Remote Monitoring Cuts Costs and Boosts Efficiency During COVID-19

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Anne Flanagan
Business Development Manager SDA
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As the cold chain faces unprecedented demand due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Star Refrigeration is using remote monitoring to help customers reduce costs and increase efficiency.

The UK’s food and drink supply chain is currently under pressure to meet the additional capacity required to feed the nation during the COVID-19 lockdown. With an increase in production and throughput, many cold chain companies are facing a significant rise in energy usage, due to greater demand on refrigeration systems.

Star’s Data Analytics, is continuing to provide essential support to market leaders in food and drink production, processing and distribution, by ensuring refrigeration equipment is running safely and efficiently. The team provides remote monitoring of plant and equipment through its web-based Ethos system, to optimise performance and drive energy savings.

Star Data Analytics Business Development Manager Anne Flanagan says: “Ethos allows us 24/7 remote access to monitor each plant’s operational data and give real time visibility. By analysing this information regularly, we can advise local maintenance engineers to act quickly and make the technical adjustments required on site to help optimise performance.”

She adds: “This in turn can lead to substantial energy savings for customers, amounting to between 10 and 30% on electricity costs. For operators of large cooling systems, this often represents a cost saving of hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.”

Star’s Ethos remote monitoring system can be built in to new refrigeration plant or retro-fitted to any existing system. As well as safety alerts and fault alarms, the system provides real time visibility of plant status, temperature trends, pressure levels and component health. It also provides insights into where improvements can be made, by comparing live data from the site with optimum performance for the same conditions. Ethos customer’s gain 24/7 remote access to this information through an online dashboard that can be viewed via smartphone, tablet or PC.

Anne Flanagan says: “We estimate that many large refrigeration plants in the cold storage and distribution industry are currently running with up to 30% inefficiency. Without ongoing remote monitoring it is very difficult to optimise equipment performance and maximise efficiency, as parameters are constantly changing.”

Star Data Analytics is continuing to provide an uninterrupted Ethos service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department plays a key role in Star Refrigeration’s commitment to build and maintain cooling systems that save energy, reduce running costs and provide long-term efficiency.

Ethos has received numerous industry awards, including the TCS&D Partnership Award 2019 for a joint project with The Ice Co. Storage & Logistics, the RAC Cooling Awards’ Refrigeration Innovation of the Year 2018 and Product of the Year at the 2018 National ACR and Heat Pump Awards.
Remote Monitoring Cuts Costs and Boosts Efficiency During COVID-19