Reducing Annual Electric Bills with Heat Flux Sensors

The Interfaith Food Pantry in Blacksburg, Virginia, was concerned with their $9000 annual electric bill. FluxTeq worked with them to figure out where the highest energy losses were in their building and how to make it more efficient.

The PHFS-09e heat flux sensors showed that a significant portion of heat was lost through the sides of the food storage room and the refrigerators and freezers.

The tests were conducted by measuring the heat flux and temperatures on the building walls on a cold day. In addition, the R-value, a measure of how insulating the walls are, was also measured. The heat flux through the walls was measured to be 60 W/m2, which would increase to as high as 100 W/m2 when the heating was turned on. The R-value of the insulation was determined to be R-7 by placing sensors on the inside and the outside of the walls. The higher the R-value the better is the insulation.

Based on these results, the pantry installed new wall insulation with the help of a team from Virginia Tech. This boosted the R-value to R-20 and reduced the heat flux to 10 W/m2 on a cold day. Also, R-5 insulation was fitted on the freezer doors and new refrigerators were purchased.

The changes saved the pantry, a facility that helps feed the poor, about $1582 in annual electricity bills. This was made possible because of FluxTeq’s heat flux and temperature sensors, which showed exactly where and how much energy was lost, making it easy to make changes to that saved the most energy and hence money.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by FluxTeq.

For more information on this source, please visit FluxTeq.

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