Glacier - High Efficiency Cooling - Star Refrigeration

Features of the Glacier unit comprise of:

  • High efficiency screw compressor with variable Vi
  • High efficiency aluminium evaporator
  • Optional reverse cycle defrost
  • Critically charged ammonia refrigeration system with <25% charge of traditional solutions
  • Evaporative condenser sized for rapid freezer pull down
  • Automatic PLC control with option for remote plant monitoring


Refrigerant type

Ammonia is produced by biological processes, is naturally decomposed, and does not add to the global greenhouse effect.

Benefits of the Glacier unit include:

  • Complete inline cooling solution with Glacier and Starfrost spiral
  • Single order placement
  • Dual frozen and chill operation
  • Low refrigerant charge
  • No plantroom required
  • All service valves inside the Glacier package for ease of maintenance
  • Simple site installation
  • Natural, future proof refrigerant solution with 20+ year life expectancy
  • Fast freezing times

Glacier Case Studies

  • Proper Cornish

    Proper Cornish is the UK’s leading handmade pasty manufacturer and supplier of food products including sausage rolls, pies, and the Cornish pasties where they get their name. The company was looking to replace an aging refrigeration system using R22 at their factory in Bodmin, Cornwall.

    The handmade Cornish pasty makers were looking for a solution that would increase the amount of produce passing through their refrigeration processing site and secure the business operations for the long term with a brand new installation and the use of efficient, natural refrigerants.

    The new system requirements included F-Gas compliance, high efficiency and minimal life cycle costs. Also, the existing food processing capacity of the freezing system was limited and it was critical that the new replacement unit could meet the requirement for increased produce demand.

    John Lane, Project Manager at Proper Cornish, said, “We recognised the need to upgrade our current refrigeration solution to comply with all relevant legislation on refrigerant phase outs and HFCs restrictions. It was crucial to us that the new system was able to accommodate the business’ expansion plans and increase in demand for the next two decades. Star Refrigeration supplied an excellent solution that we feel meets all the criteria to secure an ultra-efficient operation with reduced energy and maintenance costs in the long-term.”

    In a competitive tender with other refrigeration contractors, Star’s Glacier solution was proven to be 25% more efficient than the next best inline freezer alternative and provided a lower running cost per tonne of product. 

    Instead of using R22, Star installed a complete refrigeration package, providing -400C ammonia to a Starfrost spiral freezer with a cooling capacity of 278 KW to accommodate the increased throughput. With dual-purpose freeze/chill, the “all in one” package unit, containing an LPR unit, a condenser and a spiral freezer, was configured to be installed with minimal disruption to existing site operation.

    There was no requirement for plant room as the compact footprint LPR cooling system was externally housed, adjacent to the spiral freezer with all pipe and electrical connections between the two pieces of equipment commissioned together to reduce installation time and costs. 

    For the food wholesaler, this unique approach represented a range of benefits. James Ward, Director of Sales – Food Market at Star Refrigeration, said, “Combining a spiral freezer and a low charge ammonia refrigeration plant into one complete package offered Proper Cornish access to the most efficient and competitively priced solution available in the market today.”

    “The use of high quality industrial components will secure the business operation for another 25 years and also ensure that maintenance costs are kept to a minimum over the life of the system.” 

    “The Glacier features Star’s patented Reverse Cycle Defrost (RCD) system – currently the only solution to offer this – defrosts in only 30 minutes, which allows maximum production time (20+ hours), and reduces the customer’s energy bill.” 

    “The system is safer to run than a traditional ammonia system since the low-pressure receiver allows a very low refrigerant charge, equivalent to only ¼ of the charge of a pump circulation system. It also provides an ultra efficient operation. The choice of the highly efficient, natural refrigerant ammonia will free Proper Cornish from future environmental legislation burdens.”

    As with Star, Proper Cornish prides itself in creating long-lasting partnerships with its customers, for whom they have developed hundreds of products over the years. While it is the first time Star Refrigeration has had the opportunity to work with the food manufacturer, the success of the installation is expected to strengthen the new relationship, which will begin with a 12 month maintenance contract from Star’s local South West team.

