Since 2007, Killington Resort has converted 12 walk-in coolers to Freeaire Refrigeration. Freeaire, a Vermont-based company, created and installs systems that use cold, outside air to refrigerate coolers instead of using high energy consuming compressors to cool stored food.
How does Freeaire Refrigeration work?
The Freeaire system turns off the existing compressor based cooling system and replaces it with energy efficient fans that pull cold air from outside into the cooler when the outside temperature is below 40 degrees. The sensors on the cooler controller also measure humidity levels inside the cooler and shut off the coolers internal evaporator fans whenever possible.
In normal coolers these fans run constantly, but only need to run 70 percent of the time. This adds efficiency to the cooler even during the warm, summer months when outside air cannot be used to cool food. The entire system achieves up to a 50 percent increase in efficiency from traditional walk-in coolers.
How much energy does Freeaire Refrigeration save?
During the 2011-12 ski season the cooler at Rams Head ran for 125 days. During that time, the energy use dropped nearly 1,700 Kilowatt hours from when cooling was entirely compressor-based. This single, seasonal cooler’s electrical savings reduced our carbon footprint by 1.1 tons of CO2. Savings can be found in year round coolers as well as seasonal coolers. A year round cooler uses roughly 8,500 Kwh less than it did before the installation of the Freeaire system in a one and a half year period. This one cooler reduces Killington Resort’s carbon emissions by 2.51 tons of CO2 in the same amount of time.
Retrofitting all of the coolers here at Killington Resort with the Freeaire system has greatly reduced energy usage, and has reduced CO2 emissions by 13.2 tons a year.