10 Sep 2017

The benefits of using very low temperature chillers to create temporary cold rooms

Salmon fish
  • Written By

    Matthew Watson, Temperature Control Manager

  • Published in

The benefits of using very low temp chillers to create temporary cold stores

When Five Star Fish, part of the 2 Sisters Food Group, embarked on a cold store refurbishment project, Aggreko was appointed to design and implement a complete temporary cooling scheme. Matt Watson explains how Aggreko's Very Low Temperature Chillers provided the ideal solution.

Whilst working on temperature control projects at Aggreko, I regularly experience how our specialist low temperature equipment enables the provision of standalone temporary cold storage packages.

Our equipment can supplement and tie into existing customer systems, where applicable, or stand alone to provide the most space efficient and cost-effective solution to a customer's requirements.

The project at Five Star Fish, working with Rotormotion, the customer's engineering consultants, was a great example of this.

Rotormotion tasked the Aggreko team with designing a rental solution to maintain temperatures below -20°C in the cold store. Our objective was to ensure the stock remained in optimum condition, while the permanent cooling plant was refurbished.

The set-up

Aggreko's specialist Temperature Control team decided to use of our very low temperature fluid chillers (VLTC) in order to achieve the required temperature. The VLTCs were combined with low temperature air handling units and bespoke ancillary equipment, all powered by two Aggreko diesel generators. This enabled a total shutdown of Five Star Fish’s permanent cooling plant, as part of the 13,000m3 cold store upgrade and maintenance programme.

Very low temperature chillers achieve lower temperatures with less equipment

 Whilst cold store applications are very hard to achieve with standard air-cooled chilling units, Aggreko's specialist air-cooled units can easily go as low as -30°C and our water-cooled units down to -45°C, when combined with air-cooled chillers or cooling towers.

To achieve the required kW using standard air-cooled chillers can involve a lot of equipment. This is because the higher the chiller’s minimum fluid outlet temperature, the lower the kW chilling output from the low temperature air handlers. This means an increased number of air handling units need to be used.

As Aggreko's VLTC can achieve much lower temperature set-points and at a higher capacity, we were able to use less equipment to reach the desired temperature, especially inside the cold store, where space was really at a premium.

VLTC solutions are space-efficient

To optimise the limited space on site and minimise business disruption, our interlocking air handling units were stacked three high within the cold room, while the chillers and generators were located in the smallest possible footprint externally.

Quick turn-around

Aggreko's sales and engineering departments worked closely with Rotormotion to design the temporary cooling scheme. This was fully approved by the Five Star Fish management team, and installed and commissioned within 72 hours of the initial enquiry.

The quick turnaround enabled Five Star Fish to fully test and have confidence in our cooling package before switching off their equipment, enabling them to fast track the refurbishment programme. Our team tested the system to prove that the rental package held the required temperatures before taking the customer’s whole system offline.

Rigorous testing to ensure constant temperatures

Our solution ensured the required temperatures were maintained during the refurbishment programme. Aggreko’s telemetry technology was used to remotely monitor all equipment round the clock, relaying critical information, such as pump performance, fuel levels and consumption rates, load monitoring and diagnostic checks. Any alerts were received by our local engineering team, who could quickly respond if required. A full refuelling service was also provided.

After a six-week period the Aggreko cooling and power infrastructure was disconnected, once the refurbished cooling plant was fully tested and re-commissioned.

In summary, using very low temperature chillers enabled us to maintain the ambient temperature our client required to keep their fish products in perfect condition, whilst avoiding business disruption.