Golden Corral Cuts Annual Carbon Emissions by 162,000 pounds
Golden Corral in Topeka will save thousands in electrical costs while further improving interior comfort. The ownership team has long sought lower operating costs but foremost is customer comfort. They actively watch both temperature and humidity. They were able to improve comfort and lower energy costs with the installation of IceCOLD. Testing results show that they will save $6,500 per year in energy costs and this will save 80,000 pounds of coal that will not be used to make their power. This reduction in coal burned will save 162,000 pounds of carbon dioxide released.
In the most extensive testing we have done to date, Golden Corral in Topeka installed IceCOLD in all their cooling systems during the 2014 cooling season. We tracked two of the five systems with a total 17 channels of data collected once per minute from early May to early September. Knowing that humidity is a key factor in customer comfort, we tested humidity levels throughout as well.
We used upgraded “low mass” thermocouples and highly accurate humidity sensors to compute actual unit cooling capacity and efficiency minute-by-minute throughout the period. Before the test cycle began, our crew power washed the condensers, replaced belts and filters in all the units. Control settings and damper settings remained constant throughout the period. The equipment performed reliably throughout the season.
The First Big Surprise
We know that cooling systems lose capacity over time but were shocked to find that the the equipment had lost a lot of capacity in the three years since it was new. A system that should have produced nearly 240,000 Btu was actually working at 180,000. By the end of the testing period, full system capacity was restored. This chart shows that stage 1 capacity remained consistently high at high outdoor temperatures. Before IceCOLD, capacity dropped sharply as temperatures rose.
The Second Big Surprise – Efficiency
As the attached chart shows, system efficiency was raised sharply by the installation of IceCOLD. We expect system efficiency to be sharply lower at higher outdoor temperatures. We found that the system achieved much higher EER ratings and those ratings remained consistently higher at high temperatures where performance is most critical.
The Third Big Surprise – Humidity
We’ve been thinking that (and customers have said that) IceCOLD lowers humidity. That needed to be verified. The testing confirms that interior humidity is lowered and comfort levels are increased. The surprise is that the effect took a full 30 days to be realized.
We will re-visit the Golden Corral this August and report system performance a year following installation. Expect this information by the end of September, 2015.