U.K. Sausage Maker Cuts Energy Usage by 77.3% with Low-Charge Ammonia Freezer

By Michael Garry, Jul 28, 2021, 23:46 3 minute reading

Blakemans replaced R404 systems with Star’s Azanefreezer 2.0 packaged unit.

Azanefreezer 2.0 on roof of Blakemans facility in the U.K.

After a year of operation, a low-charge ammonia packaged freezer at U.K. sausage producer Blakemans’ 14,100m3 (497,937ft3) cold storage facility in Newcastle-Under-Lyme has cut energy consumption by 77.3% compared to six previously installed R404A systems.

The Azanefreezer 2.0 was provided by U.K OEM Star Refrigeration, which described the installation in a case study on its website.

Energy data collected from the cold storage facility indicates that the freezer consumes around 35KWh/m3 (0.99KWh/ft3) per annum. Blakemans has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 55% by 2025.

“The Azanefreezer unit is much more energy efficient, consequentially having lower electricity consumption and lower CO2e emissions,” said Phil Blakeman, Managing Director at Blakemans, in the case study. “Being one of our biggest energy uses on site, we expect to see significant savings on our CO2e emissions for years to come. We have taken a big step in reducing the volume of environmentally detrimental substances on site.”

Blakemans is now working with Star on the next stage of its refrigeration upgrade, added Blakeman.  The sausage maker previously worked with Star in 2017 on the installation of a low-charge ammonia spiral freezer/chiller system used in production at the Newcastle-under-Lyme location.

Up on the roof

With a cooling capacity of 290kW (82.5TR), the Azanefreezer 2.0 maintains a temperature of -22°C (-7.6°F) in Blakemans’ two cold storage rooms. which store frozen packaged meat products and raw ingredients. The pre-packaged chiller is located on the roof, with all valves positioned externally to eliminate risk associated with leakage. Space limitations within the existing plantroom “dictated the need for a compact cooling solution that could be sited externally,” said Star.

The freezer unit uses a low-pressure receiver and four evaporators, each of which is equipped with reverse cycle defrost technology. It also features twin, economized screw compressors and an air-cooled condenser with EC fans. 

The Azanefreezer 2.0 reduces ammonia charge by around 80% compared to with pumped recirculation systems, Star said, noting that the system is charged with as little as 0.52 kg/kW (4.2lbs/TR) of ammonia.

In addition to the Azanefreezer 2.0, Blakemans installed Ethos, Star’s data monitoring and plant performance optimization system, to ensure energy usage transparency.

Ethos collects operational data from the controller and analyzes the “gap between the ideal and the actual operating conditions to identify inefficiencies,” said Star. Recently, Blakemans and Star were alerted to an issue that was affecting the plant’s energy performance. “By taking early action they avoided costs that were estimated to be around £2,000 (US$2,781)/month,” Star said.

The Azanefreezer 2.0 is also available for the North and South America markets, where it is manufactured and sold through Star Refrigeration’s Azane Inc and joint venture CAz.   

We have taken a big step in reducing the volume of environmentally detrimental substances on site.”
– Phil Blakeman, Blakemans

Want to find out more, or have something to say about this story? Join the ATMOsphere network to meet and engage with like-minded stakeholders in the clean cooling and natural refrigerant arena.

By Michael Garry

Jul 28, 2021, 23:46

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