Energy Efficiency

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 1163–1178 | Cite as

Energy assessment of the Portuguese meat industry

  • José Nunes
  • Pedro Dinho da SilvaEmail author
  • Luís Pinto Andrade
  • Luísa Domingues
  • Pedro Dinis Gaspar
Original Article


The meat product industries play a major role in many global economies. In several countries, it is the industry with a higher economic weight within the food industries. As refrigeration systems are indispensable within the production processes, it is important to improve the overall energy efficiency in order to reduce the electricity consumption in these industries. The electrical energy consumption of the Portuguese meat industries is evaluated in this paper. The field study shows that electrical energy accounts for 66.5 % of the overall energy consumption in slaughterhouses, 85 % in sausage houses and 92.5 % in ham industries. Relatively to the refrigeration systems of these industries, results show that the average compressor nominal power per unit of cold room volume is comprised between 0.072 and 0.043 kW/m3. The average value of the specific electrical energy consumption for the slaughterhouses was 149 kWh/tonHSCW, 660 kWh/tonRM for sausage houses and 1208 kWh/tonRM for ham production industries. Finally, a potential reduction of the electricity consumption based on simple energy efficiency measures was estimated in 24 % for the slaughterhouses, 13 % for the sausage houses and 8 % for the ham industry.


Energy consumption Energy efficiency Electrical energy Refrigeration Cold chambers Meat industry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Nunes
    • 1
  • Pedro Dinho da Silva
    • 2
    Email author
  • Luís Pinto Andrade
    • 1
  • Luísa Domingues
    • 2
  • Pedro Dinis Gaspar
    • 2
  1. 1.Polytechnic Institute of Castelo BrancoCastelo BrancoPortugal
  2. 2.Engineering FacultyUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

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