Smart thinking and a willingness to innovate has enabled Primafruit, a leading, major fruit storage distributor, to meet targets for the removal of R22 refrigerants used to chill temperature-controlled holding rooms, without any downtime and avoiding a £1 million cost to replace the entire refrigeration system.
In a unique profit-sharing solution developed with refrigeration engineers, IRS Ltd of Bromsgrove, that took just four weeks to complete, Primafruit was not only able to move to a compliant refrigerant but saved almost £30,000 on energy and maintenance in the first year.
The project was planned with military precision. February through to March was identified as the ideal time to carry out the retrofit. It was historically the coldest period, when production demands were at their lowest. The operation was going to involve extensive engineering works, so the opportunity was taken to replace, upgrade and improve components throughout the plant.
Primafruit Site Manager, Johan Van Deventer, explained that the installation of sub-metering gave them a better understanding of energy usage and enabled them to react more effectively.
“We realised just how inefficient the old systems were, so there was real pressure to do something about it, aside from the need to move away from R22,” he said.
Work started on the retrofit of the first system as
soon as the new compressor arrived at the end of
January. This involved reclaiming the R22 refrigerant,
removing the old compressor so that it could be
returned to Sabroe for retrofitting, replacing it with
the new compressor; installing the pre-fabricated
valve assemblies and installing the LPA system.
In the 12 months prior to the completion of the project, the energy cost of operating the system was over £68,000. But the first nine months since the project was completed have indicated an annual saving of £9,500 – representing an investment payback period of six years.
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Why choose IRS?
IRS Ltd (Industrial Refrigeration Services Limited) are experts in energy management, embracing all aspects of industrial and commercial users of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat exchange systems.
After working with Primafruit for over 5 years, we have continued to provide quality and efficiency throughout. From close analysis we found that they could reduce their cost savings by the installation of an LPA system which would make a beneficial contribution this time around.