Loading bay shelters also limit the amount of cool air or heat escaping the warehouse, and are typically used at sites where there are a variety of truck styles and sizes. They are not as effective as seals but still provide a sufficient solution to help reduce energy loss.
In addition to seals and shelters, systems exist that only allow the bay door to be opened when a trailer is backed up to the bay and ready to be loaded/unloaded. For example, the Salvo Loading Bay Safety System ensures the bay door is locked closed until the loading/unloading process can be performed safely. While a cool summer’s breeze may be enjoyable, precious energy and money are going to waste every second the bay door is left open.
These systems greatly reduce the amount of energy going to waste at a facility and help companies save on energy costs. Sustainability is important, and efficient energy usage is the first step to ensuring our environment is a clean and safe place for us to live, and work, for the foreseeable future. Make an impact at your facility today by implementing a solution to reduce the amount of energy lost at the loading bay.
Castell Safety International:
Castell Safety International believes everyone has the right to be safe at work. Castell provides sequenced process safety solutions to the logistics and energy industries. Our logistics solution, Salvo Loading Bay Safety Systems, prevent drive-aways during loading/unloading by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the bay door, ensuring that the trailer cannot depart until loading/unloading is completed and the bay door is closed.
Salvo Loading Bay Safety Systems protect loading bay personnel and ensure they return home safely at the end of their shift.