The Geoclima chillers at the Uvas Doce grape processing facility

SPAIN: Italian chiller manufacturer Geoclima has had recent success introducing the environmental benefits of low GWP refrigerant R1234ze to food companies in Spain.

Geoclima, a pioneer in the use of R1234ze, has recently installed chillers using this increasingly popular refrigerant at a grape production facility and a vegetable storage plant at separate locations in Alicante. In both instances, Geoclima worked with local contractor Frimavi.

Uvas Doce SL, a family-owned grape producer, importer and exporter based in Monforte del Cid, required a new energy-saving, low environmental impact process cooling solution.

The plant uses high pressure cold air to cool the harvested grapes. The cold air passes through the pallets with the direction of the air flow changing every half an hour in order to ensure the maximum temperature uniformity. Twelve tons of grapes are processed per hour. They enter the facility at a temperature of about 26-28°C and come out at 1-3°C.

Geoclima designed and produced two 300kW GHA air-cooled chillers with HFO1234ze providing a maximum cooling COP of 2.4/2.6 (W/W).

Heat recovery

A 200kW GHA heat recovery unit using R1234ze has been installed at a vegetable storage plant owned by Spanish company Zanemi in Villena.

The project involved the design and installation of a new refrigeration plant to replace the former one, which was obsolete and had many losses resulting in increased management and maintenance costs.

The customer had initially considered the use of ammonia but, despite the high COP values, was ruled out due to installation and maintenance/safety costs.

The vegetable cooling plant uses a hydro-cooling process: freshly harvested vegetables enter a cooling tunnel at a temperature of about 25°C and, after a cooling process of 15 minutes in which they are in contact with freezing water, vegetables come out at a temperature of 2°C. After the cooling process, vegetables are stored at a temperature of 1°C. The plant processes 10 tons of vegetables per hour.

Geoclima, together with Frimavi, designed and developed the 200kW GHA heat recovery unit, a solution which has achieved a COP between 2.7 and 2.9 (W/W).