eurammon Symposium 2022 again online
FRANKFURT, Germany, 22 June 2022: eurammon, an association of companies, institutions, and individuals committed to the promotion and use of natural refrigerants, will hold its annual Symposium, titled ‘Journey to a naturally sustainable future’, from July 4 to 8 on a digital platform. Making the announcement through a Press release, eurammon said that as the digital format has been well received by participants in previous years, the event will again be held online over 5 days from 9am to 11.30am each morning. Registration for the Symposium is now open via e-mail to email@example.com.
Through online lectures and a virtual panel discussion, the industry will look at the importance of its products for a sustainable and energy-efficient economy, eurammon said. “Natural refrigerants will play an important role in creating a sustainable future for our planet,” said Rob Lamb of Star Refrigeration Ltd., and Chairman of the Steering Committee of eurammon e.V. “The eurammon 2022 online symposium builds on the success of last year and looks at the use of natural fluids for cooling and heating applications across a wider range of industries.”
According to eurammon, the subjects on Day One will help set the scene for the rest of the week. They will include the European Green Deal, the UK Institute of Refrigeration’s ‘Beyond Refrigeration’ initiative and developments in the use of ammonia as a fuel. Day Two will focus on regulatory news, dealing with the proposed changes to the EU F-gas regulation and providing updates on the IEC 60335-2-40 and EN378 standards, eurammon said. The remaining three days will look at the new technologies and case studies that are helping the industry move to a sustainable future, eurammon said.
“With the online symposium, we are reaching out to a global audience interested in natural refrigerants,” Lamb said. “The symposium is a chance to learn, ask questions and share knowledge. We look forward to many participants joining us from the 4 to 8 July.”
According to eurammon, the programme agenda is as follows…
4 July – Keynote speeches
9:00 Welcome & greeting, Michael Freiherr, Chairman eurammon e. V.
9:10 Green Deal in Europe, Andrea Voigt, Danfoss A/S
9:55 Beyond Refrigeration, Graeme Maidment, Institute of Refrigeration
10:45 Ammonia engine development for marine propulsion, Johan Kaltoft, MAN DK
11:30 Concluding remarks, Michael Freiherr
5 July – Policy and regulations update
9:00 Introduction, Michael Rabenstein, Evapco Europe GmbH
9:10 F-gas regulation, Cornelius Rhein, European Commission
9:45 IEC 60335-2-40, Asbjørn Vonsild, Vonsild Consulting
10:15 European standardization for refrigerating systems using flammable refrigerants, especially standard series EN 378, Carsten Hoch, TÜV Süd Industrieservice GmbH
10:50 Panel discussion: Cornelius Rhein, Asbjørn Vonsild, Carsten Hoch, Moderator: Michael Rabenstein
11:20 Concluding remarks, Michael Rabenstein
6 July – Natural refrigerants for the cold chain
9:00 Introduction, Lambert Kuijpers, A/genT Consultancy
9:10 Industrial refrigeration production plants: “Heat recovery, reduced CO2 emissions!”, Michael Elsen, Kreutzträger Kältetechnik GmbH & Co. KG
9:45 Heat pump integration in a plant based meat solution factory and needs to achieve decarbonization from an end-user perspective, Vincent Grass, Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.
10:15 Predicting annual refrigeration energy consumption in temperature-controlled facilities, Robert Lamb, Star Refrigeration Ltd.
10:50 “Waterloop“ solutions for sustainable supermarkets – 100% propane for natural and efficient cooling and heating, Herbert Schupfer, Güntner Group Europe GmbH
11:20 Concluding remarks, Lambert Kuijpers
Eurovent’s generation change reaches finish line
MÁLAGA, Spain, 20 May 2022: Francesco Scuderi has succeeded the retiring Felix Van Eyken as Secretary General of Eurovent, the HVACR association said through a Press release. Stijn Renneboog will support him as the new Deputy Secretary General, the association added.
