Another award for the serial winner in this competition, the machinery and equipment manufacturer and technology leader GEA: The British Refrigeration & Air Conditioning magazine (RAC) has now honored GEA with the RAC Cooling Industry Awards in the category "Contractor of the Year 2020". The globally renowned award recognizes companies that have made a special commitment to environmentally friendly and innovative solutions in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. For GEA, already a 2018 winner at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards for the "Building Energy Project" category, it was not the only success at the 2020 Awards. GEA also came out on top in the "Building Energy Project of the Year" category, receiving a "highly commended" rating.

GEA and Quorn® Foods: two strong partners in sustainability

For GEA, the Quorn® Foods project involved installing a new compressor to improve performance - in parallel with replacing a faulty refrigeration system during a planned shutdown at the food manufacturer's plant at its site in North Yorkshire, UK. The customer, as well as the judges of the RAC Cooling Industry Awards, were delighted with the GEA solution. By investing in a GEA Grasso Conversion Kit (GGCK), Quorn® Foods benefited from a larger compressor that replaced aging equipment and increased cooling capacity by an additional seven percent. This not only improved the site's efficiency, but also resulted in energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint. GEA also upgraded the existing control system with a new OMNI Retrofit Panel control (GORP). This state-of-the-art control and management system ensures optimal operation of the plant.

Throughout the installation, the GEA Refrigeration Technologies team worked under great time pressure, with only ten days available for all the work. GEA successfully completed the project in just five days and, as a result, Quorn® Foods was able to restart production without interrupting the plant's workflow.

The RAC Cooling Industry Awards judges praised GEA's strong commitment at the awards, which were held online for pandemic reasons. "GEA demonstrated great foresight and found a cost-effective solution for the customer within the given timeframe through its great expertise and decades of experience in refrigeration. Furthermore, GEA also took the opportunity to improve the flexibility of the plant's operation and realized energy savings."

Scottish premium ice cream manufacturer Mackie's also impressed by GEA solution

GEA replaced the existing freezer at Mackie's in its Aberdeenshire plant with an ammonia-based, low-carbon, energy-efficient cooling system with absorption chiller. (Photo: Mackie's)
GEA replaced the existing freezer at Mackie's in its Aberdeenshire plant with an ammonia-based, low-carbon, energy-efficient cooling system with absorption chiller. (Photo: Mackie's)

The jury of the RAC Cooling Industry Awards also praised GEA's project for the Scottish premium ice cream manufacturer Mackie's, offering GEA a “highly commended” for the project.

The project saw GEA replace the existing freezer at the Mackie's Aberdeenshire plant with a design using an ammonia and CO2 low-carbon, energy-efficient cooling system to work alongside an absorption chiller. It was the first large-scale ice cream production plant in Scotland to combine biomass heat and absorption cooling. This innovative solution helped Mackie's achieve its plan and ambitious target of CO2 reductions of 90 percent and energy cost savings of 70 to 80 percent. The new refrigeration system is one of the most advanced in Europe. The gases of "hydrochlorofluorocarbons" (HCFCs) previously used in the refrigeration systems, which have a high global warming potential, have been replaced by ammonia in GEA's solution. Ammonia is a natural, environmentally friendly refrigerant that has no impact on global warming or ozone depletion.

The RAC Cooling Industry Awards judges named GEA
The RAC Cooling Industry Awards judges named GEA "Contractor of the Year 2020" and awarded a "Highly commended" in the "Building Energy Project of the Year" category for a GEA project at customer Mackie's. (Photo: RAC Cooling Award)
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