Carrier chillers picked for vertical farm


15 February 2024
Four chillers were installed at the Lydney site, delivering 2.2MW of cooling

Carrier AquaSnap air-cooled scroll chillers are providing high-efficiency cooling and heating for one of the world's largest vertical farms, operated by Jones Food Company.

The farm, in Gloucestershire, is the size of 70 tennis courts and offers 148,000 square feet of growing space for stacking crops 15 layers high. It is expected to supply 1,000 tonnes of fresh produce a year to UK supermarkets. 

Contractor Brooktherm Refrigeration was tasked with providing an HVAC solution capable of delivering a constant supply of efficient heating and cooling to the pressurised warehouse. It was essential that the chillers specified were compatible with Brooktherm’s control system. 

“One of the key challenges was the requirement to achieve four different temperature and humidity set points,” said Ben Doherty, Projects Coordinator, Brooktherm Refrigeration . “With the support of Carrier, we achieved them all.” 

Carrier recommended its AquaSnap 30RBP air-cooled scroll chillers operating on R32 refrigerant, which operate from -10oC up to +48oC, and come with Greenspeed intelligence variable-speed pumps to reduce pumping energy consumption by up to two-thirds.

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The Carrier chillers have a heat recovery system that enables waste heat to be captured and used for various heating applications on site, saving energy while maintaining optimum growing conditions. The cultivation warehouse is served by two HVAC plants, one on the north side and one on the south side, each equipped with two Carrier chillers, delivering a total of 2.2 megawatts of cooling and heating to the growing room.

“This exciting project is an efficient and environmentally-responsible way to produce food and Carrier was delighted to be part of such a pioneering, sustainable new approach to growing the nation’s food,” said Paul Hill, Regional Sales Manager, Carrier UK.

“The HVAC plant was fully commissioned summer of 2023, and by October the entire growing area was fully planted, allowing the operator to harvest a tonne in weight of basil and leafy greens every 19 days.”

The vertical farm offers 148,000 sq ft of growing space

“With our new facility, we further accelerate Britain’s position as a world leader when it comes to vertical farming,” said James Lloyd-Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Jones Food Company. “We already supply thousands of British retail stores with basil grown in our first facility in Lincolnshire, but our Lydney site is three times bigger and will allow us to supply a greater range to more stores.”