More than five years after becoming the first cold-storage operator to install an Evapcold low-charge ammonia/NH3 (R717) system from US OEM Evapco, David Bornemeier announced his satisfaction with the system to the world in a post on LinkedIn last November.
“These units support the nation’s cold food supply chain here in Utah, they run more energy efficient by doing MORE with WAY LESS refrigerant (using natural ammonia refrigerant!), they decrease our [pollution] insurance costs, they’re exactly what we asked for and continue to perform day in, and day out,” wrote Bornemeier, President and Chief Financial Officer of Western Gateway Cold Storage, based in Ogden, Utah. “I sleep easy as an owner and my warehouse engineer has much less stress and concern day to day. I wanted to pass along a special Thank You to my Evapco peeps out there … You have a happy customer :)”
In July 2016, Western Gateway Cold Storage opened a new 30,000ft2 (2,787m2) cold storage facility where it installed two Evapcold units, each containing 290lbs (131.5kg) of ammonia and providing 70TR (246.2kW) of cooling down to -25°F (-31.7°C). A fluid cooler supplying a glycol/water mix is located next to each unit. Western Gateway’s total cooling load is 100TR (351.7kW), so the units offer redundancy.
Because the two Evapcold units resides on the roof, Western Gateway has been able to use floor space to produce ice for retail sale in a separate business called Mountain Brand Ice since 2014. “The ice is flowing and we’ve been routinely taking over market share from our competition here in Utah,” said Bornemeier.
Exceeding efficiency projection
In 2018, at the ATMOsphere America conference (organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of Ammonia21.com), Bornemeier said in a panel discussion that the Evapcold system delivered higher efficiency than the original amount projected in 2016 (which was 20% more than that of a conventional ammonia system). In a recent communication, he confirmed that this has continued to be the case. The original energy projection for the system earned him a $60,000 energy incentive from Rocky Mountain Power.
In terms of maintenance, Western Gateway has not experienced any ammonia leaks with the Evapcold units, said Bornemeier. Overall, because of its small footprint any issues – such as one with defrost – have been easily dealt with by consulting with Evapco, which has remote access to the system, or in coordination with a local refrigeration contractor.” Over its more than five-year lifetime, the units have had “less than a handful of days [in] down time,” he noted.
“It is always VITAL that we meet our customers’ deadlines and temperature requirements,” said Bornemeier in his LinkedIn post. “Then and now, we’ve met EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. in our company’s mission to keep our customers’ product SAFE. CLEAN. COLD.”
“I sleep easy as an owner and my warehouse engineer has much less stress and concern day to day.”David Bornemeier, Western Gateway Cold Storage
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