Posts Tagged ‘Freeaire’

Hanging out with Tim Horton and Jimmy Dean, or Freeaire Impressions from the 2011 NACS Show

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Freeaire at NACS

The NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) annual trade show  is not primarily an equipment show — it’s a somewhat terrifying exposition featuring the amazing variety of  processed foods, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco products and varied knick-knacks that are found in convenience stores throughout the land.

That being said, the Freeaire crew returned from the recent NACS show in Chicago feeling upbeat and positive about the experience. We went to this event with the specific goal of forging new connections with small to mid-sized chains of convenience stores that would be good potential users of Freeaire systems, and in this goal we were successful. We also had the opportunity to speak with several journalists covering the event for various industry publications.

Freeaire was quite unique at NACS in that while there were other equipment manufacturers present, no others were devoted to solely to economization and energy efficiency. Attendees did appreciate our approach to reducing costs and energy consumption. Many visitors also commented favorably on the durability and quality build of the Freeaire system.

Here is a quick synopsis of some of the feedback and questions from visitors to the Freeaire booth during the show:

Booth visitor: ‘Wow, I knew somebody would eventually do this (use outside air for cooling)!’

Booth visitor: ‘I’ve seen this type of thing before, but never this nice, never this polished and refined looking.’

Booth visitor: ‘So, your Cooler Controller reduces evaporator fan run times, compressor run times, door heater run times, cooler lighting and what else?’
Freeaire: ‘It can also control electric defrost and it controls our Polar Power outside air system.’
Booth visitor (possibly a competitor): [Speaking to a colleague] ‘Their one box does it all, we can’t touch that.’

Booth visitor: ‘So this isn’t just about outside air – your controller actually saves energy in the summer too, huh?’
Freeaire: ‘Yes, it does.’
Booth visitor: “’Fantastic, that’s great, a year round solution with the ability to make use of winter’s cold too, perfect! I’ll be in touch!’

Booth visitor: So how long have you guys been doing this?’
Freeaire: ‘Well, Richard started this in 1978.’
Booth visitor: ‘That’s longer than I’ve been alive!’

Booth visitor: ‘It seems that you have thought of everything with this system. I’ve seen these before, but nothing this complete’.

Booth visitor:  ’The last time I saw anything like this, it was a simple fan hooked to a light switch. This is real now, isn’t it?’

Want to see more photos from the show?  ”Like” Freeaire on Facebook for more insight into our experience at NACS and for updates about product installs, press coverage, etc.

It’s (NACS) Showtime!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

NACSshow

Freeaire systems have been used successfully in a wide variety of environments — breweries, food processors, server rooms, etc. — almost any situation where a product needs to be kept in a cooler with a size of 1000 cubic feet or greater.  It’s a very flexible, reliable system with many possible applications.

That being said, Freeaire systems have always found particularly wide acceptance in convenience stores, going all the way back to when founder Richard Travers had his “eureka!” moment on a cold Vermont winter night and started tinkering with the refrigeration system at the Warren Store.

Since that moment more than 20 years ago, Freeaire systems have been installed in hundreds of separate retail locations throughout the United States and Canada.

energy consumption in convenience stores

Refrigeration can be the largest single source of energy consumption in a convenience store

The reason that Freeaire systems are popular in convenience stores is simple: Refrigeration makes up a large percentage of the overall energy consumption in this environment.

The Freeaire system dramatically reduces energy consumption over conventional refrigeration systems and produces significant energy savings.

The president of Champlain Farms, a 38 store chain in Vermont and New Hampshire, said installing Freeaire systems in all of his stores was “one of the best business decisions he ever made” (read the complete case study here).

With this track record in mind, we’re excited to be participating in the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) annual trade show, October 1 – 4, in Chicago.  Going to an event of this magnitude is a big effort for us but we know that we have a story to tell.  We are looking forward to meeting with prospective customers in a face-to-face environment.   Our next-booth-neighbors will be Tim Hortons so come by and smell the doughnuts!

