JANUARY / FEBRUARY
Commercial coolers and freezers are heavy consumers of energy. A significant amount of this energy consumption is a direct result of the short life span of door gaskets and the door heat used to prevent sweating or condensate formation. Maintaining the integrity of cooler and freezer door gaskets is not only important in conserving refrigerated air and energy within the cases, but also in maintaining food safety and extending refrigeration equipment life, thereby reducing downtime and maintenance expenses. The relentless challenge retailers face is dealing with deteriorating, leaking gaskets that waste energy and needlessly increase operating costs. Condensate formation on doors, which makes merchandise unappealing and can drip onto the shopping floor to become a slipping hazard and a potential costly lawsuit, is a constant factor retailers seek to avoid by using heated doors. Unfortunately, this method of preventing condensation comes at a high price in the form of significant energy usage. This paper addresses innovations developed to greatly increase energy efficiency, lower operating costs, decrease maintenance and reduce a retailer’s carbon footprint by retrofitting their existing cooler and freezer doors with these technologies.
Retrofit Technology for Glass Doors Installing Anthony’s innovative refrigeration glass door equipment can lower operating costs, increase energy efficiency and extend product life. GASKET LIFE – TOO SHORT Problem – Frequent Gasket Replacement Refrigerator and freezer door gaskets experience wear and tear from constant door opening and closing, customers leaning on gaskets while shopping and impacts during restocking including damage by stocking carts. Additionally, adding heat to the rails, frames and glass of refrigeration cases to prevent condensate formation also increases wear and tear and causes deformation of gaskets. Gasket deterioration results in a greater potential for air leakage that can compromise food preservation and drive up electrical costs. In freezers, air leakage can even lead to ice formation within the unit and on the merchandise, making the merchandise less appealing to customers. A gasket that has deteriorated merely 0.1” will increase cooler energy usage by 128 kWh annually1. A 0.2” deterioration equates to wasting 138 kWh annually per door (See Figure 1). On average, utilities estimate that extremely damaged and worn gaskets on freezer glass doors can cost retailers as much as $40 to $60 in additional energy expense due to air leakage. To promote energy efficiency and save retailers from this wasted expense, many utilities offer rebates for replacing commercial refrigeration door gaskets.
As a result, periodic refrigerator gasket replacement is an important part of case upkeep, which drives up maintenance and operation expenses. On average, gasket deterioration occurs every three to five years for commercial refrigeration and freezer doors. Solution – Improved Gasket Material Anthony has recently developed a new gasket material, LifePlus Gasket™, with superior sealing performance and life compared to standard PVC gaskets (See Figure 2). Made of a subset of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), LifePlus Gasket has outstanding elastic and thermosetting properties similar to rubber and excellent molding properties akin to plastics to retain tight sealing performance throughout numerous and has obtained UL and RoHS certifications. During a Shore Hardness Test by a thirdparty laboratory, LifePlus Gasket maintained its shape 13% more than PVC gaskets at temperatures reaching -4°F for a more uniform and airtight seal between the cooler door and frame (See Figure 3). Over 2 years of field-testing of LifePlus Gasket at grocery stores and retail outlets has shown that Anthony’s LifePlus Gaskets maintain excellent sealing qualities under the harshest commercial freezer environments.
trade publication, canadian convenience store and carwash industry