FishUK: A spiral freezer plant at a Grimsby fish processing facility running on R22 is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK to be converted to operate on the new alternative R407F.

The conversion was carried out by Coldstar Refrigeration at Young’s Seafood Grimsby facility with the A-Gas R407F refrigerant Genetron Performax LT supplied by Climate Center.

With the use of R22 for servicing existing equipment finally being banned in Europe at the end of this year, plant running on R22 must either be replaced or retrofitted to run on an alternative.

R407F is a blend of three fluids, R32, R125 and R134a, and has an operating

Robert Franklin

Robert Franklin: “practical and cost-effective solution”

pressure similar to that of R22. The non-flammable gas is suitable for use in both medium and some low temperature commercial refrigeration applications.

Its makers claim it can reduce refrigeration energy use by up to 15%, cut CO2 emissions by up to 40%, and reduce overall operating costs by up to 10%. The gas also requires fewer plant modifications than other R22 alternatives.

The spiral freezer system at the Grimsby plant is based on a two-stage Grasso compressor with liquid injection, with a cooling capacity of around 80kW. The stand-alone system freezes fish fillets following processing, for storage or onward delivery.

Jay Burton of national contractor Coldstar Refrigeration said: “The conversion process required an oil change and some new gaskets and O-rings. Once the plant had been prepared, the gas change – using about 200kg of R407F – took just a day to complete, followed by inspection to ensure everything was running smoothly.”

Robert Franklin, Climate Center’s national sales manager for refrigeration, says: “The project is an excellent example of how R407F can extend the life of valuable plant and equipment currently dependent on R22. It offers a practical and cost-effective solution in wide range of applications. We expect take-up of the refrigerant to grow significantly over the coming months, as the final deadline for R22 approaches.”

Following the success of the project, the contractor has been commissioned by Young’s Seafood to convert the facility’s central refrigeration plant to run on R407F. This substantial project involves the main plant at the site, which provides cooling for all the storage rooms. It will require between 700 to 1000kg of R407F.

The collaborative project is being headed up by Jay Burton of Coldstar, Zach Wynne of Climate Center, and Roger Smith of A-Gas.