A Big Ass Solution to extremes in Warehouse Temperature Control

Keece recently completed a large programmed technical rollout across five industrial warehouses on the eastern seaboard of Australia. The rollout involved a customised installation of mechanical hardware and integrated controls solving a problem that impacts literally every employee working in industrial warehouses across Australia – warehouse temperature control.

Warehouse temperature control is a big problem!

Working conditions in distribution and manufacturing warehouses are tough. The work is hard, tireless, physical labour. Constructed in a combination of tin and concrete, providing no insulation from the temperature outside, these facilities can get hotter, or colder, in minutes. As the temperatures fluctuate, workforce productivity reduces and decision-making errors increase.

All research (please see further reading at end of this article)  indicate that optimal working conditions are when the temperature is between 21–25-degrees. Temperature variations outside this range are proven to impact both employee productivity and employee decision-making in addition to the emotional satisfaction an employee has about their work and employer.

Findings indicate that every subsequent degree outside 21-to-25-degrees results in workforce productivity dropping. In fact, for each degree variation, productivity decreases 2-to-3.5%. Extrapolated, when temperatures rise to 30 degrees (+5 deg) or drop to 15 degrees (-5 deg) employee productivity reduces by more than 10%. Productivity continues to fall as more severe temperature ranges are experienced.  

Additionally, the resulting impact on decision making of employees could be considered even more dangerous. In these warehouses, moving equipment, heavy machinery and addition worksite risks are all present. Some research suggests that a 10-degree variation outside the optimum range (10 degrees or 35 degrees) results in an increase of up to 50% errors in decision making. Big numbers considering the environment in which employees are working!

Due to the structural size of these facilities, the operating costs to run large mechanical HVAC units is considerable and any reduction or possible elimination in use of these units is extremely favourable. Across several of the sites installed, the solution supported HVAC units.

Keeping warehouse temperatures constant

Working with the design, engineering, and project team at Intermain Pty Ltd, Keece Electrical installed a custom solution into each site. Installing a combination of industrial ceiling fans, IR radiant heaters and associated services, our project team met each facilities existing infrastructure and regional climate conditions.

In order to improve air movement throughout the facilities, and improve warehouse temperature control high-volume low-speed (HVLS) Big Ass Fans were installed. The installed HVLS units circulate air, directing it to the warehouse work floor.

This breeze creates a perceived reduction in the temperature of between 4 to 8 degrees in summer. Meanwhile, in the winter the units support the heat generated by the Frico IR heaters installed in the southern states. Big Ass Fans were selected for their superior airflow, quiet operation and outstanding design and warranty period.

Keece Electrical is a certified installer for #bigassfansau throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The heaters installed into the Melbourne warehouses were the radiantly warm Frico Industrial IR6000 units able to pump out volumes of comforting warm heat from the high ceilings.

Frico was specified to meet the customers high ceiling environment and Fricos energy-efficient operation.

Scope of electrical and mechanical installations completed by Keece:

warehouse temperature control regulated through automatic fan engagement
  • 90% night shift work to eliminate disruption to customers operations.
  • Cabling and cable tray installation for subcircuit installations
  • Warehouse fan installation
  • Sub board assembly installation and commissioning
  • Consumer mains upgrade (where required)
  • BMS Integration via CBUS for touchscreen and automatic operations
  • Programming and commissioning of the systems

Need to control the climate in your warehouse?

Get in contact with Keece today – we will make the project happen!

About Keece: Keece Electrical Services are commercial electricians providing installations and maintenance of electrical infrastructure for industrial and commercial organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand. #KeeceElectrical

About Intermain: One of Australia’s leading multi-skilled commercial fit-out companies,  Intermain provide the best possible use of space, budget and time, creating spaces where people can perform at their best. www.intermain.com.au

About Big Ass Fans: Big Ass Fans bring the breeze through industry-leading high volume ceiling fan technology creating more productive work environments and lowering energy costs for industrial and commercial facilities worldwide. #bigassfansau

About Frico: Frico strives to develop products and systems that provide energy-saving heating solutions and better heating comfort at the same time. www.frico.net

Further reading:

For further reading and research on the effects of temperature fluctuations on productivity and decision making in working environments:

https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/813396https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/heat-and-environment/maintaining-thermal-comfort-in-indoor-work-environments

https://blogs.dcvelocity.com/one_off_sound_off/2020/01/controlling-temperatures-in-facilities-warehouses-and-manufacturing-centers.html