The Belgian company, Air.clima recently renovated three Westland Bloemen Export (WBE) cooling cells at its distribution center in the Netherlands. Here, this company receives air and sea cargo and forwards it, chilled, to their other branches. The cold stores in question are 861m², 656m², and 623m².
The WBE team: Daniel, Ricardo, Jesper, and Jaap, who work in the cooling cells every day.
Cees Jan, WBE's CFO, says this about the project, "The cooling system's technology was quite outdated. It was 20 years old and used obsolete, increasingly expensive cooling gases. It sometimes leaked, allowing the gas to evaporate, which had to be replenished. We had to use a new type of cooling gas, but the pipes couldn't handle the pressure. So it was costing more and more money." In short, a system that sorely needed replacing.
A peek into the technical space and the cooling areas.
The Air.clima team dismantled the existing cooling system, which still used R448a, a synthetic coolant, which they removed per current legislation. They then installed an entirely new refrigeration system that uses CO2 as a coolant. It has a power unit, a gas cooler, and 20 evaporators.
"A CO2 system is pricier, but it immediately eliminates the chemical coolants, which makes it far more eco-friendly," says Cees. Not only that, the new refrigeration system is much more energy-efficient, something about which both WBE and Air.clima can be happy.
The new CO2 cooling system's evaporators.
It is not the first time WBE has worked with Air.clima. And, thanks to their previous collaboration WBE decided to ask Air.clima to help with this cooling system. "We've worked a lot with Air.clima in the past, on our other for sites too. We've had good experiences with the company. They're reliable and respond quickly to problems. Plus, we love how they think."
"They installed the new system while the old one was still running. During the switch-over, there was a day that it didn't run, but the cells remained cold," explains Cees. And that was a must because a good 90% of the decorative greenery - excluding some exotic products - WBE supplies need cooling. The refrigeration units also run year-round.
Thanks to Air.clima's renovated system, designed and built to be as energy-efficient as possible, WBE can, thus, keep going. At least until the next cooling cell renewal is needed. Who will they use for that? For those reading this, the choice is evident.