GEA Supplies Two-Stage Ammonia Refrigeration System for U.K.’s Tallest Cold Storage Facility

GEA Supplies Two-Stage Ammonia Refrigeration System for U.K.’s Tallest Cold Storage Facility

The system at the new Magnavale cold storage facility will consist of three screw compressors and three reciprocating compressors from GEA. (Source: Magnavale)
The system at the new Magnavale cold storage facility will consist of three screw compressors and three reciprocating compressors from GEA. (Source: Magnavale)

German OEM GEA is supplying a two-stage ammonia (R717)-based refrigeration system for the U.K.’s tallest cold storage facility, which is expected to be operational from late 2024, according to a statement from the manufacturer. The site, in Easton, Lincolnshire, will be 47m (154.2ft) tall once completed.

Magnavale, the site’s owner, also hopes to make it the most efficient cold storage facility in Europe. It will be fully automated and powered completely by renewable energy, it said.

The 15,000m2 (161,458ft2) facility will have the capability to reach -28°C (-18.4°F) and will have 101,000 pallet positions for a variety of frozen food products like fish and ice cream. The new building will also include two floors for “value added services.”

‘Tailored solution’

GEA worked with Magnavale to develop a “tailored solution” to meet the unique needs of the new cold storage facility, including an optimized circulation rate.

“GEA performed in-house computational fluid dynamics simulations to illustrate the air flow and temperature profile within the high-bay cold store based on the cold lake [design] principle,” explained the manufacturer. “This helped demonstrate the effectiveness and superior efficiency the GEA solution offered compared to a conventional cold store design.”

The system consists of three screw compressors (which will act as the low-stage booster compressors), three Grasso V-series reciprocating compressors and three condensers. Ten air coolers will be installed in the high-bay refrigerated warehouse and 22 in the 20-bay loading area.

The three condensers on the roof of the cold storage facility’s plant room. (Source: Magnavale)
The three condensers on the roof of the cold storage facility’s plant room. (Source: Magnavale)

According to GEA, the ammonia system was designed to maximize the cold storage facility’s cooling efficiency under both part- and full-load operation. The former is largely thanks to the enhanced COP of the manufacturer’s reciprocating compressors at partial load.

“As part of a framework agreement, GEA will supply refrigeration technology for other Magnavale high-bay warehouses being built in the future,” it said.

The manufacturer has extensive experience providing “modern and energy-efficient refrigeration technology” for cold storage facilities around the world, it added.

“GEA performed in-house computational fluid dynamics simulations to illustrate the air flow and temperature profile within the high-bay cold store based on the cold lake [design] principle. This helped demonstrate the effectiveness and superior efficiency the GEA solution offered compared to a conventional cold store design.”

GEA

Net zero ambitions

Magnavale is one of the U.K.’s largest specialists in temperature-controlled food storage and has more than 30 years’ experience in the sector.

The company has said that it aims to be “the greenest provider of temperature-controlled storage and added value services in the U.K.,” and has made “substantial technological upgrades to their network” as a part of its ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) strategy and their path towards a net-zero future.

“Combined with the development of their new facility in Easton, the improvement of its existing facilities puts Magnavale firmly on that path,” explained GEA.

In addition to its Easton site, which already consists of a facility with 44,000 pallet positions, Magnavale has facilities in Warrington, Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Grantham.

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