Structural Concrete Natural Refrigeration
The structural concrete of the butcher shop is naturally running from 34°F to 37°F with the air temperature running at 36°F to 38°F depending on location. This is perfect. Consider that is a stable temperature and as much as 72°F above the outdoor temperatures without heating the building. During the summer it is still around refrigeration temperatures and naturally 45°F below the outdoor temperatures without any mechanical refrigeration.
My ultimate goal is that the building will be able to keep it self warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer that we don’t have to use any, or only just a little, auxiliary heating and cooling. After labor the largest operating expense of a meat processing facility is energy and that is almost all for heating and cooling. By having natural processes work for us such that we store the winter coolth over summer and the summer warmth over winter in a giant insulated flywheel of thermal mass, the building, we get an average lower setting than our annual mean temperature which is normally about 50°F outdoors in our location.
As we finish the butcher shop this will change some because equipment will add heat however that equipment is concentrated in the locations I want the heat so I anticipate this adjustment will go well and in my favor.
The building is divided up into six shells with layers of insulation between each one that allows us to run the different shells naturally at different temperatures. Outer shell, structural shell, reefer, brine room, cooler and freezer. It is R-120 from the freezer to the outdoors. Additionally we’ll have the coolth attic cold storage tanks for storing cold up above the colder sections of the building.
I still plan to install some mechanical refrigeration but it won’t have to be as large or powerful as it would need to be if we were totally dependent on it. Also, quite importantly, should the mechanical refrigeration fail our system can coast and glide gently for weeks, perhaps indefinitely. According to my math, two weeks of our winter cold will be enough to charge our coolth attic batteries for 46 weeks of our hottest summer temperatures. That will get us around the year to the next cycle of cold when we can ride the natural temperature cycles again.
Outdoors: 14°F/-14°F Sunny, Light Snow
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/60°F
Daily Spark: All my lawns are pasture.