Crafty Chef

Through the implementation of a new freezing process, Crafty Chef, a Western Sydney Food manufacturer, will be able to double the current production levels with a significantly more efficient system.

Project Details

Prior to this project, Crafty Chef’s blast freezing systems consisted of commercial air-cooled refrigeration systems running on R-507 refrigerant. A significant capacity increase of the system was required as the production levels of the facility were doubling.

Minus40 analysed several opportunities to increase system capacity whilst increasing the energy efficiency of the plant. Based on the results of this study, the decision was made to replace the existing commercial systems with an industrial spiral freezer system running on ammonia (R-717) refrigerant.

The proposed system incorporated the following features:

  • Ammonia Refrigerant: Being an environmentally benign and highly efficient refrigerant, the system is able to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, indirectly through reduced energy consumption and directly through the mitigation of R-507 refrigerant leakage (R-507 is a very strong greenhouse gas).
  • Speed Controlled Industrial Screw Compressor: With the installation of a VSD on the compressor motor and the implementation of the appropriate control logic, the system is able to achieve a high system efficiency, even in part-load operation.
  • Variable Head Pressure Control Logic: Through condenser fan speed control and optimisation of the head pressure set-point in function of ambient conditions and system load, the system takes advantage of low load and ambient temperatures to reduce energy consumption.
  • Heat Recovery System: Heat is recovered off screw compressor oil and used to preheat water going into existing boilers.
  • Evaporator Fan Speed Control: Allows total air flow control to control product cooling and reduce fan energy consumption.
  • Spiral Freezing System: The spiral freezing process allows for increased capacity, continuous production and consistent product quality.
  • Evaporative condenser: Evaporative condensers significantly reduce energy consumption and demand compared to air-cooled systems.

Minus40’s Project Services

Throughout the project, Minus40 assisted Crafty Chef with the following:

  • Feasibility study, including data monitoring, system modelling and business case development
  • Engineering support and project management during installation
  • Technical verification of contractor installation
  • Supply of functional description for plant control logic
  • LCA Funding and CTIP Grant applications (see below)
  • Energy measurement and verification (upon project completion)

Project Funding

Minus40 assisted Crafty Chef in sourcing funding for the $1.12 million project from several Government Programs:

  • OEH Energy Saver Program: Subsidised 70% of feasibility study
  • Clean Technology Investment Program: $500,000 CTIP Grant
  • Low Carbon Australia: Additional LCA-supported loan