08 April 2021
A multinational brewery based in Burton-on-Trent has received a bespoke long-term hire solution from ICS Cool Energy to replace an ageing ammonia-based process cooling system. The brewery was looking to install a flexible cold storage solution that would keep the kegs of beer and raw products cold and fresh within their craft beer pilot plant. They needed to maintain specific temperatures to guarantee product consistency while coping with a high ambient temperature caused by the pilot plant's central location within the manufacturing facility.
Originally designed for global - often in high ambient temperatures - marine transport of temperature-sensitive perishables, the six-metre refrigerated cold store solution provides accurate and stable storage temperatures. At the brewery, the unit’s temperature was commissioned to minus twenty-one degrees Celsius, ensuring the raw material and ingredients used in the special craft beers' brewery processes were kept at the optimum conditions before they are used. Additionally, the portable cold store container, designed to be transported on and off ships, gave the brewery the flexibility to move it around with the lift and shift as needed.
Replacing ammonia chillers
Following the successful cold store hire project, the brewery was looking to remove the ammonia (NH3) refrigerated chillers from their site. Further investments required to maintain the old system safe and operational exceeded the financial and safety benefits of installing a new and more efficient one. ICS Cool Energy provided them with a hire solution that met their process cooling needs and combined safety, high efficiency and performance with low environmental impact.
Initially, the brewery was looking for localised chillers for every part of the brewing process. After analysing the options, the ICS Cool Energy team offered a more efficient solution that mimicked the old ammonia system. ICS Cool Energy installed three large 1,4MW chillers in the same area where the ammonia was originally installed, which allowed to tap the new chillers into the existing pipework and power infrastructure. The new chillers can provide reliable temperature control in the most demanding applications. They feature a variable volume index compressor and permanent magnet motor that allow the equipment to operate at the most appropriate pressure ratio and achieve outstanding part-load efficiencies.
For low environmental impact, the units feature ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) R-1234ze refrigerant, which in chillers can outperform ammonia even by 25% according to the energy efficiency ratio (EER) analysis. R-1234ze is mildly flammable and non-corrosive compared to ammonia, which is toxic and can pose serious risks to human health and food and beverage operations.
Dave Palmer, general manager of ICS Cool Energy, said: “At ICS Cool Energy, we take pride in working hand in hand with our customers, listening closely to their needs and keeping their industries running. In the brewing industry, achieving a high-quality product consistency relies on having control of your process temperatures. With this project, our dedicated hire team fulfilled the customer’s unique demand for cold storage. It helped them address their safety concerns by replacing the ammonia system with a safer and environmentally friendly process cooling solution.”