A2L solution proves a cut above for meat specialist


02 May 2024
The BITZER ECOLITE condensing units operate on low-GWP R454C refrigerant

SK Refrigeration, Heating and Cooling has installed a refrigeration system running on A2L refrigerant R454C for a leading meat processor in Gloucestershire, one of the first such projects to be installed in the UK.

Based on three high-efficiency BITZER ECOLITE condensing units with a combined cooling capacity of 42kW, the installation replaced an end-of-life system cooling the processor's fresh meat storage area.

With a GWP of just 148, R454C replaces high GWP refrigerants such as R404A, R507A, R407A and R407F in direct expansion applications, and R407C for use in air conditioning and heat pumps.

The new system was designed to maintain a temperature of 1°C in the 315cu m storage area, with a throughput of some 5000kg of meat per day.

Refrigeration options considered included a conventional system running on R449a, which although having an A1 safety classification has a much higher GWP of 1397. The client chose the R454C ECOLITE-based solution due to the reduced environmental impact, lower energy running costs and future F-gas compliance under the critical <150 GWP threshold.
The three ECOLITE LHL5E/4CES-6Y-40s condensing units are connected to a series of indoor cooling evaporators via three circuits, each with a system charge of 13.5kg.

The units cool the meat store, which is maintained at 1°C

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BITZER’s ECOLITE range of air-cooled condensing units is based on highly efficient BITZER ECOLINE compressors with sophisticated capacity control, optimised condensers and variable speed fans. All 11 models in the range are suitable for low and medium temperature applications, as standard.

The design is suitable for use with a wide range of refrigerants, including several proven A2L fluids, with an operating range from -45°C up to 0°C without liquid injection.

SK Refrigeration, Heating and Cooling worked closely with BITZER and suppliers to produce the bespoke design required for the project.

Matt Dolphin, Director of SK, said: "Due to the A2L classification, the project entailed a lot of detailed design work to ensure it met the client's brief and UK safety compliance requirements.

"The project reflects our focus on delivering solutions that are both environmentally sustainable and highly efficient, reducing running costs for end users while minimising environmental impact."

A spokesman for the customer said: "We are pleased to report that, since being commissioned, the system has performed super-efficiently. We are extremely happy with the installation and after-care provided by the team at SK Refrigeration, Heating and Cooling and look forward to our continued partnership.”

Kevin Glass, Managing Director of BITZER UK, added: "This is a great example of how the latest refrigeration technology can deliver for the environment and make commercial sense. The fact that it is also based on highly reliable BITZER components makes it a compelling proposition for both installers and end users."