The European Industry Association for Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling and Food Cold Chain Technologies has been preparing for a generation change since its General Assembly 2017, which assigned Francesco Scuderi its Deputy Secretary General. Scuderi, an electric energy engineer, has been with the association since 2015, leading the cooling and refrigeration department and supporting the Secretary General with daily management, Eurovent said. Additionally, he serves as convenor at ISO and CEN Working Groups for standardisation activities related to commercial beverage coolers and ice cream freezers, Eurovent said.
With the upcoming retirement of Felix Van Eyken, Scuderi takes over the role of Secretary General effective immediately, Eurovent said, adding that Van Eyken will assume an advisory role and will support the Eurovent Secretariat on part-time basis until the end of July, when he retires definitively. Stijn Renneboog will support Scuderi as newly appointed Deputy Secretary General. He has been at Eurovent since 2019 and has been instrumental in structural reform of the association as well as strategic relations development.
Following his appointment, Scuderi said: “It is an honour for me to take on the leading role in Eurovent, the most renowned and respected European stakeholder of our industry, while supporting the unity and advanced development of the European and international HVACR technologies. I thank the Eurovent Board and our members for their trust and support. The bar has been set high for this position, and I will make sure to follow the footsteps of Felix in the best possible way.”
Van Eyken added: “I am proud to hand over the lead to Francesco, and I am confident that he will enjoy the same trust and respect that I have built up over the past decades among our industry and authorities. While I am emotional about leaving a career I am passionate about and industry colleagues I can call my friends, I am also excited for this new chapter in my life and the changes it will bring. I would like to thank the Eurovent Team for their hard work throughout the years.”
Renneboog said: “The past three years were transformational for Eurovent. Thanks to tremendous commitment and leadership across the Eurovent family, we are now better adapted than ever to represent the evolving needs of our industry and face the challenges and opportunities ahead. In that sense, today marks not only the end of an era, but also a beginning of sorts. I really look forward to this new chapter, and to building on the foundations that have been laid.”
Eurovent said that in line with the ongoing modernisation and digitalisation of the association, it is also preparing major improvements regarding its corporate identity, website, social media presence and dissemination of information.
ASHRAE announces call for abstracts for 2023 Winter Conference
ATLANTA, Georgia, 10 March 2022: ASHRAE said it has begun accepting abstracts for the 2023 ASHRAE Winter Conference, to be held from February 4 to 8, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the conference will address improving energy efficiency and decarbonization in the built environment.
According to ASHRAE, the technical program comprises the following eight tracks and a mini track:
The “Fundamentals and Applications” track will provide opportunities for papers of varying levels across a large topic base. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.
The “HVAC&R Systems and Equipment” track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.
The “Refrigerants and Refrigeration” track will explore refrigeration systems, which generate and use cold for a range of processes, from food preparation and conservation to vaccine preservation, and to long-term protection of fragile ancient inks of historical documents and others.
The “Grid Resilience and Thermal Storage” track will highlight the advancements in grid resilience and thermal storage systems and how they are tied to resilience and energy conservation efforts.
The “Pathways to Zero Energy Emissions and Decarbonization” track will highlight methods being developed to reduce carbon impact on the global environment and the efforts ASHRAE and its members are taking to advance these efforts.
The “Multifamily and Residential Buildings” track will cover programs and papers on best practices, utility and above-code incentive programs, field studies, and codes and standards requirements. The track also welcomes programs and papers for single-family housing and other residential buildings.
The “Operations and Maintenance” will address an array of topics, including lessons learned, improvement of process and team communications and effort to improve the installation, startup, O&M and commissioning of HVAC systems.
The “Building Simulation and Virtual Design in Construction” track will focus on the practices of energy modeling and building performance simulation using existing simulation tools, software development, and future simulation research and applications for building simulation & virtual design in construction.
The mini track, “Innovative Responses to Supply Chain Challenge” is intended to help members plan for the future disruptions and develop resiliency plans around supply chain by highlighting effective and innovative strategies to mitigate supply chain challenges.
According to ASHRAE, abstracts, 400 words or less, are due April 5, 2022. If accepted, final conference papers (eight pages, maximum) are due July 25, 2022, it said.
