In recent years, the Aubel Master Butchers have committed to a sustainable development policy and decided to renovate their refrigeration system by investing in a new indirect cooling system.
Positioned at number 3 in the Belgian charcuterie market, the Detry family company has a motto: “Stay true to the product by giving priority to the taste and quality of ingredients”. Aubel is the flagship brand of this company founded in 1963. According to Detry, its quality comes from good rearing and feeding conditions, respect for the animal, the know-how of the people, listening to consumers, and regular investment management. The time had come to replace their R-22 refrigeration system for the freezer and freezing tunnel on their main production site in Aubel, Belgium.
A successful first experience for Henkens Frères
Detry called on its installer Henkens Frères, a multi-faceted company offering its region highly respected experience in areas such as refrigeration, heating equipment, and industrial boilerwork for the food industry, to install a CO2 system to be in line with the company’s strong values. After discussions with its client, Henkens recommended an innovative, durable solution, opting for an Advansor CO2 transcritical system with Greenway® Neo, plant-based heat-transfer fluid, formulated and distributed by Climalife, to ensure defrosting in synergy with energy recovery for domestic hot water production.
Implementation without stopping the Detry plant’s production
The 180 kW Advansor transcritical system is sheltered on the roof. It is equipped with a gas cooler with a Danfoss variable frequency regulation system operating at -38°C / +40°C. Loaded with 250 kg of CO2, the system supplies a 4,800 m3 freezer to store 500 tonnes of meat and a cooling tunnel with three deep freezers. In total, seven GÜNTNER evaporators are installed. They have the advantage of having a double circuit, including one dedicated to the Greenway® Neo heat-transfer fluid for defrosting.
« In addition to energy recovery, the appeal of this system is the production of a hot Greenway® mass for on-demand defrosting of the seven evaporators. Twice every 24 hours, sufficient energy is accumulated in a 750 L vessel. The CO2 easily permits high temperatures and therefore facilitates the storage of energy using the Greenway at 50 / 60°C; a three-way valve regulation system redistributes Greenway solution at 25°C » explains Joseph Toussaint, maintenance manager at Henkens Frères.
« Our client absolutely wanted a CO2 system as part of an environmental approach. More generally, we are putting in place ‘Ammonia and glycol water’ systems in our industrial processes.
We therefore sought the best solution to meet these environmental requirements. For the past few years, we closely monitored the technological developments in CO2 to be in line with the necessities of changing refrigerants among our clients by training three of our technicians in R-744. »
« We’ve seen some experiences on the market that have been difficult to say the least.
Building on our experience of hot gas defrosting with R-22, NH3 and hot water defrosting with heat recovery, we ultimately chose water defrosting with an exchanger and Greenway® Neo -55 because it is the only organically sourced heat-transfer fluid approved for ‘food contact’ with the ability to drop to -50°C with proper viscosity. We believe, under current circumstances, that hot gas defrosting with CO2 was not appropriate ». Gérard Struvay, Refrigeration Manager Henkens Frères.
The installation was put in place alongside the old system to avoid stopping production. In total, 2,200 litres of Greenway® Neo is distributed across the entire network.