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Bitzer ammonia system behind new pizza production facility

Two Bitzer Ammonia Compressor Packs (ACP) with a combined cooling capacity of 1.4MW are supplying high performance, high efficiency refrigeration for a vast new pizza production plant in the north of England.

The Ammonia Compressor Packs side by side.

The industrial scale single-stage pumped ammonia system serves all the cooling needs of the brand new 60,000 square foot food production facility. Carried out by Integral UK for one of the UK’s leading food companies, the installation uses the Bitzer ACP systems to deliver multi-temperature cooling for the plant’s 2 degrees Celsius chill store, -5 degrees Celsius spiral chillers, -18 degrees Celsius freezer cold store.

Integral UK designed the multi-compressor packaged ammonia solution to maintain the highest levels of efficiency, whilst minimising payback time on the project. Resilience was also a key design factor, with built-in standby capacity provided by the Bitzer design combining with the company’s renowned reliability to ensure continuity of cooling around the clock, 365 days a year.

The ACP units selected have three compressors per pack, giving standby capacity and resilience needed for such critical process applications. It enables engineers to service a compressor while the others remain operational, reducing process down-time and improving life-cycle cost.

Following commissioning earlier this year, the plant has operated smoothly and quickly established itself as the most energy efficient plant of its kind operated by the food production company.

ACP has been designed to meet the requirement for very high efficiency cooling for industrial applications with a zero global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant. In addition to its exceptional part-load efficiency, it enables rapid commissioning due to its plug-and-play design.

The ammonia packs are based on compact Bitzer screw compressors, which result in a smaller footprint than equivalent-capacity reciprocating compressors. In addition to the inherent efficiency of screw compressors, the speed of the lead compressor is controlled by an integrated variable speed drive (VSD), which significantly increases part-load efficiency and enables soft-start. Efficiency can be further enhanced with the addition of an optional economiser module.

A further benefit for end users is that screw compressors have much longer maintenance intervals than reciprocating compressors, which substantially reduces the cost of ownership over the life-time of the plant.

Kevin Glass, managing director of Bitzer UK, said: “This superbly executed Integral UK project is an excellent example of how to harness the strengths of Bitzer’s modern ammonia refrigeration systems, to deliver an efficient, safe, resilient and cost-effective solution. Ammonia systems have traditionally been built as one-offs, often in less than ideal conditions. Bitzer builds ACP units in a pristine factory environment, ensuring the highest possible quality and integrity, absolutely necessary when working with ammonia.”

He added: “The modular design means that contractors can quickly connect up ACP units on site with a few simple pipework and electrical connections. This dramatically speeds up with whole process of installation and commissioning. We believe it is a game-changer for industrial refrigeration.”

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