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Star's CO2 refrigeration system revolutionises Bidfood Glasgow's energy consumption

Star Refrigeration has helped Bidfood move one step closer to meeting their Net Zero targets by installing two dual temperature CO2 cooling systems at its recently built cold store in Glasgow. The systems set a new industry standard in energy performance, consuming 49.5% less energy than the ‘Best Practice’ Benchmark for similar size facilities in Britain.

Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, has continuously demonstrated its commitment towards a greener future. The installation by Star Refrigeration aligns seamlessly with their ambitious climate targets to reduce carbon emissions by at least 90% by 2045, particularly as the new facility now boasts an environmentally benign refrigerant providing close to a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to UK ‘Best Practice’.

Dr Rob Lamb, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Star Refrigeration said, ‘The refrigeration systems at Bidfood’s Glasgow site demonstrate the potential for businesses aiming to transition towards energy efficient and climate friendly operations by using CO2 cooling technology. Bidfood’s decision to prioritise sustainability has not only set a commendable benchmark but has also delivered tangible benefits, showcasing reduced energy costs and carbon emissions that outperform the industry’s Best Practice standards across the country”.

Operational since November 2022, Bidfood Glasgow’s refrigeration system uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as the refrigerant. Unlike synthetic refrigerants under the F-gas Regulation, CO2 is a sustainable, future-proof natural alternative with a global warming potential (GWP) of just 1.

The CO2 refrigeration systems are located externally, adjacent to the building, and provide cooling to a freezer, chill store and marshalling area. The site’s core freezer system maintains a temperature of -250C, with a design cooling duty of 245kW, while the chill areas operate at +20C and have a combined cooling duty of 268kW. To ensure optimal air circulation and a consistent temperature throughout the facility, multiple coolers equipped with efficient EC fans have been installed. Running at a speed of 50%, these fans offer savings of up to 87.5% over their traditional counterparts.

The cooling plant has also been fitted with a heat recovery system which repurposes waste heat for underfloor heating and provides warm glycol defrost on the air coolers. Its control system offers real-time data monitoring, fault dial out and remote access capabilities to allow for swift performance adjustments, and ongoing maintenance.

Energy data recorded for the 37,500 m3 facility has been collected and analysed since it was installed in 2022. The results reveal that the Specific Energy Consumption at Bidfood's Glasgow site stands at 10.2 kWh/m3/year - an energy consumption that is half of that of the UK’s Best Practice industry standard of 20.4 kWh/m3/year. This translates into a CO2 emissions reduction of 77 tonnes annually, helping the company cut their energy spend and achieve their long term vision of reducing their environmental footprint.

Claire Cox, Head of Property for Bidfood, said, “Partnering with Star Refrigeration has been instrumental in strengthening our commitment to sustainability while improving the efficiency of our operations across our cold stores. The energy efficiency achieved at our Glasgow site through the installation of a CO2 refrigeration system far exceeded our expectations. We appreciate Star’s contribution and are encouraged to continue our joint efforts towards improved sustainability and operational efficiency at our facilities in the future.”

Star Refrigeration has been a leading force in the research and development of energy-efficient and sustainable industrial cooling technology since 1949. Its Bellshill branch, located 20 miles from the Bidfood site, has over 20 years of experience in CO2 cooling, stretching back to the installation of Star's first CO2  refrigeration system in central Scotland in 2002. With a team of 20 engineers, management and admin teams, the branch is now set to deliver essential aftercare and continuous support to Bidfood locally.

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