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Efficient refrigerated food storage


The aim of this project is to improve the energy efficiency of food cold stores considering environmental protection and food safety/quality issues. The project approach is based on the systematic application of advanced numerical and experimental techniques, taking also into consideration economical criteria.

The first project period (16 months) focus the attention on the main elements of the unit:
i) chamber ventilation control and management (air throw, frosting-fan, lay-out);
ii) minimisation of heat an d humidity gains (insulation, infiltrations, frosting-defrosting);
iii) ammonia refrigeration systems (refrigeration cycle, in-tube evaporation data, low-charge concepts);
iv) indirect ammonia refrigeration systems with more efficient secondary coolant loop s (ice-slurries, single-phase coolants).

All these tasks are performed in parallel but conveniently coupled through the common element: the air-cooler. Based on the developed infrastructures and the acquired know-how during the first period, an advanced rating and design software tool for the analysis of the whole cold-storage unit (chamber, air-cooler, refrigeration system) will be created. The code will be accessible via web. It will take advantage of parallelisation techniques on Beowulf PC clusters.

A set of test cases representative of the layouts usually found in real-life installations will be performed using this code and the guidelines developed. During this second period (last 8 months), special attention is paid to provide adequate up-to-date dissemination procedures to get the best profit from project simulation and experimentation results/software/guidelines. Management tasks will be mainly focussed on the co-ordination of the tasks interdependence, very relevant in this project because of the multidisciplinary nature of cold stores. The generation of internal reports and guidelines will include the main conclusions and technical recommendations achieved during the project research activities.

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