I spent the afternoon yesterday at a warehouse in Strongsville, Ohio. It is a very large facility that houses a large volume of products for shipping fulfillment services. It is heated with natural gas which is expensive. They want to keep their employees warmer in winter, but they want to reduce the cost of natural gas use.
The temperature in winter months within the warehouse, even with the natural gas flowing into the current heating system, hovers at about 50 degrees F. And that is using natural gas to heat the whole warehouse. None of the products stored for fulfillment services need to be warmed, they can sit on shelves in the warehouse awaiting shipment in any temperature. However, the workers certainly need to be heated and plumbing can not be allowed to freeze. So what is the answer?
The answer is infrared radiant heating.
The workers spend most of their time in an area that is about 120 x 30 sq ft. This is the primary area where fulfilled shipments are packaged and shipped. By heating that area with infrared radiant heating the workers can be kept warm and have the ability in raise or lower the intensity of the radiant heat. At the same time the use of natural gas heating can be reduced throughout the rest of the warehouse. The natural gas system can be run at a rate such that none of the plumbing freezes, but its use, consumption, and cost is reduced. Further, this warehouse is using my services to analyze their utility cost overhead and reduce the utility rates to lower rates from an alternative supplier. Ohio is a deregulated state in the utility industry so competition has flourished and this warehouse can enjoy lower gas and electric rates.
This warehouse will benefit from a blend of heating solutions. They will use natural gas at a reduced rate to heat the whole warehouse to take the chill off and keep pipes from freezing, use effective and efficient electric infrared radiant heat to heat workers, and have a lower electric rate which offsets the cost of electric heating. Further lowering the electric cost is that at the end of the workday the electric units are shut off. During the day, because they are installed in zones, workers can have some zones on, some off, and control intensity all of which controls cost. There is no cost when they are no in use.
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