Germany: New cold store and pack house for Pellens Hortensien

After four months of construction, the new cold store and pack house at Pellens Hortensien are finished and put into operation. The facility is 1,100 square meters and located in Geldern, Germany. The almost 1 million euro new cold store has room to stack up to 2,000 carts. "We are investing in the improvement of plant quality as well as in the optimization of operational processes", explains managing director Andreas Pellens.

New cold store

According to Pellens, the structural conditions of the former facility were not optimal for the quantities transferred. "We already had three of our own cooling houses, but for two of them, the location was logistically speaking unfavorable. On top of that these cooling technologies were outdated," says Andreas Pellens. Till now, due to the lack of capacity, they stored a large portion of their cooling equipment in rented cooling facilities. Also the existing packing area of about 600 square meters was too small as the young and finished plants bumped into each other in Spring time.

A look inside the new cold store

In order to optimize the processes, they decided to build a new, large cold store as well as another packing house last year. It was built in the past four months at the west end of the farm, next to their second loading dock, which is only a few years old. Pellens: "In this new plant, we now only stock and therefore focus on the young plants. We will not use the two of our older, unprofitable refrigerated houses in the future. In addition, the numerous transport routes that form the external cooling area to our home location and elsewhere are not necessary anymore. Monitoring the plants in the cooling area is considerably simplified by the short distances. And thanks to state-of-the-art cooling technology, the quality control is significantly improved during the cooling phase, apart from energy saving. "

New pack house

Open air cooling and solar
Compared to a standard cold store, this cold store seems to save around 60% of energy. Firstly, this is achieved by a thicker wall and roof insulation. Secondly, it has a complete heat recovery system. The heat is used to defrost the evaporators and to dehumidify the cooling chamber. Besides that, the facility is, next to a classic compressor with a three-stage engine, also equipped with an energy-saving frequency-controlled compressor. In addition, it has an outdoor cooling system. If the outside temperature is similar or lower than the cooling house, it is being cooled by using external air fans. This also considerably reduces energy consumption. Finally, there is also a sluice between the packing and cooling house, which reduces the warm air intake and minimizes energy losses. "So, the moisture input is lower and a more uniform storage temperature benefits the plant quality", says Pellens. As a further structural measure, solar cells will follow after a few operating months. "Then, we will know how many are necessary."


After four months of construction, the cooling and packing area are now fully operational. And just in time. This month, in May, they will need the space for their containers. "My special thanks go to the companies Mefus & Frisch Kältetechnik, Schwefers & Raab Kühlhausbau and Olsthoorn Gewächshausbau," concludes Andreas Pellens.

For more information
Pellens Hortensien
Andreas Pellens

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