Spalding cold store cuts energy costs

Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK: J O Sims has reduced energy consumption by 500,000 kWh a year and carbon emissions by over 270 -tonnes with more efficient refrigeration controls on its 7,000sq metre cold store.

Darren Crook, operations director, J O Sims says, “not only were the improvements in efficiency immediate and measurable, but previously it could take 48 hours to pull a chamber down to temperature this can now be achieved in 12 hours, enabling us to respond to customer requirements very much quicker”.

The improved controls followed a survey by Excalibur LPA that estimated that the efficiency of the refrigeration systems could be improved by 30 -to 40%.  The Spalding cold store accounts for 80% of power consumer on the site making these efficiency gains a significant cost saver.

Excalibur recommended installation of liquid pressure amplification and inverter speed control of the condenser fans.  In simple terms this solution allows the difference between evaporating and condensing temperatures to be reduced, in this case by up to 20ºC and every one-degree reduction improves efficiency by 2-4%.

A pilot installation was undertaken by Excalibur to the first of four refrigeration packs, following commissioning the effect of the modifications could be seen immediately, the improvement in efficiency allowed the cold store to recover temperatures quicker while energy consumption dropped by 48% representing an annual cost reduction of £10,000 and 79 fewer tonnes of carbon emitted every year.

A loan from the Carbon Trust helped fund the improvements.  J O Sims supplies cranberry and wild blueberry ingredients in the UK and provides packing, handling, storage and distribution services.