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Raw fish processor selects Ecostar for UK expansion

A major expansion and upgrade at one of Europe’s largest raw fish preparation and distribution centres is using high efficiency Bitzer Ecostar condensing units at the heart of its refrigeration system.

The London facility processes thousands of tons of raw fish each year, imported from Japan for making into sushi, for sale across the UK by one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Contractor Cold Control Services selected Ecostar units for their combination of outstanding energy efficiency, reliable operation and compact footprint.

Laurie Fisk, Cold Control Services’ technical director who headed up the project, said: “Given the scale of the installation in terms of power requirements, the importance of impeccable hygiene standards, and limitations for siting external plant, the Ecostar units offered an ideal solution. It enabled us to pack a lot of cooling power into a relatively small space, while significantly cutting the end user’s energy costs compared with conventional equipment.”

Ten Ecostar units of varying capacities were installed, providing high performance reliable cooling for preparation areas and cold rooms, plus two standard Bitzer housed condensing units for a blast cooler and freezer room. Total cooling capacity of the combined plant is 420kW.

The installation was completed over a three-month period while the existing facility continued to operate.

The key to Ecostar’s efficiency is its built-in inverter coupled with Bitzer’s intelligent control system, enabling cooling output to be precisely matched to current demand, resulting in substantial energy savings. Condensers are also cooled by EC fans, providing additional savings compared with conventional equipment.

It is anticipated the Ecostar-based system will save the end user around 30% in energy running costs, with savings continuing to accrue over the life-time of equipment.

Refrigeration plant communicates with the factory’s high level Dixell building control and monitoring system, which provides remote access to monitor performance via the internet from anywhere in the world.

In response to rapid growth in demand for sushi in the UK, further expansion is planned for the facility in the near future. This involves extending existing refrigerated prep and storage areas to increase production capacity, requiring installation of a number of further Ecostar units.

Cold Control services was established in 1989 and is currently run by directors Mark Grant and Laurie Fisk. The refrigeration and air conditioning specialist now has branches across the UK, with turnover in excess of £5m.

Laurie Fisk said: “We have worked with Ecostar units on a number of projects before, in particular on climatic test chambers for universities. These applications require very close control of parameters such as temperature and humidity. With its inverter drive and EC fan control, Ecostar delivers this and provides reliable, energy efficient cooling end users can depend on.”

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