    In addition, to guarantee Proper Cornish receives an airtight solution, Star’s consultancy arm Star Technical Solutions carried out comprehensive DSEAR and WSE assessments to ensure the company meets legal and insurance requirements.

  • Blakeman replaces R404a with eco-friendly ammonia system

    James T Blakeman & Co is a meat wholesaler and manufacturer of the famous “Supreme Sausage.” Recognised as a leading supplier of cooked sausage and meat products to the ready meal and contract cooking markets, the company was searching for a replacement for their existing R404A system, which is being phased out under recent changes to environmental legislation over the next 15 years. 

    Star Refrigeration helped the sausage manufacturing company upgrade their existing refrigeration system, futureproof their factory and increase energy efficiency at their production site in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

    James T Blakeman & Co’s recognition of more climate friendly alternatives that perform to a higher standard was one of the driving factors behind the replacement of R404a – a widely used refrigerant accounting for 46% of worldwide F-Gases – for ammonia, which has zero global warming and ozone depleting potential. 

    With an overriding commitment to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, James T Blakeman was looking to achieve long-term sustainability and at the same time avoid future increases in HFC refrigerant costs, linked to a decline in their availability.

    In conjunction with Starfrost, one of the Star Group of Companies, Star Refrigeration introduced and installed a new inverter driven Glacier GP2 and spiral freezer system which ensures the continued freezing of cooked sausages for James T Blakeman.

    Kevin Moller, Factory Manager at James T Blakeman & Co, said, “The spiral freezer/chiller system features a stainless steel dual conveyor belt around a single rotating drum, with 28 tiers in total. The dual twin belt with additional side guards allows us to process multiple products simultaneously, giving increased flexibility to the processing line. The product belts also have a stainless steel interior panel, which offers a more hygienic, easy to clean solution.”

    “Our spiral system has been designed to maximise uptime and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. In addition, the temperature control and unique airflow is specially designed for our delicate products, such as skin on sausages, ensuring product quality is maintained for our customers.”

    Star Refrigeration and Starfrost offered a turnkey solution for the sausage manufacturer, installing a zero carbon ammonia plant rated at 159kw at - 42°C SST. The product throughput of the spiral is 900kg per hour of cooked sausage, at an inlet of 85°C and discharging of -18°C. One of the key benefits of this upgrade was energy efficiency. The Glacier uses ammonia, which besides being a naturally occurring gas which has zero GWP for a real eco boost, it is a highly efficient and low-cost refrigerant. In fact, it is 25% more efficient than its HFCs counterparts.

    Phillip Blakeman, Managing Director of James T Blakeman & Co, said, “As an existing customer of Star Refrigeration, we already know the company can provide excellent service levels. We have trusted Star with other installations and aftercare solutions, and they have proven to be highly reliable.”

     “We’re very satisfied with the smooth running of the installation and the post-commissioning process. The new solution has offered us security for the future and we feel it has met all the criteria specified.” 

    The food manufacturers’ power reduction requirements were met by installing an inverter to eliminate high spikes when starting the motor. This resulted in energy savings for the Newcastle based meat company. Kevin Fieldsend, Sales Manager – Food at Star Refrigeration, says, “The project with James T Blakeman & Co has been very successful. We replaced their old system with a solid, energy efficient and environmentally conscious solution that will ensure the performance 

    of the production site for at least another 20 years. Star offered a one point of contact solution to cover all their requirements, which resulted in a straightforward and cost effective job.”

    Independent specialist consultants Star Technical Solutions (STS), a business of Star Refrigeration, were the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) coordinators. 

    STS Director David Blackhurst said, “We are pleased with the overall process. All parts involved delivered on time and on budget. The customer has received a robust solution, which includes site training for operators, as well as Ammonia Hazard Risk Assessment (pre and post project) and Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) to ensure legal compliance of the business.”

    Star Refrigeration’s long-standing relationship with the “Supreme Sausage” manufacturer is down to understanding the strict demands of a company with a reputation for consistent high quality produce. Star have worked with the wholesaler on other projects, including a central ammonia plant serving two more spiral freezers and a single spiral freezer, and maintenance contracts including ongoing maintenance for the new installation to ensure the refrigeration plant remains reliable and efficient.