Blog Post

CEDAR Farm Refrigeration Upgrades

Back in 2020, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grants, delivered by Salix and funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero for energy saving projects that were carried out over the period of 2021-22. Since then, we have successfully used the grant to carry out multiple projects across our university campuses that have reduced our environmental impact. The University has a mission to become carbon net zero by 2050, and so projects such as this one is an important step for us. One of our successful projects is the CEDAR farm refrigerator replacement.

CEDAR farm is the Centre for Dairy Research, located at The University owned Arborfield farm. CEDAR is responsible for the management of over 200 cows and ensuring research capabilities. In 2022, three large and outdated walk- in refrigerated storage units were replaced with one alternative high efficiency external unit. As a result of the freezer replacement, funded by Salix, kWh usage has been reduced significantly creating a saving of 34.60% annually and a shorter payback time than initially anticipated.

What has been the overall impact?

Since the University is committed to lowering carbon emissions and saving energy, the results from this project have been effective in that there have been overall reductions. We are very pleased with the new instalment; however, the project was hugely delayed because of issues with planning permission and the bespoke design required for the giant freezer unit.

Table below: The results from the Salix project

Annual kWh Pre-Project Annual kWh Post-Project Annual Savings Annual Savings (% kWh) Annual Savings (% kWh)  Annual Financial Savings (£) Payback tCO2e Pa
135,963 88,920 47,043 34.60% 92,251 £7,151 12.90  10.97

In summary, the annual energy consumption post-project is within 5% of the predicted, at 88,920 kWh, saving a total of 47,043 kWh per year. However due to the lower than estimated pre-project consumption (and despite lower-than-expected project costs), this has led to the payback period increasing from 8.40 years to 12.90 years using 2021 costs. When this was updated for recent energy price increases in 2022, the payback period has been calculated at 7.75 years which is positive. Savings of 10.97 tCO2e, 47,043 kWh and £11,902 per year are valuable achievements towards our net zero future target.

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