Originally, the top 25 percent of beverage vending machines qualified as Energy Star Tier 1. As manufacturers produced more-efficient machines, a majority of the machines being built meet or exceed Tier 1 levels.
More than 90 percent of indoor/outdoor beverage vending machines meet the Energy Star Tier 1 specification, and a large volume of indoor-only machines meet this specification as well.
ENERGY STAR RATING: WHAT IT MEANS
Earning an Energy Star rating means products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the DOE. This designation indicates:
- Energy Star qualified vending machines are estimated to be 50 percent more energy efficient than standard machine models.
- Energy Star qualified vending machines incorporate more efficient compressors, fan motors, and lighting systems to keep beverages just as cold and the machine visible while using less energy.
- Energy Star qualified vending machines come with a low power mode option that allows the machine to be placed in a low-energy lighting and/or low-energy refrigeration state during times of inactivity.
Operators are encouraged to visit the Energy Star website (energystar.gov) for product specifications and listing of qualifying products.
In order to receive the Energy Star label, a vending machine must meet the energy consumption criteria set forth by the most current version of the specification and must incorporate software that can operate the vending machine in a low-power light state, low-power refrigeration state, or a whole-machine, low-power state.
KEY VENDING ENERGY CONSERVATION FACTORS
The major areas of concern relative to energy conservation by vending machines are temperature, surroundings, and lighting. Vending machine consumption will be a function of:
- machine dimensions (vendible capacity);
- machine environment (indoor/outdoor);
- machine throughput (product movement);
- machine availability (continuous/intermittent);
- machine type (non-refrigerated/cold/frozen/combo);
- machine lighting (fluorescent/incandescent/LED)
Industry studies have revealed that approximately one-third of the energy consumed by a vender results from lighting use (e.g. T8 fluorescent, T12 fluorescent, ballasts, LED, slim-line output) while an even larger proportion is attributed to temperature (e.g., refrigeration compressor, motor, and system optimization).
CLASSIFICATIONS BASED ON VENDIBLE CAPACITY
DOE beverage vending machine classifications are not defined by size, but instead are based on design configurations regardless of whether rated for indoor or outdoor use. As a result, DOE classifications include equipment of varying sizes.
In nearly all other refrigerated units, energy use tends to be a function of size; hence, it is argued that for beverage vending machines, the standard for each class should incorporate dimensions prescribing a maximum amount of energy use that relates to size of equipment within the class.
In other refrigeration units, this factor is referred to as the normalization metric, which accounts for variation in size (e.g., refrigerated volume) and allows the maximum allowed energy use to vary by the size of the equipment. DOE embedded a similar factor into its classifications for beverage vending machines by including a refrigerated volume metric.
Using refrigerated volume as the normalization metric for measuring daily energy consumption for all equipment classes of beverage vending machines enables an effective means for data collection in an attempt to define vendible capacity to refrigerated volume.
AUTOMATIC LOWER POWER MODE CAPABILITY
In addition to meeting the 24-hour energy consumption requirements of the DOE, qualifying machines should be equipped with hard-wired controls and/or software capable of automatically placing the machine into a low power mode during periods of extended inactivity. This will further facilitate energy savings.
The machine should be capable of operating in the following low-power modes for extended periods of time:
1) Lighting low-power state — lights turned to “off”;