Georgia Tech Gives Ice Cream Manufacturer the ‘Scoop’ on Energy Savings

GT-IAC student James McGregor examines a steam boiler

MARIETTA, GA – This July a team of three engineering students from the Georgia Tech Industrial Assessment Center, led by Assistant Director Sinan Sinharoy and Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) engineer Jason Clarke, performed an energy assessment for the High Road Craft Ice Cream manufacturing facility in Marietta, Georgia. The team spent a full day at the facility, during which time they interviewed facility personnel about operational and maintenance practices, generated several recommendation ideas, and used state-of-the-art equipment to monitor and measure key data. The team’s final report proposed 7 recommendations with estimated energy savings of 41.3%, and total projected cost savings of almost $70,000 per year.

One unique recommendation promoted to the facility was the installation of a direct-fire water heater to heat clean-in-place water instead of directly injecting steam. This proposal would significantly improve heating efficiency due to the avoidance of steam production, which is an energy intensive process that requires extensive maintenance. Other recommendations included heat recovery of boiler condensate, reduction of the air compressor pressure set point, and installation of roll-up freezer and cooler doors.

One of the facility’s best practices involves management’s desire to monitor and measure key characteristics related to energy and water consumption. Facility personnel are looking into meters to track both steam production and water demand for the clean-in-place process.

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