Grocery stores, being one of the most energy intensive building types, are particularly good applications of the SkyLouver system. Grocery stores share with general retail the need for high and well-controlled illumination levels. General lighting levels are varied throughout the store with higher levels in general grocery aisles and lower levels were spotlighting is used such as in produce isles. This is particularly suited to SkyLouver’s capability of customizing the lighting levels delivered by zone.
The SkyLouver system can be installed in a uniform pattern across the roof without regard to the specific function of the space below. In the case of a store renovation when the sales areas might be rearranged, simple reprogramming of the target illumination levels is all that would be needed to meet the new layout. Furthermore, the large refrigeration loads provide additional opportunities for SkyLouver to add value. The large refrigerators and freezers in a grocery store pull a lot of heat from the air inside the store. This results in a near year-round heating load for grocery store buildings in most US climate zones. This can be an excellent use for the heating capabilities of SkyLouver for both direct (radiant) an indirect (forced air) space heating. The large and year-round refrigeration load also provides an excellent opportunity for SkyLouver’s heat to cooling capability. SkyLouver can generally provide one ton of the refrigeration cooling per 1500 square feet of retail floor area. This corresponds to 10-15% of a typical grocery store refrigeration load. The chilled water provided by the SkyLouver absorption chiller can be used to subcool the refrigerant returning from the evaporators. This allows the central chillers to operate in a more favorable regime and shifts load from the central refrigeration chillers to the absorption chiller.
In addition, grocery stores must carefully control the humidity levels inside the store to reduce the energy required for defrosting and preventing condensation. Nearly all dedicated dehumidification equipment can be regenerated with heat between 150° and 200°F, the exact temperature range in which SkyLouver collects heat most efficiently. All told, SkyLouver can provide over 50% of the lighting, 10 to 30% of the heating, and a significant portion of the refrigeration load. Plus, the lighting and refrigeration savings typically occur during hours of peak electrical demand, this demand reduction can serve as a multiplier to the dollar savings over and above the straight energy savings.