Monitoring Key Equipment in Warehouse and Storage Facilities

Storage facilities, ranging from warehouses to data centers, have become essential components of the modern economy, providing safekeeping and accessibility for goods and information. However, their significance comes at a cost, as these facilities have earned a reputation for being energy-hungry. The increasing demand for storage capacity has intensified the energy consumption within these facilities. This article explores the primary factors contributing to their energy appetite and examines potential strategies to address this critical environmental challenge.

Understanding the Appetite

According to the 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, calculated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, warehouse and storage facilities consumed approximately 340 TBtu (trillion British thermal units) of electricity in 2018 and approximately 200 TBtu of natural gas (Figure 1). Several factors contribute to the energy-intensive nature of these facilities. The need for a round-the-clock operation is to ensure not only the accessibility, comfortability, and monitoring of these buildings but also safety. 

Constant Security Measures

These facilities must maintain security protocols to protect the stored goods. This includes 24/7 surveillance, door access control systems, and alarm monitoring. In addition, adequate lighting is crucial for maintaining a secure environment in storage facilities. Well-lit areas help deter criminal activities and ensure the safety of employees and visitors. Security lighting, which includes floodlights, spotlights, and perimeter lighting, is often left on throughout the night to provide clear visibility and enhance surveillance. This continuous illumination contributes significantly to the facility’s overall energy consumption. 

Temperature and Climate Control

Many storage facilities work with manual temperature and humidity logs and would benefit from an automated operating system. These facilities require precise temperature and humidity control to preserve the integrity of stored items. This results in the operation of HVAC systems round-the-clock to maintain optimal conditions, leading to significant energy usage. Many stored goods and materials, such as perishable items, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and sensitive documents, require specific temperature ranges to maintain their quality and integrity. For example, food products may need to be kept at low temperatures to prevent spoilage, while certain electronics might require controlled ambient temperatures to avoid damage from heat. 

By providing real-time visibility into critical aspects of a storage facility, including temperature, energy levels, door access, lighting, and HVAC controls, Energybox empowers facility managers to make informed decisions and implement targeted energy-saving measures. Monitoring devices can help to identify outliers, which are a symptom of underlying mechanical or operational issues. Also, if you operate facilities of similar size and in similar climates, consumption patterns should not differ by a great deal. When one building costs significantly more to operate or has a much higher utility consumption, it should be investigated. For facilities that need to meet environmental and energy efficiency standards, consumption monitoring software provides accurate and detailed reports on energy usage and sustainability metrics. Our software works seamlessly with various devices and sensors, ensuring comprehensive data collection and analysis.