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Keeping cool while doubling production

07 June 2019

Food Processing reports on a project to help a chilled and frozen food supplier upgrade its spiral refrigeration system to allow it to double production of frozen sausages. 

With a focus on dairy, meat, snacking and meal solutions, Kerry Foods is a supplier of chilled and frozen food products, with a number of sites across the UK and Ireland.

The Kerry Foods Hyde site, which specialises in sausages– from fresh and frozen to vegetarian – required a refrigeration upgrade and extension to increase cooling capacity to allow it to double the volume of product (frozen sausages) to 5 tonnes/hour.

The company’s existing IQF freezer was operating at -42°C saturated conditions based on 2.5 tonnes per hour. The compressor connected to the refrigeration system delivered 253 kW in total in conjunction with a frequency regulated drive. 

JD Industrial worked closely with Kerry Foods to design a system to accommodate the increase in product load and the result was an energy efficient package that is able to deliver an additional 237 kW of Qcooling capacity that is able to turn down ratio for minimum load and also over clock to 60 cycles to deliver the upper cooling capacity. 

In the event that one of the machines goes out of service, the new package is able to operate at 57% (2,350 tonnes) at the peak design ambient conditions. 

Commenting on the successful project, the chief engineer at Kerry Foods said: “We are delighted with the efficiency and reliability of our new cooling system. It allows us to meet the extra demand and have peace of mind that our customers will continue to receive the freshest produce from us, and of the highest quality.” 

Energy saving features
A number of energy saving measures were employed into the design to ensure optimum efficiency at all heat load and ambient conditions These included:

• Oil separators ere sized for the specific volume of gas at low condensing saturated temperature.
• Floating suction pressure.
• Floating discharge pressure control in relation to optimal ambient wet temperature.
• Design of compressors and other components to allow operation at low condensing conditions and therefore lower energy consumption.
• (IE3) drive motors were used on the compressors.
• An automated permanent refrigerant leak detection system (from the ECA list) was employed.
• A central controller with up to eight sensors was incorporated into the design for monitoring purposes.

Another project
Another project for an ammonia refrigeration spiral freezer application was undertaken for a producer of chocolate puddings in individual ramekins. The production facility underwent modification from a frozen food distribution centre to a process factory. This required the inclusion of a new spiral refrigeration system, while maintaining 50% of the existing freezer area. 

The original freezer store was operating from four existing compressors based on the functioning condition of -35°C to maintain a temperature of -28°C. 

The new store temperature requirement was -25°C, so the existing compressors were refitted to enable them to operate at a higher suction pressure to increase efficiency – functioning at -32°C. JD Industrial was asked to design an ammonia spiral refrigeration package to support the retrofit. This required the use of a new 110kW motor to allow one of the existing compressors to gain the required duty at the lower operating conditions required. This is sized to allow the compressor to turn down to 1000 rpm while maintaining the required cooling. A drive, sized at 110kW was also provided to match the absorbed power of the compressor. 

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