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Energy costs have taken a temporary dip in the present recessionary economic climate. However, they are unlikely to stay low for long. Energy is one of the largest costs faced by manufacturers across all industry sectors; so in addition to reducing consumption to promote a company’s green credentials, it also makes economic sense to cut energy costs as a means of improving competitiveness.

Manufacturers everywhere are investing in high efficiency electric motors and drive systems; they are fitting high efficiency bulbs and improving the insulation of buildings. However, among this welter of measures one that seems to have been overlooked is the practice of shutting doors; especially those on loading bays and despatching areas. It is a known fact that, the greater the temperature difference between the inside and outside of a building, the faster the heat will be transferred from the warmer location to the cooler one. Consequently, the longer the period of time the loading bay door is left open, the greater will be the loss of energy and the higher the cost to the company concerned. Of course where a manufacturing process relies on a stable temperature it’s even more important!

Despite this knowledge, how many of us can honestly say that we make sure that every door in our factories and warehouses is being closed properly after every operation? Moreover, how many of us can say that all doors are being used efficiently and effectively? And if so, is this assertion backed up by solid data in the form of a recently undertaken heat loss calculation concerning all warehouse and/or loading bay area doors?

The benefit of a heat loss calculation is evidenced by a recent example performed by sara Loading Bay Specialists on one of its Sprint 392 high speed doors. These are performed regularly by sara engineers to evaluate how quickly one of the company’s high speed doors will pay for itself as a result of savings in energy.

Typically the payback period was 2-3 years, but this is being shortened progressively with rising energy costs. Moreover, if leasing is brought into the equation then the whole purchase process can be cash neutral – and this includes maintenance.

Energy Cost Saving Example using sara Sprint 392 High Speed Door

1) Input Data Used
Floor area of building – 924sq. metres
Height of building – 10 metres
Internal volume of building – 9240cu. Metres
Door size proposed - – 3m wide x 3.5m high
Average internal temperature – 18deg. C
Average external temperature – 8.8 deg. C
Energy cost – 5.130 per kilowatt hour
Wind speed – given as 5m/sec.
Estimated openings per hour – 25
Total usage per annum – 2592 hours

2). Results of Cost Determinations
Type of Door(s). Min/hour open Hourly heat loss kilo-joules Hourly cost pence Annual heat loss in Kwh Annual cost
No door at all 51.7 4403 81.33 41091 £2,108.02
Sprint Door 2.9 248 4.59 2319 £119.00
3). Estimated annual savings in energy and money by using sara Sprint Roller Doors.
Type of Door(s). KWh Est annual saving.
Sprint 355/392 38772 £1,989.00

The outcome of the above calculation, undertaken for a company in Bedfordshire, was energy cost savings of over £1,989.00 per year. The payback resulting from these savings was estimated to be 2- years at current energy costs; with commensurate reductions in the payback period as energy costs rose.

If the door had been leased instead of purchased, then the cost over 2- years – including maintenance visits - would have been approximately £300.00 per month. On this cost basis, the door would have been paid for in less than two years; the leasing cost being nearly cash neutral on a month- by- month basis.

The mechanism for companies seeking to reduce their energy costs through increased loading efficiency is a visit from one of sara’s experienced engineers. The engineers visit and carry out a simple energy calculation to determine how quickly a door in a particular plant can pay for itself. The potential user can then see the economic benefits both in the short term, and also in the longer term where the consistent yearly savings - against a consistent rise in energy costs - go straight to the businesses’ bottom line.

Sprint High Speed Doors
The Sprint 392 door is able to achieve high levels of energy saving due to its high speed operation, with opening speeds of up to 2.5m/s provided from the optional vector control system. A full vision door designed for frequent traffic, the Sprint can also be programmed for dual opening heights with the vector control option: reduced for normal use – keeping energy losses to a minimum - and full height opening for occasional larger vehicles.

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For editorial enquiries contact Brett Davies, DMA Europa Ltd, 2nd Floor, Snuff Mill Warehouse, Park Lane, Bewdley, Worcs. DY12 2EL. Tel: 01299 – 405454 Fax: 01299 403092 E-mail:

For further information contact: Mike Bunn, sara Loading Bay Specialists Ltd, 4, Garnett Close, Greycaine Estate, Watford, Herts. WD24 7JX. Tel: 01923 208888 Email: Web:

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