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CO2 offers a cool solution

03 July 2020

A new low carbon CO2 refrigeration system is helping one food processor expand production, cut global warming emissions and meet the challenge of the F-Gas Regulation step downs. 

Campbells Prime Meat provides meat and fish products to customers across Scotland. To cope with a growing demand the company needed to built a new freezer room at its processing plant at Linlithgow near Edinburgh.

Campbells needed to double its capacity for frozen storage. The company had been using a smaller dispatch freezer but increased demand for frozen food meant that there was no capacity to handle growing orders for burgers, sausages, haggis and black pudding. With traffic movements increasing in and out of the freezer it was crucial that greater capacity was found.

F-Gas regulations?The F-Gas Regulation is having an increasing effect on the food processing industry and forcing installers and end users to switch to low global warming potential refrigerants. CO2 is a natural refrigerant with zero global warming potential which makes it a good choice for the food processing industry. CO2 has a wide temperature range which also makes it a versatile refrigerant. Commercial off the shelf equipment also allows installers to consider CO2 systems as a viable option for food processors.

Campbells made the decision to install two 20Kw J & E Hall CO2 refrigeration packs support the freezer room to ensure that temperatures around -18°C are maintained.

Improvements in CO2 technology now allow this equipment to handle with ease fluctuations in ambient temperatures, and issues with high pressures, which in the past had been associated with CO2 systems.

Gary Barrett, J & E Hall Glasgow Centre Supervisor, took the lead on the project at Linlithgow. He said: “CO2 technology has moved on so much in recent years that we were confident that this natural refrigerant would do a good job for Campbells. CO2 systems are now cheaper to install and these two CO2 packs were a long term solution which removed the worries of the F-Gas Regulation and constant concerns about leak testing.”

The new refrigeration packs on site work directly with the evaporators and no intermediate cooling is needed which made it easier for the system to be installed and commissioned. The J & E Hall team did consider HFC and ammonia-based alternatives for the system but the versatility and low global warming potential of CO2 won out at the end of the day.

Commenting on the solution, Stephen Sweeney, finance director at Campbell’s Prime Meat, said: “We did some research in the industry and J & E Hall came very highly recommended. We had used other refrigerants on site but CO2 with its green credentials proved to be the most attractive option.

“We were looking for a contractor who could deliver the job on time and on budget but also bring some imagination when required. This led to us going for the CO2 option recommended by J & E Hall instead of the high global warming potential gases which we had used on site in the past. An important aspect of this was that economically it was the best bet for us as we would not have to change the refrigerant again in the near future when the legislation is updated.”  

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