Refrigeration system design - Star Refrigeration Services


Our team of exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced engineers are dedicated to providing exactly what has been promised, on time and in budget, using the best technology available to deliver quality temperature solutions for our customers.

Star has designed and installed solutions for customers' new installations to replace old or inefficient equipment, to increase plant capacity, to future proof existing plants with sustainable solutions, and to become compliant with F-Gas regulations.

Our refrigeration system designs are proven to offer excellent efficiency ratings as well as energy and CO2 savings. They follow customer’s site specifications thoroughly, and fully adhere to technical specifications and H&S regulations.

Star's design function is compliant with the ISO 9000 quality standard and covered by the highest PED certification module, H1. Star design systems in conjunction with various compressor manufacturers, allowing us flexibility to use the optimum compressors for every project. We design all types of industrial refrigeration equipment and combine this with purchased components to ensure we provide a good solution for our customer.

We provide efficient, high quality refrigeration plant and heat pumps with a long life and we have a rigorous design process which is well proven to provide effective solutions for a wide variety of projects. Star are well known for technical innovation and the design team have vast experience applying solutions developed in house and purchased from other innovative companies to give cost effective solutions for our customers, particularly in the application of natural refrigerants such as ammonia and carbon dioxide.

All of our design engineers have been trained in house and we have a strong commitment to developing our staff and the innovation of our products, particularly to improve the efficiency of refrigeration plant. Our design team currently includes four chartered engineers and we are active members of several engineering institutes. Star has up-to-date AutoCAD and Inventor 3D drawing / design packages, along with dedicated draughtspersons to provide accurate and compatible drawings to ensure integration with other contractors. Many long standing blue chip customers appreciate the benefits Star's design expertise brings to the smooth running of their projects.


Fraser Oattes

Director of Engineering

Related Case Studies

  • James T Blakeman & Co expand production capacity with new spiral freezer system

    Star Refrigeration and its group business, Starfrost have successfully worked in collaboration to install a new Helix Spiral freezer at James T Blakeman’s Millennium Way production facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Star delivered a cost-effective, energy-efficient and future proof turnkey refrigeration solution to an extremely tight deadline and within budget.

    James T Blakeman Group is a leading manufacturer of sausage and meat products, distributing 20,000 tonnes of products per year to clients both in the UK and internationally. Enjoying an annual turnover of £39 million, James T Blakeman & Co have built up an excellent reputation for consistently-high quality products over six decades in the industry.

    An imminent increase in product demand meant that James T Blakeman required a new spiral freezer unit and accompanying refrigeration system in order to facilitate an extension of their production capacity.

    The project presented a number of challenges. Firstly, the new freezer installation was only one part of a wider upgrade to the entire facility. Secondly, with Christmas on the horizon and new orders to fulfil, James T Blakeman & Co specified that the cooling equipment need to be installed, commissioned and ready to use within 18 weeks. The manufacturer of the famous ‘Supreme Sausage’ also required production to be operational for 20 hours per day, leaving only a four-hour window for defrosting the freezer to ensure its coil are kept clear from ice build-up. Finally, there wasn’t enough water onsite to allow water defrosting.

    The customer’s strong commitment to health and safety determined that Star were to provide onsite support through the secondment of Leeds branch project manager, Luke Walsh, who was based at the Millennium Way site for the duration of the works in order to ensure successful completion of the project.

    Spiral freezer connected to R449A refrigeration system

    Star designed a bespoke solution that used all of their industry experience to deliver the best viable refrigeration solution for the customer. Benefiting from Starfrost’s niche expertise in freezing and chilling for the global food processing sector, Star provided a 50kW Helix Spiral freezer and refrigeration solution. The combined technology is capable of meeting James T Blakeman & Co’s specifications of variable freezing between 100C and -180C with a retention time of 30 minutes, allowing for optimum flexibility. The system uses refrigerant R449A which has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1,397 – well below the upper legal threshold of 2,500- and offers a cost effective, efficient and low GWP alternative that will ensure the plant remains operational for many years to come.

    Variable speed EC condenser fans were selected to reduce energy consumption during periods of lower ambient temperatures and to ensure smoother and more stable plant control. The plant also incorporates electronic expansion valves (EEVs) in order to allow the condenser pressure to vary and guarantee optimised performance all year round. To overcome the defrost challenge, Star used their  patented four-way valve technology to deliver a reverse cycle defrost, ensuring that the system would be operational for 20 hours a day.

    Philip Blakeman, Director of James T Blakeman & Co, said, “We were impressed with the quality of the service Star could provide. Their ability to offer a competitive turnkey solution which covered all the bases, alongside the onsite expertise of Luke, gave us peace of mind and allow us to continue to focus on our business operations”.

