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SolarCool has the supermarkets in its sights on CO2 reduction

Saving in-excess of 100,000kWh in just the first two months, a 1-Mega Watt retrofit installation from SolarCool has been completed on a supermarket sized system at one of the UK’s largest fruit processing plants, Chingford Fruit, Dartford Kent.

In addition to the heavy importance of reducing costs, Chingford Fruit has a strong in-house commitment to installing technology and products that reduce harmful emissions into the environment. SolarCool ‘fits that bill’ according to Chingford.

Over recent years Chingford Fruit has installed LED lighting, human Interface controls, voltage optimisation, along with energy monitoring equipment throughout out their 50,000 sq. mtr site. All which have substantially reduced the buildings energy consumption. Until now however they could not find a solution for their largest energy consumers – Refrigeration & HVAC.

Colin Ormerod, central services manager at Chingford said: “We have been on the lookout for credible efficiency solutions for our refrigeration and air conditioning plant for some time. We came across SolarCool at the Energy & Renewables Event in Birmingham last year, and it really captured our interest. Although I have to say, it did take some time to convince our refrigeration contractors, however they are now fully on board having had first-hand experience of the product and the installation process, to the point where they have actually presented SolarCool to a number of their other clients”.

The rooftop on the Chingford Fruit warehouse has had 54-solar thermal collectors installed in parallel across 750kW of the 1MW cooling capacity refrigeration system. The installation itself was completed by ZetaCool Services (an accredited SolarCool installation partner) who managed the installation process in partnership with Chingford’s existing refrigeration contractors STS Refrigeration - part of the ICA Group.

Mr Ormerod added: “it is early days, but so far we are tracking way over the figures that SolarCool projected, and we still have the peak summer weather to come. I am personally very excited to see the results and assuming the tracking continues at the same trend, we will see a return of our investment well below two years. It is now highly likely that we will be installing SolarCool onto our HVAC systems, at some point in the very near future.”

SolarCool can be retro-fitted onto most well-known HVAC and Refrigeration systems of all sizes, with the proviso that the system has variable load ability - inverter, staged, screw-type, and digital scroll for example. In standard cooling units, the compressor has to manage the full compression load, however at the time it is most needed (i.e. when the sun is out), the SolarCool system takes over a level of the capacity, allowing the compressor to reduce its workload, significantly reducing the amount of electricity consumed by the entire system. Subsequently, the whole system has a much easier life, and is therefore less prone to maintenance issues.

Mark Crabtree, managing director of SolarCool Energy added: “This is pivotal point for our business. This installation is in line with the size of system you would expect to see on an average supermarket or food production plant. We are in discussions and evaluation with three of the top six UK, top two in Australia, and the top two US supermarkets, in these cases we are dealing with enthusiastic and positive individuals, all of whom are keen to see the SolarCool systems delivering not only from a cost saving perspective, but as importantly from an environmental perspective too.

'That said, this has not always been the case, we have over recent years experienced a certain level of cynicism in regards to our products abilities, however to be fair we fully appreciate and respect that the engineers in large organisations have to be cynical, they have to question the abilities of new technology, especially technologies that to some degree ‘fly in face’ of the way most engineers understand how refrigeration works. Therefore this installation is pivotal, because we anticipate that due to its size and more importantly the results will finally turn those prior negatives into positive evaluation programmes.

'I personally believe that any food industry CEO, MD or FD that is given the opportunity to evaluate our return on investment abilities, the potential future proofing against the inevitable Carbon Taxation, not to mention the environmental implications, would struggle to find a reason not to take our technology seriously.”

SolarCool has been evaluated by many high profile businesses over the last two years, including - Cummins, Intel, Sodexo, British Ministry of Defence, Spar and Cable & Wireless to name a few, all of which have hit or are hitting projected efficiencies.

SolarCool now has systems installed across all five continents, having recently completed a deal with an Australian Solar business to commence installations throughout Australasia.


Gary Draper
27 November 2016 15:15:25

I have been working closely with Solar Cool and there team  for around 3 or more years installing Solar Cool a huge range of different applications  on retrofits as well as new installations custom designed to suit various applications in the refrigeration and air conditioning  world. 

I can confirm that this technology is at the cutting edge of energy saving for the refrigeration and air conditioning world  FACT!

Chingford fruit distribution  warehouse is just one of the many applications that this fantastic product can be retro fitted to and the case study speaks volume to all those non believers and those in doubt.

All the case study's are on the Solar Cool website for all to see or as Mark stated please come and look at the many installations and book an appointment with himself or one of the team they would be more than happy to show anyone interested.

As an engineer I've been in the trade for 14 years and been fortunate to have had a good experiance with a wide range of equipment and when Solar Cool came along there was a few questions as what we where taught is heat to your refrigeration system is bad in any way shape or form until now.

Systems advance and previous theory's proved wrong this is one of those cases

Kurts flat earth theory reference is a perfect example of times changing.

We should all be open minded but with solid evidence from many projects who's to argue?



18 October 2016 21:10:30

this is so much easier to implement for residential usage:

Kurt Orthmann
21 June 2016 13:38:13

I am the thermodynamic brain behind the SolarCool and want to add Vilnis thoughts:

These are the current thinking of all those who have installed thousands of fixed speed systems with one compressor. That has completely changed with the introduction of DC Inverter and Multistage systems. Many think, DC Inverter and Multistage is just "a little add on" to the existing systems with compressors switchin on or off.

No, they aren't ! They react and operate totally different. The standard systems switch on or off based on a thermostat.

New systems measure the conditions at the various points of the cooling circle and provide always the ideal compression for that exact moment - based on the measurements of many temperatures. This is accomplished either by a different speed of the compressor (DC Inverter) or various compressors put on inb parallel.
So this "closed loop" circle now makes a huge difference and only this allows SolarCool to work.
Also if you look deeper into Carnot efficiency figure you will see, that the additional heat brought in by the solar panel is overcompensated by the much less heat brought in by the compressor into the refrigerant, since the compressor runs at lower speed and at lower discharge temperature.

So sometimes it is better to question old rules, if they still apply when new systems come to the market - or also the catholic church once acknowledged that earth is not a disk, despite it took some time

Mark Crabtree
20 June 2016 17:55:58

Hi Vilnis - We fully appreciate and respect your concerns and cynicism in regards to the abilities of our technologies, believe me we have had many similar conversations over recent years. Please accept our invitation to visit and review a system 'in the flesh' for yourself.  We have thousands of international installations, including many in the UK, as I understand it you are based in Gloucester? If so, we actually have an installation not far from you in Sedbury (a previous press release in the ACR News) and we would be more than happy to facilitate a visit for you to hold your own evaluation. I have no doubt what-so-ever that you will have a completely conflicting opinion thereafter, as have many others before you. Kind regards. 

Nikunj Shukla
19 June 2016 17:39:59
Great....please be in touch..
Vilnis Vesma
17 June 2016 22:34:58

Solarcool's proposition seems highly implausible. A bolt-on solar heater cannot work as a compressor (as claimed) and will merely increase the degree of superheat before the condenser. By increasing the amount of sensible heat that the condenser needs to dump, you would reduce its capacity to reject latent heat and that means you reduce the circuit's cooling capacity, because there has to be a balance between latent heat absrobed and rejected. Even Solarcool's own marketing literature admits that compressor load is observed to go down, and this is entirely consistent with the system's capacity being constrained (although they tend not to mention this; they focus on the input power reduction).

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