GEA Revamps Heat Pumps and Chillers for UK Manufacturer

The British company has replaced an aging multi-package-style refrigeration system with heat pumps and ammonia glycol chillers supplied by international technology specialist GEA.

GEA installed ammonia glycol chillers and a glycol distribution system to cool the factory and its processes, with a cascade CO2 system for blast chilling product. GEA also added an ammonia heat pump to provide wash-down water and hot water for cook quench chills (CQCs), which unload the client’s boilers in an efficient and environmentally-friendly manner.

Once installed a rolling program of commissioning took place over several months. The chillers were commissioned first with cold glycol circulating around the factory header system and, over time, air coolers were put in place. Another advantage was that the new operating temperatures highlighted a ventilation issue that had previously gone undetected.

Robert Unsworth, GEA’s technical sales director, said the integration of glycol chillers for cooling the factory at +2 to +5°C and heat pumps for circulating hot water at +65°C around the facility has provided the client with a significant improvement in conditions and reduced running costs, as well as enhancing its green credentials. He explained: “Producing heat in this way cuts carbon emissions by approximately 80-90% compared to a boiler and it costs less to run as well. Benefits of the new equipment to the client include better room temperatures, reliability, and reduction in service costs and less boiler usage and gas consumption due to the heat pump.”

Heat pumps convert renewable or waste energy from buildings and processes to provide useful heating. For example, during cooling, refrigeration systems emit heat from a condenser, which is normally simply released into the environment. The heat pump captures this valuable resource and then boosts the temperature to produce heat suitable for other production purposes.

“For example, the heat taken out of the product in your refrigerator at home leaves at the rear and warms up the kitchen. In a factory environment with a much larger “refrigerator”, adding a heat pump is like connecting the back of the fridge to your oven and using this heat to cook with,” added Unsworth.

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