    As the project progressed, Star’s Manchester branch undertook additional responsibility for the supply, installation and commissioning of two new refrigeration systems at the production hall and loading dock areas within the factory extension. Star also assumed the role of principle contractor and designer to provide a new dehumidification system for the coldstore roof void to tackle the build up of moisture found on the insulated panels.

    Brian Littleton, Head of Projects at James T Blakeman & Co, said, “From their initial advice and expertise in designing a completely brand-new system, to the rapid installation and capability to take on additional work to ensure the project was successfully delivered, Star Refrigeration have provided an excellent service.

    “The team at Star have once again demonstrated their ability to go above and beyond our expectations and will now be helping us with the transition of all our existing R404A systems to a more environmentally-friendly alternative as well as taking on the maintenance contract for our site.”


  • BrewDog

    Star Refrigeration installs future-proof CO2 Refrigeration solution for first fully-refrigerated beer warehouse in Europe

    Star Refrigeration successfully delivered an eco-friendly CO2 refrigeration solution for a new cold storage and distribution centre at BrewDog’s recently purchased Eurocentral warehouse in Motherwell, Scotland. Star were awarded the contract after presenting the energy efficient, cost effective cooling solution to BrewDog amongst a range of bidders.

    BrewDog is a multinational craft beer company founded in Aberdeenshire in 2007. As one of the fastest growing beverage brands in the world, the Scottish brewer is constantly expanding and required a refrigerated space to store and chill their evolving range of boldly flavoured craft beers, from which to distribute to supermarkets, stores, pubs and outlets across the world. With that ambition in mind, the company purchased an 80,000m3 warehouse at the Eurocentral complex which offers unrivalled access to Scotland’s central road network.

    Having acquired the new warehouse to use as a distribution centre, BrewDog commissioned Star to deliver a brand-new plant capable of chilling to +5oC at a price that was cost-effective for the company. BrewDog also specified the use of natural refrigerants to avoid harmful F-gas solutions, thus safeguarding the site against future regulations and enhancing its overall safety and environmental credentials.

    Star was responsible for every aspect of the plant’s development from the design and supply, through to installation and commissioning. Given the proximity of Star’s branch in Bellshill just five miles away, the company was uniquely positioned to rapidly respond to BrewDog’s requirements and queries at all times.

    BrewDog are already familiar with Star Refrigeration after the company enlisted the help of Star Technical Solutions (STS) back in 2017. Star consultants determined the brewery’s current refrigeration load and spare capacity ahead of increasing production with the construction of a new £20m brewery in Ellon.  Euan Duncan, Technical sales engineer at Star Refrigeration, said, “We’re delighted to be working with BrewDog once again. Through the successful delivery of Europe’s first fully refrigerated beer warehouse, we’ve demonstrated how Star are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the refrigeration industry and helping our customers take their business to the next level.”

    The CO2 Refrigeration Solution

    Star’s proposal was based on the use of a direct expansion CO2 refrigeration system in conjunction with six off-air coolers within the chamber. The CO2 plant is designed for a duty of 480KW based upon a chamber temperature of +50C and a design ambient temperature of +300C.

    The CO2 refrigeration package is a standalone system located on the exterior of the building and connected to the coolers via pipework. It includes reciprocating compressors, an air-cooled gas cooler with variable speed fans, an interstage vessel, subcooler and electrical panel with PLC controller. Liquid CO2 from the package is supplied to coolers within the warehouse where it evaporates, removing the heat from the room, before returning to the pack as vapour. The use of CO2 means that smaller pipework can be used to distribute cooler around the facility, helping to save installation and steelwork costs.

    The pipework was fully insulated to Star’s standard specifications and feeds each of the six air coolers, which are controlled by a panel located in the adjacent ambient area. The air cooler casework has a galvanised steel finish and honeycomb air straighteners have been designed with a five degrees angle upwards, to achieve the necessary air throw and make full use of the beneficial attributes of the Vortex building.

    The advantages

    CO2 was deemed safer and more cost effective at this particular site and application. It is already present in our atmosphere and it is futureproofed against the f-gas environmental legislation. Also, itdoes not carry the hazards linked to other refrigerants such as ammonia and can directly cool the building without the addition of a secondary fluid such as glycol, which would have required a lower evaporating temperature, thus reducing efficiency.

    The reduced dimensions of the equipment involved and the lightweight nature of the coolers and pipework meant that the CO2 plant was significantly lighter and less intrusive than alternative solutions. Given the building’s structural restrictions, the limited weight impact proved to be a key USP in the eyes of BrewDog.

    Overall, Star’s solution translated into financial savings as the chosen setup resulted in a price per watt of just one pound, or around a 30% cost reduction in comparison to a traditional ammonia glycol system.

