Two analysts use a sling psychrometer to measure refrigeration system input temperatures.

The Industrial Assessment Center at Oregon State University, also known as the Energy Efficiency Center, has developed opportunities to decrease energy usage and operating costs for Columbia Riv. The assessment team worked with personnel to identify potential improvements to motor and refrigeration efficiency.

The Industrial Assessment Centers are located at accredited engineering schools as 29 universities around the country and are funded by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. Their primary function is to send teams of faculty and students to nearby small to medium sized industrial facilities and provide a full day assessment of the facilities energy use, productivity, and waste management systems. The service is provided at no cost to the facility, and the student team gain invaluable experience in a real industrial engineering context.

As a result of the analysis, the team concluded the report with $116,000 in annual cost savings for the facility across 7 projects, with payback periods between 1-6 years. Estimated utility incentives would lower these periods. If combined, these projects are expected to reduce electrical energy consumption by over 882,000 kWh annually and wastewater by over 11 million gallons annually.

The management and employees at Columbia River Production are committed to sustainability with an in-house energy engineer. The assessment was led by Rachel McAfee, sophomore in Mechanical Engineering, who reported “working with Columbia River Technologies was a pleasure. The entire facility was receptive and encouraging of any energy saving recommendations, providing their own input on what they wanted to see happen over the next year.”