Efficient solutions for fresh produce cooling

When Lindsay Fresh Logistics approached Bruce Townsend, a Director of Cool Dynamics (QLD), about updating their primary distribution warehouse at the Brisbane Markets, he got Bitzer involved.

Lindsay Fresh Logistics needed to update their refrigeration at the Brisbane Markets to handle increased product throughput, different operating conditions and deliver improved operating efficiency.

The Brisbane Markets site had performed reliably over the last twenty years using Bitzer open drive screw racks, Buffalo Trident LDV condensers and Thermfresh air handlers, however this system no longer suited the proposed operating requirements. It also utilised an operating charge in excess of 2,000kg of R22, contained in just three systems, and was going to become dramatically more expensive to keep operational in the future.

As the site needed to keep operating while the plant was upgraded, the idea of swapping the open drive screw racks with semi hermetic screw racks with the central plant operating on R134a was eventually dismissed.

Thinking outside of the box and following on-site discussions between Lindsay Fresh Logistics, Cool Dynamics (QLD) and Bitzer, it was decided that each room would have its own dedicated small charge system which would allow for the other rooms to continue operating on the existing plant as each new system was installed and commissioned.

For efficiency the site went with four Bitzer Commech screw sets, two semi hermetic racks with Varispeed lead compressors, two Varispeed basic units, and a semi-hermetic basic unit.

All were selected to operate on R134a and combined with Buffalo FMC condensers featuring EC fans. These were mounted remotely on a condenser platform engineered and installed by SBP Australia on the warehouse roof and designed to ensure optimal condensing temperatures could be easily maintained regardless of ambient temperature.

New Buffalo BBM series evaporators, which are designed for optimal humidity and air flow, replaced the existing Thermfresh air handlers. All of the Bitzer compressor sets were supplied pre-wired with Carel control systems which were then connected via BACnet to a custom Innotech BMS system to allow for remote communication.

The project was completed over six months with the majority of the work, including the infilled cool room panel by SBP Australia, completed in November.

Lindsay Fresh Logistics were pleased to share their first power bill for December with Cool Dynamics (QLD). It revealed a 29 per cent power saving compared to the previous December period.

As the last of the new equipment was commissioned and the old plant decommissioned the power savings continued to improve. March showed a 37 per cent decrease from the previous corresponding period even with building additions of

three fumigation rooms, one DAF (Department of Agriculture & Fisheries) conditioned facility and three fast cooler rooms.

In February there was a slight anomaly (with temperatures an average of three degrees warmer than in February 2015), so power saving dropped from 37 per cent to 22 per cent, however the new equipment cruised through the heat providing optimal COP efficiency.

“The equipment changeover
took place with minimal disruption to our operation due to the
great communication from Cool Dynamics (QLD) during all stages
of this project,” said Bob McMillan, General Manager of Rocklea Markets site.

“This allowed us to plan for the shutdown of rooms based on product flow so that Cool Dynamics (QLD) could ensure that they had the rooms we needed operating when we required them.

“We have since noticed a considerable drop off in power consumption even though we have added rooms, plus our water consumption would have also decreased with the removal of the Thermfresh units.”

Lindsay Transport Adelaide refrigeration upgrade was also very successful and 2016 is looking to
be a great year for Lindsay Fresh Logistics, in the Brisbane Markets, with the additional cold storage to handle their export market growth, plus an estimated average 32 per cent power saving and continued to be fully supported by Cool Dynamics (QLD) and Bitzer Australia.



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