    The Outcome

    The successful design, supply, installation and commissioning of the plant offers BrewDog the capability to take full control of their beer’s temperature controlled storage and distribution, allowing them to service the craft beer industry in a manner not currently being offered by their rivals. With the plant now able to maintain optimum temperatures within the distribution centre, BrewDog’s craft beer will be delivered to the consumer without losing quality or flavour.

    Niall Murphie, Engineering Manager at BrewDog, said, “Star Refrigeration delivered an energy efficient, financially viable and environmental responsible solution. This allow us to remain uniquely placed to serve the needs of beer lovers all over the country and beyond, helping to spread our passion for craft beer to every corner of the globe”.









  • Stirling Curling Rink - UK’s first National Curling Academy


    Star has been working in the leisure industry since 1970, installing 80% of the UK’s ice rinks, curling rinks, indoor ski slopes and ice walls, including Braehead Arena where Sochi Paralympics 2014 bronze medallist Aileen Nielson trained for the competition. This experience in delivering high quality winter sports training facilities resulted in the company being approached as a consulting partner in the construction of the UK’s first National Curling Academy.

    Scotland has a long history with curling but surprisingly until recently there had been nowhere in the UK for elite curlers to train. In preparation for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, it was decided that a dedicated training facility for curling athletes was to be built in Stirling, as an extension to The Peak sports centre.

    The National Curling Academy at The Peak is launching a bid for gold as Aileen Nielson, captain of the Paralympian curling team, aims to capitalise on her bronze medal from the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    When asked about the new state of the art curling rink Paralympian Aileen Nielson, said, “For me, the quality of ice at the ice rinks I practise at is crucial to enable me to become the best curler I can be. If you have consistent ice then you are able to more accurately analyse your technique and delivery and if the ice is consistent it is one less variable to take into account. It is good to train and practice on different ice conditions but there is nothing better than training on ‘World class’ ice every day in preparation for playing at the major competitions, like Worlds, Olympics and Paralympics where you generally get top quality ice”.

    “I would like to thank Star Refrigeration for their continued support, and all the ice rinks we have used over the years. We appreciate all of the hard work by dedicated staff who are involved in producing top quality ice in order for us to be the best we can be”.

    Robertson Central East was the main contractor for the project but had no experience in ice rinks. As Star Refrigeration had installed the original ice rink at The Peak in Stirling in 2008, the organisation was approached to become the subcontractor and offer expertise and installation to deliver the premium quality ice required for the elite curling rink. Up until now, the elite curlers had to share ice at the ice rink facility before the £3.15 million Curling Academy, funded by SportScotland and Stirling Council, was built.

    Alan Walkinshaw, Special Projects Manager from Star Refrigeration said, “Scotland has always been on the map for curling, yet we have never had a dedicated training facility for our curling athletes to build on their success. This exciting development means that the UK’s curling teams can train all year round in the high quality facility to help them reach the top of their game – and hopefully bring back more medals!”

    As an extension of The Peak, the curling rink is a standalone building adjacent to the sports complex. Star was required for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a packaged refrigeration unit and glycol pump assembly. Engineers designed and installed the curling rink floor and interconnected warm and cold pipe circuits. Having never built an ice rink, Robertson Central East needed to work with a trustworthy and reliable contractor with experience in ice facilities.

    David Cairns, managing director of Robertson Central East, said: “Stirling is Robertson Group’s headquarters so it was a particular pleasure to work on such a major project on our doorstep. The construction phase went smoothly and I’m sure that those who use the National Curling Academy will enjoy the high-quality facility for a long time to come.

    “We specially appreciate our partnership with Star Refrigeration. Their exceptional knowledge and vast experience in the leisure and ice market were fundamental to delivering a highly efficient, low carbon, first class facility on time and budget”.

    Star suggested the use of an air cooled package with Azanechiller 2.0. The equipment selection was ideal for the project because there was no need for a large chiller plant room, and the natural refrigerant meant it was an energy efficient, eco-friendly option as well as future proofed against the F-gas regulation.

    The EcoDesign compliant National Curling Academy’s Azanechiller 2.0 breaks energy efficiency standards with a Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio (SEPR) of 4.28, which is 66% higher than the Minimum Energy Performance Standards set by the Eco-Design Directive. The EcoDesign Directive has the potential to save end-users millions of pounds on energy bills and will have a great impact on cutting carbon emissions to achieve Europe's 80% carbon reduction targets by 2050.

    The National Curling Academy’s Azanechiller 2.0 offers a coefficient of performance (COP) which is 62% higher than competing HFC screw chillers and 42% higher than alternative low carbon refrigerants. In terms of the impact on carbon emissions and life cycle costs, this results in a 700 tonne and £241,000 saving respectively after 20 years.

