GEA Grasso V range of ammonia compressors have demonstrated their notable energy efficiency after being in operation for about eight months in two modernised Polish dairy facilities: they need around 25% less energy than the solutions previously in operation. Moreover, fully automated control systems simplify plant operations for the dairy staff, while the optimal use of power prices takes place automatically, further reducing energy costs.
Mlekpol, the largest Polish dairy cooperative and leading producer of ultra-high-temperature milk, has expanded its production capacities and, in parallel, has modernised its refrigeration technology at most of its seven locations.
In two of the locations, Grajewo and Mrągowo, where the objective was to implement the production of ice water (about 1°C) reliably and cost-effectively, the cooperative managed to increase its refrigeration capacity by 30% with the same power consumption thanks to GEA Grasso V1100 ammonia piston compressors and an automatic GEA Grasso control system.
Optimising partial-load operation by selecting GEA Grasso V range compressors and fitting frequency converters
The most important criteria for the modernisation of the refrigeration plant were maximum energy efficiency and optimisation during partial-load operation. For optimised partial-load system behaviour, GEA Refrigeration Technologies selected the newly marketed piston compressors from the GEA Grasso V range as replacement for the old systems in both plants. To cover the requirement of approximately 3 to 4 MW cooling duty, the dairy installed four GEA Grasso V1100 units in Grajewo, and five in Mrągowo. These compressors, with ammonia refrigerant, each provide up to 830 kW cooling output.
Since milk production does not always need maximum refrigeration output, the piston compressors were fitted with frequency converters, and so were the fans for the condensers and the pumps for the ice water.
Automated control system simplifies plant operation and takes advantage of favourable power prices
The GEA Grasso control system automatically assures efficient operation of the refrigerating compressors. As a result, control system intervention is necessary only for new programming or in case of irregularities during operation.
The fully automated control system simplifies plant operations for the staff. Technicians now need to enter the refrigeration center only for inspection purposes, and otherwise remain on call for emergencies.
Optimal use of the power rates also takes place automatically. Toward this objective, the control system uses two different operational settings: when the power price is favourable, the system will fill the ice banks of the plant. Only after maximum ice-storage capacity is reached do the compressors switch to normal operational mode. In contrast, refrigeration is provided primarily from the ice banks when power prices are high, before the compressors are called on to cover cooling requirements. In this way, the power costs (which are already favorable) can be reduced even more.
GEA includes lower-duty models in V range of single-stage ammonia piston compressors
After the successful introduction of single-stage piston compressors in the GEA Grasso V range, with units for medium- and high-duty, GEA Refrigeration Technologies has recently rounded off this range by including lower-duty models. Presently, the V models - with seven single-stage piston compressors - cover the refrigeration duty range from 238 to a maximum of 1,383 kW, with ammonia as refrigerant. The V range has replaced the former 10, 12, and 12E Grasso ranges.
About GEA Refrigeration Technologies
GEA Refrigeration Technologies is a leading global group in industrial refrigeration. GEA designs, engineers, installs, and maintains innovative key components and technological solutions. Typical applications include cooling processes for the food and beverage industries, marine, oil and gas industries, buildings, as well as leisure facilities such as indoor ski centers and ice-skating rinks.
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