Environmental Cooling Industry Awards
Cooplands Bakery – SRS cooling and freezer system installation
Expansion of high street outlets for bakery products presented a challenge for the Cooplands family owned Bakery business looking to increase volume sales. With production at full capacity, expansion of the central production facility in Doncaster was key to this strategy.
Cooplands Engineering Director, William Mcllroy was well aware of the failings of the previous refrigeration systems and was determined to ensure that future systems installed at the bakery plant should provide the best in energy efficiency, flexibility and reliability. These features coupled to the minimising of the long term environmental impact could not be ignored.
Trading as a food production factory, the CCL (Climate Change Levy) taxes impact heavily on the energy production costs and had to be minimised and with limited additional capacity available from the local electrical sub-station placed even greater focus to this aspect. The new building comprised of refrigerated areas, freezer cold store and blast freezer equipment which narrowed down the options for systems that fully met the specification. More latterly a spiral freezer was installed and operated by SRS Frigadon LT packaged chillers The LT heat transfer fluid was HYCOOL®.
But one choice did stand out, a secondary refrigeration system.
Traditionally refrigeration installations for such a project of this nature are designed on direct expansion (DX), however with the careful selection of a secondary refrigerant system, its components and design has given the opportunity for Cooplands to demonstrate environmental responsibility and still enjoy the commercial benefits associated with such an installation.
The Cooplands project is an enhanced system development of the secondary refrigerant installations common throughout Scandinavia but employing external packaged chiller systems with hydrocarbon natural refrigerants.
Whilst this has been partially driven from strong environmental awareness within these countries, but given the choice to install DX systems again, refrigeration contractors and end users alike are all emphatic that in addition to having the green credentials associated with such engineering systems, their experiences based on plant reliability, reduced service / maintenance, lower energy consumption and plant efficiency that given the choice they would never revert back to conventional DX installations. Even in Scandinavia there is a skill shortage so their aim is to supply and install safe and simple systems.
Equipment, fluids and technology is now available from SRS Components to permit installations of all sizes and applications due to the introduction of the potassium formate heat transfer fluids with freezing points as low as –50˚C.
This positive experience of this particular Cooplands bakery installation has led to the phasing out of remaining DX equipment within all areas of the factory and with new plant which includes the 145kW spiral freezer.
As stated by William McIlroy, “we have now achieved the ultimate in installing a totally green environmentally friendly installation without the deployment of any volatile HFC refrigerant gases”.
Furthermore, William underlined the benefits and efficiencies of such system engineering whereby, in addition of the energy saving features of HYCOOL® as the circulating coolant due to its low viscosity compared with glycol, the SRS Frigadon chillers were designed for the Care 45 natural refrigerant in the primary circuits, charged up on site by SRS. This totally removes the dependency upon the conventional HFC refrigerant gases such as R404A.
On site time was reduced with the installation of George Fischer “Cool-fit” pre-insulated thermo-plastic pipe line services thus removing any potential risks that are associated with brazing on site as can occur with conventional refrigeration metal pipe work services.
With its innovative design solution using the SRS Frigadon packaged chillers manufactured in Sweden, this Bakery plant installation in Doncaster by using the HYCOOL® as the secondary refrigerant will set new standards for future green refrigeration installations with minimal ecological impact.
The HYCOOL® circulating coolant is non toxic, food safe and is biodegradable.
This together with the Care 45 hydrocarbon (HC) natural refrigerants for the primary circuits are rapidly gaining wider acceptance and offer the immediate opportunity for lower energy consumption, improved COP and increased efficiency for such installations.
Furthermore with the introduction of the revised Environmentally Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations in October 2002, it is considered likely that more refrigeration system designers and users will be turning to alternative refrigerants such as hydrocarbons and potassium formate fluids.
The cooling coils supplied include the large industrial CBFI coils and the low speed CBDL dual discharge coils all manufactured by AIA of Sweden as specified by SRS Components.
It was no coincidence that the subject of the future use of HFC refrigerants and the use of secondary refrigerants was an issue at the ‘Natural Refrigerants Forum’ hosted by the European Trade Association, ‘Eurammon’ in Brussels.
The terms of the Kyoto Protocol for which the UK is a signatory is quite clearly defined and with the EU “F-Gas Directive” which has now been adopted by the European Parliament, is only the first stage in a process that could lead to a total phase out of HFC gases.
Companies such as Nestlés have had a total non-HFC policy in place for three years and now other companies such as Unilever, McDonalds and Coca Cola all announced at ‘Euromonn’ their global statements supporting their installation of non-HFC refrigerants and to follow the Nestles’ policy.
The increased application of this technology will bring with it many technical and safety issues and therefore in the interest of the industry, companies such as SRS must make available as much technical and safety information as possible.
former Managing Director of SRS Components Ltd