    The Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sports, Aileen Campbell, said, “As our Paralympic curling team competes in PyeongChang, they go with the confidence of having had a high quality preparation in world class facilities, and that they have given themselves the best chance of success. This is thanks to the support and hard work of the National Curling Academy and Star Refrigeration.”

    “Scotland is committed to sport being accessible to all, and seeing our para athletes compete on the world stage is powerful inspiration to anybody who wants to participate and achieve their goals.”

    This joint project has had a transformative effect on the training facilities for elite curlers, who now have their own dedicated facility for year round practice. We wish them the best of luck in PyeongChang!

  • Sabic UK Petrochemicals

    As Europe’s leading producer of petrochemicals, SABIC UK demands the highest quality equipment on the market. This ensures that the product is of exceptional quality, as well as enforcing the safety of staff and site visitors. 

    The RBS Butadiene Plant in Wilton is one of SABIC’s 13 world class petrochemical production sites. The company’s existing refrigeration plant is 35 years old and in order to replace and bring it into line with the R22 phase out, which came into force last month – January 2015 – SABIC recruited Star Refrigeration.

    After preliminary consultancy work with STS, a plan was developed to install a bespoke system which completely replaced the existing R22 plant. However, when the total project costs were evaluated, a fully bespoke scheme proved expensive. Star Refrigeration embarked on a mission to produce a lower cost solution using modular package design chillers to meet the process cooling requirements. SABIC trusted Star to keep costs to a minimum and ensure a smooth transition to efficient and low carbon refrigeration systems.

    Jon Hetherington, SABIC Project Group Manager said, “After reviewing the initial total replacement plan, we decided that the costs were simply too high. We started to look for alternative solutions and Star’s modular package project looked attractive. As well as using premium quality equipment, the company enjoys a strong industry reputation which gave us confidence that we were working with one of the most reliable suppliers in the business.”

    As part of the upgrade, Star installed 3 off 193KW ammonia Azanechillers to cool 40% w/w ethylene glycol from –9oC to –14oC. The air-cooled Azanechillers are configured to operate in series for maximum efficiency, actively cooling the glycol supplied to the butadiene process heat exchangers.

    For SABIC, this innovative approach represented a range of benefits. One of the major benefits was the significantly lower cost compared to initial quotes for a fully customised system. The new modular design of the Azanechiller offers improved efficiency and reliability, while the first rate equipment immediately boosts the longevity of the plant, as does the low change ammonia technology employed.

    The use of natural refrigerant ammonia has also future proofed the Wilton RBS Butadiene Plant and brought it into line with governmental law. The conscientious decision of using natural refrigerants cements the company’s status as a responsible manufacturer of “the chemistry that makes things possible.”

    While this particular project was unique, it wasn’t the first time that Star has worked with SABIC. The leading industrial refrigeration and heating supplier has previously supplied a propylene refrigeration system for the SABIC Ethylene Liquefaction Plant at North Tees. The project was a great success, which gave SABIC reassurance that they were enlisting the help of a tried and tested company. 

    Star is currently offering SABIC a three year maintenance contract, which will ensure that the new modular design Azanechiller system continues to perform at its best. 

    In the future, Star hopes to continue to work with SABIC UK Petrochemicals and help the company to maintain its status as Europe’s leading polyethylene and polypropylene business.

  • Supply Chain Specialist

    Star Refrigeration has supplied a dual temperature cooling system as part of a warehouse conversion project for a leading European supply chain specialist.

    The logistics provider was looking to convert an existing empty warehouse at its site in Hertfordshire into a temperature controlled food and beverage storage and distribution facility. The client required an energy efficient cooling system for cold and chill stores within the building, using environmentally conscious natural refrigerants.

    Working on behalf of the building contractor, Star supplied a bespoke ammonia refrigeration plant to meet both frozen and chill requirements within the new facility. Star completed the fast track project in less than six months from order placement.

    A world leader in cooling and heating system innovation, Star designed, built, installed and commissioned a two-stage pumped circulation ammonia refrigeration plant for the facility. Located in a plant room adjacent to the warehouse building, the system has an overall capacity of 2,224kW including cooling for the cold store, chill store and loading bay areas.

    The existing ambient warehouse was fitted out with a 9,000 sq m frozen chamber operating at -25°C and a 5,000 sq m chill chamber operating at +2°C. Cooling is delivered to the chambers via evaporators located along one wall of the facility. These discharge air 120 metres across the store towards the vehicle loading docks.

    Star Refrigeration’s Director of Sales – Food Market, James Ward, says: “This project confirms our continued ability to deliver innovative bespoke solutions to exactly match customer requirements. The plant provides optimum efficiency and uses an environmentally benign refrigerant in terms of global warming and ozone depletion.”

