Star puts Brakes on track for eco-friendly future

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John Fraser

Director of Sales - Food Market

Brakes has invested in an eco-friendly, high performance refrigeration system for frozen food storage at its distribution centre in Hertfordshire.

With a national network of temperature controlled storage and distribution centres, Brakes supplies the UK food service industry with a full range of frozen and chilled food products. 

Brakes recently replaced the cold storage refrigeration plant at its Bishop's Stortford facility with a new system from industrial cooling specialist Star Refrigeration.

The existing ammonia refrigeration plant at the site had come to the end of its operational life after 40 years. Brakes required a replacement system that would improve operating efficiency and reduce refrigerant charge. 

Focusing on these two key criteria, Star's solution was to install a 250kW capacity Azanefreezer. The high performance industrial freezer operates on a low charge of natural refrigerant ammonia and has zero global warming potential. 

Star's Azanefreezer supplies cooling to a frozen food cold store at the Brakes distribution centre. Cooling is supplied at -25ºC via two ceiling evaporators.

A modular, air-cooled refrigeration system, Azanefreezer combines high performance and reliability, with the ultimate in build quality. The energy efficient design will help Brakes to reduce running costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions for over a quarter of a century.

The refrigerant charge on Brakes' previous ammonia plant was an estimated 5,000kg. Azanefreezer has reduced the refrigerant charge to just 188kg.

Star Refrigeration's Key Account Manager - Food Market, Alex Henderson, says: "The significant reduction in refrigerant charge, coupled with zero global warming potential, has provided Brakes with the environmentally responsible solution it was looking for."

Alex Henderson adds: "Operating on natural refrigerant ammonia, Azanefreezer is exempt from current and future environmental legislation. Brakes has invested in a long term solution that will give over 25 years of reliable, energy efficient performance with low life cycle costs."

Azanefreezer is an air-cooled ammonia refrigeration plant, incorporating twin screw compressors and an air-cooled condenser. The design incorporates a unique reverse cycle defrost system to ensure a fast and efficient defrost process.

Fully packaged in a compact housing, Azanefreezer requires no plant room and site installation time is minimal. Azanefreezer has an innovative modular design, making any future system relocation straightforward.

Star has built a strong working relationship with Brakes, installing refrigeration systems in many facilities across its UK network. Star is proud to be Brakes' cooling solution specialist for refrigeration plant upgrades, new build systems and maintenance contracts.

Brakes Group Engineering Manager, Ian Hunt says: "Star Refrigeration has a long history of installing and maintaining plants for Brakes and this latest Azanefreezer represents another successful collaboration. The project follows on from our recently completed distribution centre at Newhouse, Glasgow, which in turn followed on from Warrington last year and Reading before that."