Fruit quality can be lost at any stage in the supply chain, including during harvesting, handling, storage and transport. To maintain high quality standards, attention to details is important at all levels in the supply chain.
Cold storage and other post-harvest techniques slow down the progression of ripening and can counteract the natural loss of quality of fruits. For many apple and pears varieties, the expected storage duration depends on ripeness at harvest. This type of fruits picked can be cold stored up to several months, if conditions in the orchard and in storage are ideal. Cold storage in controlled atmosphere is thus the primary method for extending the life of fruits.
Environmentally-friendly and energy efficient systems that keep fruits-fresh without damaging their quality is the right committment so that technology and nature work together best for the well-being of our food and environment.
Improvement of the efficiency of storage operations permits notable savings, but requires the application of technologies specific to particular production conditions.

The request

For an important producer and wholesaler of fruits and vegetables in France, more precisely in Cavaillon – a large apple/pears-producing region in France, Tecnofreddo Srl has designed and manufactured two medium-temperature customized R1234ze glycol liquid coolers, for 10 cold rooms of several cubage (from 400 to 1000m3). The coordination of this project was carried out by an important French partner of Tecnofreddo, the company Sarl Seri Froid, which has established a strong partnership with many fresh-fruits producers over a number of years, helping to ensure that fresh fruit – notably apples, pears – are stored in optimal conditions for distribution around the world.
The end-user required a solution that could fit for the future and would deliver higher capacity performance at the lowest possible GWP, and at a competitive cost. The new solution will replace the old facility (relying on R22 and R404 units) and meet new cooling needs with the expansion of the storage and conditioning areas.

The solution

In line with the end-user investment strategies, Tecnofreddo has supplied two R1234ze glycol air-cooled liquid cooler, for outdoor installation, with a cooling capacity of 700 kW (each) at -6/-2 °C. The area used for the storage of apples and pears is equipped with 10 cold rooms and a minimum internal temperature of 1 ° C and total volume of approximately 6,000 cubic meters.

Each air-cooled liquid cooler has been realized with 2 screw compressors, variable speed drives, EC fans, electrical cabinet with a programmable controller and RS485 serial card for chiller control and management. Total heat recovery (1000kW) for the production of hot water required (+ 40°C) for the supply of the various processes such as defrosting, humidity control, desiccation or fruit degreening, has been also provided. Furthermore, the high-level of customization included a rainproof awning and external water piping insulation with aluminum cups.

A new eco-friendly facility 

All these details have been designed and developed to meet environmental goals by using a refrigerant with the lowest possible GWP while maximizing energy savings and improving system energy efficiency.
Tecnofreddo works very closely with its customers and is keen to deliver eco-friendly solutions able to help businesses reducing their impact on the environment and their energy use.
For Tecnofreddo innovation is the key to a sustainable future, and its advanced technology will enable customers to take a giant leap forward into a cleaner, more efficient future.