    The refrigeration plant features two low stage, two high stage and one ‘swing’ screw compressor, low temperature and high temperature surge drums and two evaporative condensers. Star’s Telstar PLC computerised control system ensures optimum performance, with HMI touch screen interface.

    Star’s energy efficient design package includes high efficiency compressor drive motors, Aether condenser fan inverter controller and intelligent compressor/cooler controls. Star also provided underfloor heating for the frozen chamber with oil circuit heat recovery. In addition, Star designed and installed a rainwater harvesting system for the evaporative condensers, making use of an existing water storage tank.

    When it comes to designing energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star is a natural innovator. Star works with strategic partners across the globe to deliver low carbon, cost saving solutions.

  • The Ice Factor

    The Ice Factor, based at Kinlochleven in the West Highlands of Scotland opened on Saturday 27th December 2003. What makes this new climbing centre special is its ice-climbing wall, the largest indoor facility of its type in the world. With a 15m high ice wall, covering an area of approximately 800m2 The Ice Factor aims to provide the winter climbing enthusiast with all the experiences that they might find in the open, but without the 2 hour walk-in to find the right bit of ice. In a controlled and safe environment, beginners can cut their teeth and experts hone their technique.

    The Ice Cave, as the low temperature area of the facility is called, includes features such as Pillar Ice, a Neve Wall, the Fall out Gully and The Ledge. The ice-climbing wall has been designed and installed by Star Refrigeration, in conjunction with Entre-Prises, a leading designer and installer of artificial climbing walls.

    Jamie Smith, the MD, founder and majority shareholder of the Ice Factor first set his mind to the problem of how people could be taught winter climbing in a safe environment after witnessing a tragic accident whilst ice climbing in the Scottish Highlands.

    Over 10 years and a casual chat with an MBA colleague later, Jamie has now launched this major leisure development which, within the first month of opening, had attracted virtually all the UK's top 100 climbers through its doors.

    Jamie first seriously considered the project in 1989 and he chose the site following a mountaineering trip above the Mamore Mountains. "I was descending into Kinlochleven on the Devil's Staircase section of the West Highland Way and saw the building. It was formerly part of the aluminium smelter, but looked perfect for a climbing centre."

    A chance discussion after an MBA lecture with classmate Dave Pearson, who worked for Star Refrigeration, revealed that Dave's father is Professor Forbes Pearson, a world-renowned expert on refrigeration engineering. Jamie then met with the design team at Star Refrigeration and that laid the foundations for how real ice and snow could be created in a controlled environment.

    Simulating what nature provides is actually extremely difficult. A process of repeat "freeze/thaw" achieves the best climbing conditions on the ice wall. This process is bolstered by the surface of the rock being frozen and water/snow freezing hard on the surface. Recreating this process takes a number of separate steps.

    Under the floor of the ice room is around 15m of concrete to hold the massive weight of the ice. The floor also carries a heat membrane to prevent the ice breaking into the foundations of the building. The entire room is insulated with a single piece panel, essentially building a gigantic fridge.

    The room is laid out in a steel frame to support the weight/loads of the climbing walls. The steel frame then has rebar (as for motorway construction) overlaid. This is shaped to form the arretes, edges, gully features etc. A maze of coolant pipes is laid behind the rebar. This piping carries the industrial glycol coolant, which allows the operator to cool the room rapidly. It can bring the temperature down to -10ºC.

    Concrete is sprayed over the top of the pipes/rebar. This gives additional strength and provides an excellent surface to which the ice can adhere. The industrial coolants and fans provide the temperature flexibility to create "real" ice/snow/frozen turf/neve.

    For the ice wall cooling, Star Refrigeration designed and built a customised low-pressure received chiller unit incorporating two semi-hermetic screw compressors, a plate heat exchanger evaporator and surge vessel operating on R404A refrigerant. The unit has a total refrigeration duty of 100kW and is cooling ethylene glycol from -8ºC to -10ºC.

    For the room cooling system, Star Refrigeration designed and supplied a skid mounted condensing unit, providing 38 kW of cooling capacity and operating on R404A refrigerant. The refrigerant is fed to a DX air cooler mounted in The Ice Cave. Both units reject heat to atmosphere via air-cooled condensers.

    "Other companies had tried wood or artificial walls for ice climbing," said Jamie. "No solution was ideal, but on a snowboarding trip to Vermont I saw roadside, low level ice climbs to an extremely high standard. People were having all the fun of ice climbing without the imminent danger of death the Scottish scene is associated with - and that's what I wanted to develop."

    "It is safe to say that without Star Refrigeration, the Ice Factor would have never happened - they possess not only an incredible skill set for all things to do with refrigeration, but an overt passion for problem solving."

