Reusing heat saves energy for primary industry players
Active Refrigeration is using ammonia based refrigeration to create simultaneous cooling and high temperature heating from the same plant, making substantial gains in energy efficiency. The project received co-funding from EECA’s Technology Demonstration fund.
The hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) widely used in refrigeration have extremely high Global Warming Potentials (GWP). There are advantages in replacing them with systems that rely on low GWP gases such as CO2, propane and ammonia – especially when they’re built into a smarter, more energy efficient system.
Active Refrigeration is using ammonia-based refrigeration to create simultaneous cooling and high temperature heating from the same plant, making substantial gains in energy efficiency.
The Christchurch-based company designed and installed their first system at Ashburton Meat Processors. The plant achieved annual energy savings of over $200,000, which has freed up capital for maintenance and upgrades at other operations. The system has paid for itself within three years.
There was a strong carbon-reduction benefit as well. The thermal energy source changed from light fuel oil (LFO) to a mixture of electricity and LPG. This has reduced the plant’s carbon footprint by 42% (690 tonnes).
Most primary industry companies require simultaneous cooling and high temperature heating – meat, dairy, wine, fresh produce – so there’s massive potential for uptake.
Technology Demonstration funding de-risks investment
The project was supported by the Technology Demonstration fund run by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). It was eligible because it demonstrated the emissions reductions potential of an under-used technology, and could inform other businesses interested in following suit.
The co-funding helps to de-risk investment in under-utilised technology and helps businesses with the transition to a low-carbon future.