At its annual awards presentation, the English trade magazine Food Processing presented its Innovation Prize to GEA Refrigeration UK Limited, a sales company of GEA Refrigeration Technologies. GEA distinguished itself in the field of Energy Management, one of nine categories of the awards, with a plant concept for simultaneous and energy-efficient provision of refrigeration and heat. This solution was presented in the form of the installation for Robert Wiseman Dairies (RWD) in Manchester, the largest producer of fresh dairy products in the UK.
|Robert Unsworth (right), Director of Sales and Product Development, and Mark Culley (left), Technical Sales Manager at GEA Refrigeration UK Limited, accept the 2012 Food Processing Award from Jason Robinson of Xylem for the category of Energy Management (source: IML group). |
In all six plants of RWD, refrigeration is a major and critical factor for assuring the freshness and the quality of the dairy products made by the company. At the same time, heat is also required at these plants for pasteurization of the milk. Instead of generating heat (in the form of hot water) in a gas-fired boiler and providing refrigeration separately by means of a traditional refrigeration system, RWD in Manchester now employs a combined solution making use of a compound heat pump skid which acts as a ‘bolt-on’ to the ammonia refrigeration system. This heat pump skid is able to supply hot water at approx. 80 °C at hugely improved efficiencies, whilst simultaneously improving the efficiency of the refrigeration system. The overall result is tremendous energy savings: whereas the old gas boiler required approx. 120 kW of electrical energy to produce 100 kW of heat, the solution implemented by GEA needs less than 20 kW of power for the same heat output. The system also has the added benefit of significantly reducing CO2 emissions through not only the reduction of electrical power consumption but also the reduced need for gas heating.