Wedholms chooses CO2 for milk cooling tanks


24 April 2024

Swedish manufacturer Wedholms has introduced what it says is the first milk cooling tank in the European market to use CO2 as the refrigerant in standard direct expansion cooling systems.

Compatible with the revised F-Gas Regulation, the DFC 953 range of milk cooling tanks is available for robotic milking with 1-8 robots and with capacity ranging from 3,200 litres to 30,000 litres. 

Synthetic refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons, are currently being phased out by the European Union. According to the revised F-Gas Regulation, recently signed into EU law, all new self-contained refrigeration equipment, with the exception of chillers, installed from January 2025 must use refrigerants with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) value of less than 150. Existing systems may still be used and repaired for the remainder of their economic life. However, effective from 2032, refrigeration systems using refrigerants with a GWP value above 750, apart from chillers, can no longer be refilled during maintenance and service. 

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From 2027, further restrictions on the maximum amount of synthetic refrigerants that can be placed in the EU market will be introduced, capping the amount at around 20 million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year. This will increase the price of synthetic refrigerants, making milk cooling tanks with outdated technology more costly to purchase and operate, thus incentivising investments in milk cooling tanks using technology that is more modern and environmentally sustainable. 

“Refrigerants that are environmentally friendly are being introduced across the board and milk cooling tanks is no exception. Refrigeration is an essential process in the farming and dairy industries and we need to use processes that work in harmony with the natural environment that we depend on,” said Stefan Gavelin, Managing Director of Wedholms. 

“We are coming full circle, with natural refrigerants once again becoming the norm. CO2 refrigeration requires a high operating pressure, but thanks to technological advancements, such systems have, over the last decade, become viable for both commercial and industrial use, in many different applications.

“At Wedholms, we have chosen to work with CO2 as refrigerant. Ammonia is toxic as well as corrosive; hydrocarbons, such as propane, are flammable. CO2 has none of these disadvantages. In addition, it is readily available in large quantities and at low cost.”