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UK: Bitzer Ecostar condensing units at the heart of a major expansion and upgrade at one of Europe’s largest raw fish preparation and distribution centres.

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.

Laurie Fisk, technical director  of contractor Cold Control Services 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.”

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Ten Ecostar units of varying capacities were installed in the 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 Ecostar’s built-in inverter coupled with Bitzer’s intelligent control system, enables cooling output to be precisely matched to current demand, resulting in substantial energy savings. Condensers are also cooled by EC fans, providing additional savings.

It is anticipated the Ecostar-based system will save the end user around 30% in energy running costs.

The refrigeration plant communicates with the factory’s Dixell building control and monitoring system, which provides remote access to monitor performance via the internet.

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.