Planning on being in Chicago for the show?  Please come by booth 2950 and say “Hi” — we’d be thrilled to meet you!

Vermont’s 1st LEED Certified Restaurant Uses Freeaire® System

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Moe’s Southwest Grill in Williston, Vermont recently became the first restaurant in the state, as well as the first Moe’s franchise location, to qualify for a prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from the US Green Buildings Council.

The LEED certification process involves taking a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency and green building design throughout all systems in a building. This includes heating/cooling, lighting, water and ventilation.

Moe's in Williston, Vermont

In the Williston Moe’s, a Freeaire® system consisting of a Cooler Controller combined with a Polar Package actively manages the restaurant’s walk-in cooler for maximum energy efficiency year-round. When conditions allow – 115+ days per year in northern Vermont – the system uses filtered outside air for cooling. This simultaneously saves energy and reduces wear and tear on the refrigeration equipment.

Total estimated energy savings for all systems installed in the restaurant exceeds 20% compared to a similar ‘conventional’, non-LEED-certified building.

We are proud to be a part of this project and wish the Moe’s team in Williston every success going forward!

Read more about this project:

Writeup in Fast Casual magazine

Moe’s Southwest Grill newsroom

What is the Opposite of Solar Energy? Part Two

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

By Richard Travers

The answer to this question is revealed in the ancient Chinese view of the universe in which opposite and equal qualities form a dynamic whole. “Yang” literally means “sunny place”, while “yin” means “shady place”.  We’re talking about the sun and the lack of sun. Using this line of thought, the opposite of the heat of a bright summer day is the cold of a dark winter’s night. The tropical and sunbaked regions near the equator are the opposite of the frigid poles. What form of energy is more plentiful in the shade, at night, in the winter, and at the poles? Give up?

Polar Energy, that’s what.  Polar energy is yin to solar energy’s yang. It is the polar opposite of solar energy.

The sun is the source of energy, light and heat that living things need to survive. Polar energy can be thought of as the absence of solar energy. When we have less sun it gives us shade, night, and winter, essential factors in the life cycles of living things. With too much solar energy we would all die from the heat.  With too little we would die from the cold. Just the right balance between these two extremes makes the earth hospitable to life in all its forms. Ours is the Goldilocks planet. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

We use solar energy to grow our crops, heat our homes and even to generate electricity. Polar energy is harnessed by humans and our technology in fewer obvious ways.

Low-tech tools such as opening windows can cool our houses at night.

Higher-tech tools include air conditioning systems that often use “economizers” to bring cool outside air into a building at times to save energy by running their compressors less.

My company Freeaire Refrigeration of Waitsfield, Vermont, manufactures energy-efficient commercial refrigeration systems for walk-in coolers, freezers and cold storage warehouses. A Freeaire® refrigeration system harnesses what we like to call Polar Powertm in a surprisingly direct and effective way: it brings winter air inside. A conventional commercial refrigeration system uses lots of expensive electricity to make cold air with a compressor, even in the winter. A Freeaire® system uses much less energy to run fans to move naturally cold outside air into the refrigerated space whenever the weather is cold enough. No matter how the electricity is generated we use Polar Powertm and other efficiency measures to conserve energy, generating “negawatts” that cancel out the megawatts. The return on investment for Freeaire® systems is usually much faster than for photovoltaic solar systems.

Our state is full of examples of how we Vermonters take advantage of one of polar energy’s most visible and versatile manifestations: snow. Snow sports abound here. When the natural variety is not adequate, ski areas can actively make snow to cover their slopes. Outdoor skating rinks often make their ice with an even simpler technology than passive solar that you might call “passive polar”. Just flood the rink and let the winter sky do its thing.

With the 45th parallel, halfway from the equator to the North Pole, passing through our state, Vermont lies in the temperate overlap of the solar south and the polar north.  Even one of our favorite agricultural products, maple syrup, is best made when the days are warm but the nights are cold.

