Energy Consulting & Trigeneration Feasibility Study for Meals on Wheels

Energy Consulting & Trigeneration Feasibility Study for Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels of SI is a non-profit organization that cooks and delivers meals to the over 3000 elderly and housebound customers living in Staten Island. Having outgrown their current Port Richmond commissary, the organization planned to construct a newer 20,800SF facility to expand their reach in the community. Altanova partnered with the organization to improve efficiency and maximize resiliency and reliability by developing a grid-independent food processing and distribution hub.  

The new facility is 2 stories and is designed to manufacture 12,000 meals per day in two shifts. The first floor with lounges for the drivers/volunteers, cold food storage, hot and cold meal kitchens, dishwashing, loading docks and dry food storage; the cellar includes open office for administration, restrooms, mechanical rooms, and additional refrigerated storage.


·       Develop OPR (Owner’s Project Requirement) and identify key objectives for energy efficiency, resiliency, and on-site generation

·       Assess current design for effectiveness used computer simulation and modeling

·       Calibrate simulation based on existing facility load profiles with allowances for growth.

·       Propose conservation measures and strategies to improve design alignment with OPR and facility on-site generation

·       Iteratively evaluate 1000’s of trigeneration configurations to identify the best match based on system needs

·       Develop schematics and work scopes to illustrate the work required to enable design and construction teams to finalize and incorporate them into bid and construction documents.



Altanova was able to transform the current compliance-targeted grid-dependent design to one that is capable of continuous grid-independent operation and dual resiliency while saving more than 38% insource energy compared to the current state-of-art energy conservation code while adding less than $2M incremental to a $16M construction budget.

Key Results

·       Improved exterior wall insulation (R-10 below grade, R-14.7 above) 

·       Dual resiliency with underground subterranean LNG storage. 

·       Full grid-independence 

·       2x 65kW microturbines   

·       Ultra-efficient 2.0 COP 75-ton triple-effect absorption chiller capable of simultaneous production of hot and chilled water. 

·       Demand controlled ventilation system for kitchen and general exhaust based on multi-contaminant detection algorithm 

·       Elimination of parasitic ventilation losses from ERV  

·       450 ton-hour organic phase-change thermal storage and 400kWh  

·       20kW rooftop solar on carport, with an extra inverter to allow an expansion to 100kW upon completion of second floor addition. 

·       Onsite CNG and charging stations for plug-in hybrid delivery vehicles 

·       White roof (R-35, 45% reflectance) 

·       LED exterior and interior lighting with advanced controls 

·       Double pane low-e glazing 

·       ENERGY STAR labeled commercial cooking appliances 

·       Low-temp heat recovery clean steam boiler to power steamers and soup kettles 

·       Smart predictive thermostats and lighting controls  

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