Berner Air Curtain keeps Royal Winery employees warm and saves energy

Employees now work in a warm, comfortable environment, but equally important are the energy savings.


5 Berner Industrial Direct Drive Air Curtains over shipping receiving doors at Royal Wine

Employees Ask for Warmer Working Conditions:

Royal Wine’s food processing and distribution center authorities began receiving requests from their employees for a warmer shipping area when the winter temperatures started to drop. In response, they installed six air curtains over their dock doors to remedy the problem. An unexpected bonus was seen when these installations also significantly reduced operational energy costs.

Sub-freezing days near open shipping doors previously required heavy clothing, hampered worker productivity and caused chilling air drafts. Even the use of portable truck and dock seals did not help, according to Abraham Wechter, plant engineer, Royal Wine Corp., Bayonne, N.J.

Who is Royal Wine?

  • Vineyards located in Oxnard, California
  • The world’s leading Kosher winemaker
  • Importers and producers of more than 60 brands of wine
  • Manufacturers of the renowned Kedem fruit juices brand
  • Operators of Herzog Wine Cellars

Charles Cino – sales engineer at manufacturer representative SRS Enterprises, Middletown, N.J. – and Wechter collaborated on shipping door options. Cino assessed the application for separating the outdoor from indoor environments during the dozens of daily shipping door cycles. He then submitted an air curtain equipment type and sizing strategy based on a consultation with Sales Manager Stephen Benes, Berner International, New Castle, Pa. – the leading air curtain manufacturer in the U.S. Miller Mechanical Corp., Sayreville, N.J. was the installation contractor.


Cino selected six Berner Industrial Direct Drive, model IDC-12 air curtains with indirect gas-fired heat for the 8 x 10-foot roll-up door openings. Each USA made air curtain incorporates three 1/2-hp, single-speed dual-shaft motors that drive blower wheel assemblies delivering 4,443 CFM. The result is a laminar air stream that returns 70-80% of the indoor energy back into the space while blocking outdoor temperatures infiltration.

Wechter and Cino also selected supplementary heat options for the air curtain retrofits to maintain shipping area temperatures at 70°F, regardless of outdoor temperatures and open door time duration. Berner International supplied one 200-Mbh indirect gas-fired unit heater per air curtain delivering a 32°F temperature rise to the air stream. Berner’s custom metal shop also fabricated, powder coated, and factory-attached a 14-ga aluminized steel duct plenum transition to the air curtain inlet that aesthetically matches each unit heater. Thus, the unit heater discharges heat toward the plenum and each air curtain draws it through for uniform distribution.

The heat option helps supplement Royal Wine’s existing multiple installations of unit heaters by Reznor/Nortek Global Ltd., Memphis, Tenn., and infrared heaters by Detroit Radiant Re-Verber-Ray® Warren, Michigan. Also helpful in moving static heat from the ceiling are High Volume/Low Speed (HVLS) fans by Rite-Hite Corp., Milwaukee, Wis.

Typically, many industrial shipping door air curtains incorporate internal hot water, steam, or electric coils for area heating. However, the gas unit heater/air curtain arrangement Cino selected was the best option because the gas service was nearby and cost-effective to operate.

Each of the selected air curtain’s control packages included:

  • A factory mounted and wired UL listed motor control panel
  • A Rotary Non-Fused disconnect switch
  • Time delay relay
  • 24V transformer
  • A remote-mounted Hand Off/Auto–Summer-Winter combination switch and thermostat

The air curtains are activated through a 24V heavy duty, floor-mounted magnetic reed switch that turns the air curtain on when the overhead roll up/canister doors go up. The heaters are activated by a thermostat.

Results – Warmer Working Conditions & Energy Savings:

The Berner air curtains, along with the indirect gas-fired heat, protect the shipping area when the doors are open from winter temperatures. Additionally, they provide additional heat to the space as needed, creating warmer working conditions.

In addition to solving the primary concern of winter comfort, in the summer, the air curtains protect the air conditioning, provided by several 20-ton rooftop HVAC units, from escaping through the shipping & receiving doors, helping to maintain internal temperatures and saving energy.

By using the free, online Berner Energy Savings Calculator, it was predicted that Royal Wine could save $3,532.97 (630-Mbtu) annually for one door open an average of 24-hours per week. Multiplying those savings by 6 doors totals an estimated annual savings of $21,197.82.

The air curtains also help to eliminate flying insect and dust infiltration, important sanitation factors for juice and wine facilities.

Wechter is satisfied with the air curtain performance and energy savings. He plans to order another IDC12 for a remotely-located shipping door.