It is time to recognize that polar energy has been and should continue to be an important part of our state’s energy mix. It’s time to officially give polar energy the recognition as a legitimate form of renewable energy. Polar Powertm to the People!

Meet our Team: Brad Long, Freeaire’s Technical Salesman and Product Trainer

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Brad Long has always been interested in mechanics. He disassembled his first car at the age of fifteen. In fact, he still owns that 71 Corvette.  He’s taken a lifetime of tinkering and repair to flourish in technical services on a professional level.  He began working for us at Freeaire Refrigeration as a Technical Salesman and Product Trainer in February.

Since then, we have found that the excitement and energy Brad puts forth in offering our clients an engineered solution to help stave off ever increasing energy costs is unmatched. He’s absolutely emphatic about providing green solutions for companies to take advantage of the unlimited renewable resource – cold air!

As Technical Salesman and Product Trainer, Long works to develop a base of trained contractors for the sales and installation of Freeaire refrigeration equipment.  His focus is on business development, building relationships with trade wholesalers and manufacturer representatives.

Brad’s extensive experience and enthusiasm with training and assisting service technicians for mechanical systems comes at a critical point when the company is rapidly expanding outside of Vermont through a trade partner network.

Long’s professional career began in 2001 troubleshooting Bosch tankless water heaters. He quickly rose to the title of Technical Services Manager in the field and was responsible for creating business partnerships with independent plumbing and heating contractors for the sales, installation and service of Bosch tankless water heaters, ultimately resulting in the Bosch Service Provider field service network where his role included management and training and supporting independent contractors.

Long grew up in South Jersey and enjoys photography. He settled in Rochester, VT in 1998 and moved to Waitsfield in 2000 where he lives with his wife Jessica and dog Elma.

April 27th, Training for Trade Partners at Freeaire Headquarters – Road to the “Freeaire Force”

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Each month, Freeaire Refrigeration offers free all day, hands on training classes for a complete Freeaire System overview. This training is ideal for independent refrigeration contractors, refrigeration wholesalers, efficiency rebate authorities, engineers, architects, energy auditors and product manufacturer representatives.

The goal is to educate seminar attendees on customer features and benefits of Freeaire systems. Brad Long, Director of Technical Sales, educates the trade partners on:

  • Government rebate processes and opportunities for alternative energies like the Freeaire System.
  • Basic knowledge of Freeaire components including sizing, installation, data collection and ROI calculations.
  • Ideal Freeaire markets and customers.

The all-day training involves a live, hands on cooler demonstration followed by a detailed Q & A session. If you would like to attend, please contact Brad Long of Technical Sales at 1-877-305-3733 or brad@freeaire.com

Want to learn more about the Freeaire system? To prepare for the training or if you are just intrigued, please check out the following resources we have put together in PDF’s:

  1. How does the Freeaire System work?
  2. Where can I see the Freeaire System in action? Freeaire Champlain Farms
  3. Freeaire FAQ’s

Upcoming Freeaire Counter Day @ Bell/Simons, Springfield MA

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Freeaire Counter Day, Bell/Simons, April 8 2011Attention HVAC-R pros in Massachusetts — Freeaire account representative Brad Long will be at Bell/Simons in Springfield on April 8 from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm.

This inaugural counter day is part of our ongoing efforts to cultivate good working relationships with installers and skilled  HVAC-R professionals.

At the Bell/Simons counter day, Brad will address  the features and benefits of Freeaire’s highly energy-efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration system components while also getting realtime feedback from the field.

Interested in attending?  No RSVP required — just plan on being at Bell/Simons on April 8th!

Can’t make the date (or have questions?) — contact Freeaire Account Representative Brad Long at brad@freeaire.com or by calling 802-496-5205.  Freeaire offers regular product trainings at our Waitsfield Vermont facility.