Irish food producer invests in smarter cooling solution

Date: 22 May 2024
Irish food producer invests in smarter cooling solution
Choosing the right chiller is a major financial investment and reliable cooling temperatures in food production are critical. No one knows this better than Avondale Foods, one of Ireland’s leading food manufacturers and suppliers.

An Aermec chiller is delivering energy saving benefits to Avondale Foods as part of the company’s strategy to boost efficiencies, reduce its carbon footprint and be better placed to cope with any future growth.

When faced with the prospect of replacing an aged chiller and the financial outlay required, Avondale took a pragmatic approach and saw an opportunity to incorporate the advantages of modern technologies to boost efficiencies and drive down its carbon emissions. The business was also keen to maximise its investment, by future-proofing as much as possible and design in spare capacity to be able to meet further increases in demand for its products.

Avondale worked closely with Aermec, Powertech Refrigeration and Falkonair UK, specialists in energy efficient systems and solutions to achieve the desired energy efficient HVAC-R solution.

The stringent brief required a modern chiller, which offered scope for increased capacities, delivered lower running costs, lower noise levels, an attractive ROI but also the capacity to react to changes in product loads and quickly.

Following a detailed inspection and assessment of the site’s requirements, an Aermec NRB0800Y high efficiency air-cooled chiller was selected.

Aermec’s air cooled chiller cools water down to 0⁰C and then circulates the water in a chilled water loop through a heat exchanger which provides chilled water for food processing. The unit has a nominal cooling capacity of 129.7kW.

The NRBY provides a reliable supply of cool water for the cold-water tanks within an acceptable tolerance and the heat exchanger provides cooling for the soups and coleslaws.

Although the new chiller is highly efficient, Avondale was keen to further maximise energy savings using a smart compressor control using Variable Speed Drives (VSDs). VSDs were integrated on both the refrigeration circuits, and this reduced the chiller’s energy consumption further, even when running continuously at high loads. The VSD’s enable modulation of the scroll compressors operation in Aermec’s air-cooled chiller.

The chiller’s four compressors were rated at a nominal electrical consumption of 30kW. Data acquired showed that the chiller was on standby 46% of the time, ran one or two compressors for 27% of the time and only used three of the four compressors for 6% of the time. During standby the chiller cycled in and out to maintain the required temperatures. The chiller showed a reduction in electrical consumption of 41% which was largely as a result of the VSD drives.

“Retrofitting variable speed drives helped us achieve the energy savings anticipated by Avondale thereby meeting their environmental objectives,” says David Evans, Aermec’s General Sales Manager.

The site presented a number of logistical challenges requiring a crane and mounting on custom-built steel frames. The installation and commissioning was carried out in the evening to avoid any disruption to production. All the pipework and connections were carried out in advance.

Some modifications were carried out such as a fast re-start within three minutes, reducing the risks of expensive downtime and ensuring fast delivery of chilled water at the desired temperature.

A smooth handover ensured there was no interruption to production and Avondale now benefits from a cooling solution that will continue to perform optimally, delivering efficiencies whilst reducing emissions, and offering an attractive ROI.
Find out more on our website about: chiller, HVAC, refrigeration

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