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‘Smart’ door contributes to energy efficiency

‘Smart’ door contributes to energy efficiency

ARTICLE BY KAREN DAVIDSON

When Vineland Growers’ Cooperative built its new 30,000- square-foot storage facility near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, energy efficiency was one of the key goals. One of their suppliers, Penn Refrigeration, suggested a high-speed door for the cold storage rooms for tender fruit.

Sourced from TNR Industrial Doors, a Canadian-based company, this door opens and closes in a few seconds, allowing quick access by employees.

“It’s a smart door,” says Dave Lepp, Vineland Growers’ director of operations, “in that it operates on a sensor that detects the approach of a tow motor and operator. It is not activated if a person walks by or if it’s approached at the wrong angle.”

The benefits are multifold. There’s no humidity inside and little condensation on the exterior. Coolers run more efficiently. No air curtain is required.

These high-speed doors are becoming popular in the food industry says Erik Klein- Horsman, door division sales, O’Brien Installation Limited. “It’s important to have environmental separation between the cooler and the dock area,” he says. “There’s a heated guide and a heated bottom bar so that no condensation forms on the outside. This is important when storing peaches.”

Another feature of this high-speed door (CHILLFAST model) is that it has a direct-drive system with no chains or pulleys. Although the door opens at 75 inches per second, it has a soft start and stop to ensure no strain on the door materials. The door closes on a timer which can be programmed according to need. In the case of Vineland Growers’ Cooperative, it’s 30 inches per second. The springless design is warranted for a million cycles.

Klein-Horsman notes that the greenhouse vegetable industry is also discovering the benefits of high-speed doors for newly built facilities.

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