    "Those two skills of knowledge and passion have ensured that we've built the world's biggest indoor ice wall, in Scotland, with Scottish technology - wonderful!"

    Star is recognised as the leading UK authority in the field of refrigeration for ice and leisure applications, having designed and installed more than 70% of the UK's ice rinks in the past 30 years. In addition, it has designed and built the iceberg attraction at the Dynamic Earth centre in Edinburgh, the Deep Exhibition attraction in Hull and the ice effects for Aston Martin at the 2002 Motor Show in the NEC, Birmingham.

    Star and Entre-Prises had designed and installed ice-climbing walls for Tiso Outdoor Equipment in Glasgow and for Bever, a Dutch retailer of outdoor and climbing equipment, based in Den Haag, before carrying out the Ice Factor project. This project is different from the previous ones in scale and the levels of complexity that it offers those climbing on it.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK's largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems. The company offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant.

    Established in Glasgow in 1970, Star has over 250 employees nationwide and provides fast response 24-hour technical support from a network of nine branches to customers throughout the UK.

    Star's technical advisory arm, Star Technical Solutions (STS), operates as an independent consultancy providing advice on refrigeration engineering issues. Star also owns food freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost, as well as mechanical and electrical contractors Penec.

  • Peter's Foods

    Peter’s Food Service has boosted production capacity and cut running costs by investing in another energy efficient cooling system from Star Refrigeration.

    Established for over 30 years, Peter’s Food Service is a food manufacturing and distribution specialist. The company supplies quality chilled foods to major supermarkets, retailers and wholesalers across the UK. Its product range includes pies, pasties and sausage rolls, packaged under the Peter’s brand.

    Peter’s Food Service was looking to replace two spiral chillers and associated refrigeration plant at its manufacturing facility at Bedwas in Gwent, South Wales. The company required a modern, energy efficient chilling system that would also enable it to achieve an increase in production capacity on two lines.

    The lines affected produce a range of chilled pies in foil including minced beef, steak and kidney and chicken and mushroom, as well as Cornish pasties, cheese and onion pasties and corned beef pasties.

    Star Refrigeration was tasked to undertake the project for Peter’s Food Service. It forms the latest in a long line of projects completed by Star to meet the company’s refrigeration and air conditioning requirements. Star is a key supplier of cooling solutions for the UK food industry.

    Star worked in conjunction with freezing and chilling equipment manufacturer Starfrost on this recent project. It demonstrates another successful joint venture for the two firms, since Starfrost was acquired by Star in 2004.

    Star Refrigeration Sales Director Rob Lamb says: “This latest project for Peter’s Food Service demanded a fast track programme from system design through to delivery. Our engineering team worked closely with Starfrost to ensure minimal
    equipment downtime. We also ensured adjacent food production areas remained operational during the installation phase, completing work on time and to budget.”

    Star designed and installed a separate refrigeration system for each of the two new Starfrost Helix Spiral Chillers at Peter’s Food Service. The previous chilling system operated on the gas refrigerant R22, which is currently undergoing a phase out programme. The new plant operates on R404a, a modern gas refrigerant.

    The refrigeration plant features duplex screw compressors, Low Pressure Receiver (LPR) units and remote evaporative condensers. A reverse cycle defrost facility ensures a fast and efficient defrosting process. The system is engineered to operate with a low refrigerant charge for energy efficiency. Its simple design also helps to reduce maintenance costs.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation,
    commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems. The company offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant.

  • R Y Henderson

    Cooling solutions specialist Star Refrigeration has completed work at a brand new state-of-the-art abattoir for one of Scotland’s largest beef and lamb processors.

    Based in Linlithgow, West Lothian, R Y Henderson produces a full range of bone-in and boneless primal meat cuts. Its customer base includes food service distributors, multiples, caterers, retailers and major manufacturers across the UK and Channel Islands.

    R Y Henderson has been producing top quality meat including beef, lamb and pork for more than 50 years. All livestock are sourced, slaughtered and processed through the company’s own abattoir. In 2005 the company announced exciting expansion plans and construction work began on a new abattoir development – the first greenfield new build in Scotland for 25 years.

    In order to meet the 65,000 sq ft facility’s post-slaughter refrigeration requirements, R Y Henderson sought expert advice from Star, a key supplier of cooling solutions for the UK food industry. Star was commissioned to design, build and install an industrial refrigeration system, in a contract valued at over half a million pounds.

    Star designed an innovative and environmentally conscious refrigeration plant with evaporative condenser to boost energy efficiency. The provision of waste heat recovery from the plant’s oil cooling circuit is capable of meeting 50% of the facility’s wash down and hot water requirements.

