• Ben Rubin
    Ben Rubin

The average cold store storage facility is 42 years old, outdated and costly to maintain, according to CEO and co-founder of SnoFox Sciences, Ben Rubin.

Around 78 per cent of these cold store facilities were built before the year 2000.

“Outdated facilities are not equipped with modern intelligence tools to leverage machine learning to deep analytics for precise system maintenance and management,” Rubin said.

It may explain why the global cold chain is in such a poor state with 13 per cent of food supply wasted annually due to failures in the cold chain.

On the subject of maintaining an efficient cold chain, Rubin said it all comes down to temperature monitoring.

In industry parlance, that can be “refrigerated” which means 1-4 degrees Celsius, “frozen” which would imply at or below -18 degrees Celsius, or “superfrozen” meaning at or below -60 degrees Celsius.

“In any case, maintaining these temperatures depends a lot on the ambient temperature around the cold storage or transportation infrastructure,” Rubin said.

“A system in Alaska where the ambient temperature is 2 degrees Celsius is going to have a lot easier time maintaining that temperature than a system trying to do the same thing in Georgia where the ambient temperature is 35 degrees Celsius.

“It is extremely costly for the cold chain to operate efficiently in warmer-than-usual conditions; simultaneously, the cold chain directly contributes to rising global temperatures and will continue to do so at an even more accelerated rate as the demand for refrigerated and frozen food grows,” he said.

“The more severe weather conditions cities experience due to climate change, the more electricity it takes to power a cold storage facility. Simultaneously, the more electricity that is wasted from cold storage warehouse inefficiencies, the bigger the impact on climate change.”

Rubin said a cold storage facility can typically spend over one million dollars a year on electricity.

He said cooling processes alone can account for 60 to 70 per cent of the total electricity demands in a warehouse.

“It is crucial, both for financial and environmental reasons, to enhance efficiency and reduce the energy expended on temperature control,” Rubin said.

SnoFox provides facility warehouses with data analytics to save energy in cold industrial spaces. They combine existing data with a predictive model to pinpoint where energy is being wasted in cold storage warehouses.

This helps facilities enhance cold storage warehouse efficiency and reduce energy usage without the need for any additional hardware.