Friday, 13 February 2015

John Guthrie, Energy Efficiency Manager, ABB writes: The numbers certainly stack up – eight million ducks raised a year; 45,000 ducks processed every day; and £30,000 saved on freezing costs.

Chilling of products is one of the most energy intensive processes in the food and beverage industry. Cherry Valley Farms of Lincolnshire knows this only too well. To keep up with its duck production it must run 10 blast chiller bays. Each bay has two, 4 kW motors turning fans that blow air over coils of ammonia to produce a blast of very cold air. A complete day’s production of ducks is usually frozen in around 10 hours overnight.

Yet there was a major problem. The fans needed to be turning 24 hours a day to stop them freezing up. Clearly, cutting the energy they used was a major priority.

That’s where ABB authorised value provider, Inverter Drive Systems (IDS), came in.

IDS installed 20, ABB HVAC drives, two for each blast chiller bay. In production, the drives run the motors at 45 Hz, giving a 25 percent energy saving during the freezing period. Outside production hours, the motors are slowed further to 30 Hz, producing a 60-70 percent saving when no product is being frozen. Overall, this has produced an annual saving of £30,000 on the energy costs of the blast chillers.

As well as the energy saving, Cherry Valley Farms expects that the slower start up achievable by the drives could lead to fewer fans breaking up, a danger with the old direct-on-line method used previously.

With these substantial cuts to its energy bill, it’s not just ducks that Cherry Valley is freezing.

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