    The ammonia central chilling system features pumped propylene glycol as secondary refrigerant. Glycol is distributed through a network of pipes to 13 coolers, which serve various post-slaughter and meat production chill areas. In post-slaughter chill areas, air is distributed directly at the meat carcasses via a sock system to aid the cooling process. The primary ammonia refrigerant is confined to plant room areas to reduce risk.

    Star worked in conjunction with R Y Henderson and its project team to meet the challenging installation programme. The installation of the refrigeration plant has enabled R Y Henderson to boost production at the new facility to meet increased orders.

    R Y Henderson has invested over £6million in the new abattoir and processing plant. It was officially opened by HRH Princess Anne in September 2006.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s leading independent refrigeration engineering company. Established in Glasgow in 1970, Star has over 250 employees nationwide, providing technical support at 11 locations across the UK.

  • RHM Group

    Star Refrigeration has completed two major projects for businesses within the RHM group, confirming its position as a key supplier of cooling solutions for the UK food industry.

    RHM is one of the largest food companies in the UK and Ireland, with over 50 European manufacturing sites. The company manufactures some of the leading brands in bread, cakes and groceries and supplies own label products for major retail customers.

    Star recently completed work on flagship refrigeration engineering projects at RHM’s Charnwood Foods site in Leicester and Avana Bakeries, Newport. The two refrigeration contracts were valued at over £2.2M in total. Star is currently working alongside a number of businesses within the RHM group to develop further specifications for energy efficient and cost effective cooling solutions.

    The Charnwood Foods and Avana Bakeries projects included ammonia refrigeration plants to serve Starfrost spiral freezers and chillers on both sites. As a natural refrigerant, ammonia is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. A low charge ammonia system is widely recognised as highly suited to food processing environments.

    Star also designed and installed a number of air cooled chiller packages. These supply cooling to process areas at Charnwood Foods and provide comfort cooling and product conditioning at the Avana Bakeries facility. A series of direct expansion (DX) refrigeration plants for cold stores and chill rooms were also included on both contracts.

    Star Refrigeration’s National Key Account Manager James Ward says: “Both projects required a range of cost effective and highly energy efficient refrigeration systems. Our engineering team worked closely with each client to develop cooling solutions that deliver best value and maximum operational efficiency.”

    Charnwood Foods manufactures pizza bases for one of the UK’s leading pizza restaurant and delivery chains. Over the past year the company has extended its manufacturing site in Leicester, doubling production capacity to meet increased customer demand. A range of cost effective and energy efficient refrigeration plants were central to the new manufacturing facility.

    Commenting on the completion of the refrigeration contract, Managing Director of Charnwood Foods Richard Cooper says: “Star’s expertise and the equipment installed has complemented other investment that has been made at Charnwood Foods. We have been able to make significant technical advancements in how we manufacture our product. We believe it is important to invest in new technology to make the business more competitive. It is equally important to work with business partners that deliver against their promise. Star has achieved both these key success criteria.”

    Avana Bakeries produces a wide range of cakes and desserts including famous name brands and own label products for major retailers. Earlier this year, a £21million regeneration project was completed at the company’s manufacturing site near Rogerstone, South Wales. It was vital that new refrigeration systems were efficient in operation and provided the company with the flexibility to process a wide range of products.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems. The company offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant.

    Established in Glasgow in 1970, Star has over 250 employees nationwide and provides fast response 24-hour technical support from a network of nine branches to customers throughout the UK.

    Star's technical advisory arm, Star Technical Solutions (STS), operates as an independent consultancy providing advice on refrigeration engineering issues. Star also owns food freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost, as well as mechanical and electrical contractors Penec.

  • Shetland Catch

    Clibberswick, Burrafirth and Caldback sound as if they could be somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales, home of James Herriott, Nora Batty and Emmerdale. If you thought so, think again, for they are over 500 miles further north, and halfway to Norway. They are on the tiny island of Ulva, and for their inhabitants the town of Lerwick in the Shetlands represents the fleshpots of the south. For the rest of us Lerwick is so far north it needs to be dragged into a special box in the corner of the weather forecast. While it may be remote, it is certainly not a backwater, as recent developments at Shetland Catch Ltd in Gremista, just outside Lerwick, can testify.

    The deep inshore waters, which made Orkney and Shetland home to the Scapa Flow fleet and more recently to the oilmen of Sullum Voe, allow trawlers like MV Serene and MV Adenia II (pictured) to berth right alongside the new Shetland Catch factory on the quayside.

    The recent factory expansion, involving a £9.5m investment in buildings and plant, has increased blast freezing capacity from 200 tonnes per day up to over 750 tonnes per day, and the total daily throughput, including plate-frozen filleted and whole fish, is in excess of 1000 tonnes. "This is probably the largest pelagic factory anywhere in the world," said Derek Leask, Shetland Catch’s Managing Director, at the opening ceremony.

