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Carole Titmuss looks at how energy-efficient cooling is helping a leading packaging producer

A leading producer of containers for food, beverages and household goods is benefiting from installing five Mitsubishi Electric Climavaneta air-cooled chillers at its production facility in Leeds.

Esterform’s Leeds-based factory had previously used seven chillers to cool the site.

When they were reaching the end of life, the company turned to Prokool, an M&E Contractor who work with the Mitsubishi Electric M&E sales team, to support the move to a more environmentally friendly and energy-saving cooling alternative.

Not only has the company saved on running costs but they have also increased productivity

Carole Titmuss Refurb projects Carole Titmuss Editor and publisher of Refurb Projects

£40K savings on electric

When recommending the new chillers, Prokool calculated that the old chiller units had an average power consumption of 232 kW and annual electrical requirements reaching 1,948,800 kWh per year, resulting in an annual electric cost of £253,334.

Comparing this against the new chillers, Prokool estimate that Esterform will now be able to save up to £40,000 a year in electrical costs, in addition to getting greater efficiency and lower noise levels compared to the previous system.

David Gawthrope at Prokool explained, “The new Mitsubishi Electric chillers use microchannel condensers and lower refrigerant R454B scroll compressors, both of which operate more efficiently than the technology in the previous chillers.

“As a result, Esterform will be able to bring down the electrical costs over time, which is a great benefit for the company”.

Lower GWP refrigerant

Five Mitsubishi Electric NX2 4 Compressor air cooled chillers sized at 350kW cooling capacity were specified by Prokool to be installed on the roof of the building.

Designed to deliver the best efficiency in comfort applications, each chiller has four scroll compressors and is available with lower GWP R454b refrigerant.

The units also provide perfect acoustic well-being, operating at 1 to 2dBA quieter than previous ‘low noise’ versions.

With Prokool’s expertise in chilled water engineering, the company was able to conduct a full removal of the previous chillers, as well as positioning the new units from Mitsubishi Electric onto the building’s roof.

They also modified steelwork and pipework and carried out the safe de-gassing of the old chillers per F-Gas regulations.

Increased productivity

In addition to saving energy, Esterform has also boosted the capacity of its machinery since the new chillers were installed.

Craig Alsop at Esterform explained, “Since installing the new chillers from Mitsubishi Electric, we have been able to increase the usage of our injection moulding machines because they can chill the water down to a lower temperature than the previous units. This means that we are now more productive as a business as well as cutting energy costs”.

By reducing the number of pumps running, Esterform has also benefited from a saving on pump energy.

Before the installation, each buffer tank had two chillers and two pumps and was used to store water to accommodate peak loads and support a variable cooling demand. Now, each tank uses just one new Mitsubishi Electric chiller and one pump.

There is a 234.2 kW difference in power consumption from the old chillers compared to the new units, - leading to huge energy savings.

Carole Titmuss is editor and publisher of Refurb Projects