Air Conditioning & Chilling

The trend to an increasingly extensive diversity of convenience food is associated with growing refrigeration requirements – which, in turn, means that energy saving is ever more critical. With advanced technologies for refrigeration, you can likewise exploit energy-saving potential for storage and distribution of the products.

Energy-efficient storage and distribution

Once manufacture of a product is complete, the end of requirements for carefully thoughtout refrigeration technology is by no means in sight. On the contrary, ever larger product portfolios mean that the areas of storage and distribution have become ever more important. For the company Johma Salades b.v. – the largest Dutch producer of delicatessen salads and sandwiches – GEA has modernized the refrigeration of three storage rooms. The existing system, based on R22 as refrigerant, was no longer able to assure the required room temperature of 2 °C / 35.6 °F. Our engineers installed a central ammonia pump that – in accordance with the customer’s wishes – can later be connected to the central cooling system. In addition to this pump, the new facility includes a compressor, a frequency-controlled electric motor, an oil separator, an air-cooled condenser, a high-pressure float valve, ammonia separators, and evaporators.

This facility, including gas sensors and ventilation system, is installed in an insulated machine room, directly behind one of the cold-storage rooms. The piping system consists of steel, insulated with polyisocyanurate (PIR) hard foam and aluminum. It withstands high pressures and is tested for leaks. The air condenser is installed in a cold-storage room. The products are cooled by means of naturally defrosting air coolers that are positioned on the same side as the machine room.

An additional prominent reference is Great Britain’s popular supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s operates a new distribution center in Pineham, England. This warehouse complex accommodates fresh fruit and vegetables on floor space of more than 49,000 m², with a value of around 50 million euros. Starting from this advanced logistics center, Sainsbury’s delivers to 100 supermarkets in the region. The company has come up with a few ideas to improve its CO2 balance. For example, Sainsbury’s has installed a weighing system in the access road to the distribution center. When a vehicle slowly passes over this system, this produces movement in the weighing system that in turn generates power for the warehouse complex.

GEA developed the entire refrigeration systems for this complex. They ensure temperatures at 1.5 °C / 34.7 °F for fast-cooling storage and 8 °C / 46.4 °F for the product warehouse. In order to observe the strict ecological requirements for this supermarket chain, the refrigeration systems – as for the Dutch company Johma – employ the natural and efficient refrigerant ammonia.