    For the opening ceremony, on the 18th of August, the sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky, giving no indication of the additional difficulties, which had been posed by the weather through the project. Even in the summer months, flight delays of several hours owing to sea mist were common, and on a few occasions engineers flew all the way from Aberdeen, only to be turned back on final approach as the fog rolled in.

    Shetland Catch is a joint venture between the Lerwick Port Authority, the Shetland Fish Producers Organisation, Jaytee Seafoods and Whalsay Fish, and it provides processing facilities to the pelagic fleet based around Shetland. Unlike cod and haddock, pelagic fish (herring and mackerel) are still plentiful in these waters, but until now much of the catch had to be landed and processed in Norway. Most of the factory’s output goes overseas, with up to 50% destined for Nigeria and much of the rest shared between Russia and Japan.

    The strategic importance of the new facility is that it is now large enough to accommodate two trawlers at once. As they often fish in pairs, and otherwise would have to seek separate ports to offload their catch, twin processing in Lerwick can save up to four days sailing time from a twelve day voyage. This is highly valuable to the ship owners and crews, but also to the processors and their clients.

    Like many other food processes, the fishing industry is highly seasonal. Shetland Catch work the herring season, which runs from 1st July to mid-September, and the mackerel season, from 1st October until mid March. Plant reliability is imperative, for if the system does not work in season the fish will not wait and huge amounts of product will be lost. Access for site work is also, by definition, seasonal; strictly confined to the short periods between fishing.

    Working with Shetland Catch and Dr Mike Hewitt of Cuillin Refrigeration Services, Star Refrigeration developed a project plan which enabled the fourfold increase in capacity to be achieved without loss of processing time, but also enabled the existing plant to be upgraded to current technical standards and integrated into the new system.

    The green light for the project was given on 21st December 2000, and the New Year started with a frantic design and fabrication process, ready for the site start on 1st April. The amount of new construction and pipe installation work required for the project made it impossible to complete everything for the herring deadline, so the agreed plan was to retain the existing 200 tonnes/day plant from 1st July. On 1st August the new plant was introduced, giving 520 tonnes/day, and the existing system was shut down for transfer onto the new central plant. This transfer, including all piping, wiring and control modifications was completed in fourteen days, just in time for the project’s opening ceremony, which was attended by guests from all round the world.

    To achieve detailed design and construction in such a short timescale, Shetland Catch short circuited the usual tender bid process, cutting an estimated two to three months from the total programme. Star provided detailed costs for all elements on an open book basis as the design was developed, and this close correlation of detailed design and budget planning enabled several cost savings to be identified and implemented, even after the design was well underway. Once the design was finalised the price was agreed and the contract then proceeded along traditional "fixed price" lines. "This gave the whole process the kick start that it needed," said Star’s Sales Director, David Blackhurst. "With the knowledge gained from other recent projects we also evaluated a cascade system based on carbon dioxide. A brief feasibility study conducted over the Christmas/New Year holiday showed that while the costs looked attractive, we were less certain about achieving the tight timescales. We therefore were able to start back after the break fully committed to the traditional two-stage ammonia plant design."

    There are ten blast freezer chambers, each roughly 100m2 in plan and 6m high, and the evaporators are fed from a common surge drum located outside, at the end of the freezer hall. The existing plant used three Grasso packages, each with a booster and high stage screw compressor on a common baseplate. This configuration is becoming quite common but to meet the increased duty a further seven packages of the same size would have been required. It was quickly decided that this was not economic, and so Grasso were asked to look at larger packages instead. The new skids, the largest of this type ever built by Grasso, use thecolossal Gamma compressor with a suction swept volume of 4,900m3/h.

    Four of these monsters, together with the three existing packages, provide a total installed capacity of 5,400kW at –40°C suction pressure. Each screw compressor is controlled by a Simatic PLC, and these are linked to the latest generation of Star’s TELSTAR control system. This provides full colour graphics and data logging for the entire system, and links by modem for remote monitoring.

    It was easy to incorporate the existing compressors into the new SCADA system once a few minor modifications were made to the older PLCs. As the new system uses Echelon processors on a LONworks network it is also ideal for future expansion, just in case four million herring per day turns out to be insufficient for world demand.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems.

    Star offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant. Established in Glasgow in 1970, the company provides fast response 24-hour technical support from a network of nine branches to customers throughout the UK.

    Star's technical advisory arm, Star Technical Solutions (STS), operates as an independent consultancy providing advice on refrigeration engineering issues. Star also owns food freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost, as well as mechanical and electrical contractors Penec.