The energy performance of logistical platforms

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The Orygeen teams have worked on:

The replacement of the totality of interior and exterior lighting of a storage platform for vehicles to economise over 70% of the lighting budget of the site without any client investment.

The renovation of the heating system of a logistial platform of chemical products to allow the storage of new products and to improve the comfort of operators.

The installment of a solution of solar plant on the roof of a refrigeration logistical platform to cover 30% of the electrical consumption of a site.

The construction of an optimisation strategy of lighting of the totality of 20 logistical platforms in Europe has allowed the transition to LED for an investment inferior to 30% of the initial budget.

Like with any other building, the bulk of the consumption of a logistical platform is linked to lighting, to air conditioning and heating. When it comes to cold warehouse however, the production of cold represents more than half the consumption.

Compared to the other types of buildings, the logistical platforms have 2 main characteristics with a direct impact on the energy performance solutions: buildings have large surfaces with high ceilings.

To maximise the energy efficiency of a logistics warehouse, it is necessary to act on 4 levers :

The lighting pictogram

1. The efficient lighting


Architecturally very simple, a logistics platform has 3 specificities in terms of lighting:

  • the height of the installation,
  • a surface area that is not always occupied or used, leading to a lighting issue in relation to occupation or use,
  • a very high storage system that generates shadows.

Lighting has a very significant weight in the electricity consumption of a logistics platform, which generally has little natural light, whereas it must potentially be lit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Switching to LEDs can therefore make spectacular progress in terms of energy efficiency, even if the choice of LED solutions, their implementation and the associated control systems will have a major influence on the investment made, the quality of the lighting and the extent of the savings made.

For example, in a logistics warehouse storing mechanical parts : the installation of LED lighting combined with a motion detection system reduced the electricity consumption associated with lighting by 90% with a payback period of less than 3 years.

2. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (CVC)


Although few logistics warehouses are air-conditioned, heating is often a problem in this type of site: it is not very efficient in terms of comfort and often consumes a lot of energy.

The combination of large surfaces and high ceilings makes it difficult to choose an appropriate heating system because of the volumes to be heated and the stratification effects, with warm air rising naturally.

The regularly opened and closed doors of a warehouse also pose a problem of air circulation. Aeraulic modelling can be useful to install and implement a perfectly adapted ventilation, heating and air conditioning system.

For example, in a 12,000 m2 warehouse : the replacement of an old heating system with a gas heating solution located outside the building significantly improved the comfort of the teams while allowing the regulatory approval to be extended to new products and reducing consumption.

Cold production pictogram

3. The cold production


In addition to the intrinsic performance of chillers, cold stores often have performance problems related to the quality of insulation and thermal bridges.

The use of cold inertia can allow energy to be stored and used in a flexibility contract or combined with photovoltaics to improve profitability (by maximising the use of the energy produced during the day).

Example in a cold warehouse for dairy products : reduce by 20% the electricity consumption linked to cold by implementing floating HP and BP solutions as well as by optimising via ad hoc software.

The photovoltaic on site pictogram

4. The solar self-consumption


In very homogeneous buildings with large flat roofs, it is easy to install large solar production capacities as long as the roof structure supports the installation and the quality of its waterproofing allows it.

For example, on the roof of a logistics warehouse in Valencia, Spain : the installation of photovoltaic panels covered 70% of the site’s electricity consumption at a fixed price over 15 years that was significantly lower than the grid price.

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