In addition, technical papers (complete 30-page maximum papers published in “ASHRAE Transactions”) are also due April 5, 2022 and considered for Science and Technology for the Built Environment, ASHRAE’s research journal.
For more information on the call for abstracts and the 2023 ASHRAE Winter Conference, ASHRAE suggested visiting ashrae.org/2023Winter.
French transport refrigeration rental company aims for UAE market-share
DUBAI, UAE, 7 March 2022: French transport refrigeration rental company, Petit Forestier, announced its intention of garnering market share in the UAE’s food cold chain sector.
Speaking to Climate Control Middle East, Petit Forestier, which also manufactures its refrigerated boxes, pointed out that its entire fleet of vehicles is ATP-certified, which enhances food safety, and ensures a low carbon footprint and cost-savings for the customer. ATP stands for “Accord Transport Perissable” (Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be Used for such Carriage). It comes under the purview of the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
Stanislas Przyklang du Chassin, its Managing Director for UAE operations, highlighted that the company is the first to supply ATP-certified boxes in the UAE. “We are trying to push everybody and explain to everybody that it is really important for food safety that we install these here,” he said. “These boxes are between 900 kilograms and one ton lighter than locally available boxes.
Imagine how green they are. Lighter means they consume less petrol – the fuel consumption is 20-30% less than locally available boxes – which means lower CO2 emissions. So, we are working on the cold safety and the green side of the vehicle.”
Przyklang du Chassin admitted that ATP-certified boxes are 25-30% more expensive that locally available boxes. However, when all aspects are considered, they would guarantee greater cost savings for clients. “Yes, the cost of purchasing is higher, but at the end, the vehicle is one ton lighter, which means we can save 20-30% on fuel costs,” he said. “We have customers who are doing one petrol tank per day, which means they get their money back in one year. Also, a lighter vehicle means you don’t have to replace your brakes that often, which will mean a reduced cost of maintenance.”
Petit Forestier, which has factories in France and Poland, manufactures 7,000 insulated boxes a year. It said it is the only rental company that has an innovation department, working every day to find solutions related to green transportation and food safety. Dimitri Doinet, its Sales Director, said innovation is a key strength of the company.
Pointing to the vehicles, he highlighted the use of fewer metallic parts in the chassis, which make them lighter and, hence, more fuel efficient. He also highlighted that the insulation of the boxes is six centimetres in thickness, as compared to 10 centimetres in boxes available in the country. This, he said, allows for carrying more foodstuffs per load. He further highlighted the use of door sensors, which cut off the cold units on opening the doors of the truck, thus preventing exposure to hot ambient conditions.
From a food safety perspective, Doinet pointed to the use of unique antimicrobial air strips for preventing the ingress of hot ambient air to the vehicle. This, he said, was only the beginning, though. Adding to this, Przyklang du Chassin said the company offers vehicles fitted with mechanical air curtains, They are currently available only in Europe, though. He said customers are happy with the innovation, for they do not have an obstruction while entering the vehicle.
Przyklang du Chassin said the company would eventually offer air curtains in vehicles in the UAE. “This is something we have to test,” he said. “We have plans of bringing them here in the next five years.”
Speaking on the rental model of the business, Przyklang du Chassin said the company was proposing renting its vehicles for 5-6 years, during which it would offer commitment to the customer to manage every aspect of the assets. That way, he said, the customer would know that cold safety is respected. Petit Forestier, he said, offers a full complement of aftermarket services, including maintenance, repair and replacement.
Speaking on the speed of service and reaction time, Przyklang du Chassin said the company has the ability to give a replacement vehicle within a short duration. “If the client has any issue on the road, we can give a replacement vehicle in 20-30 minutes, so as to be able to continue delivering perishable foodstuffs,” he said. “With refrigerated vehicles, if you have a breakdown, you can lose everything, especially here. So, we have developed a full service to replace vehicles very quickly.”
World Refrigeration Day: Industry must break silos to reach public
Las Vegas, Nevada, 19 January 2022: Refrigeration and air conditioning are essential to modern life, yet most people are unaware of the technology behind cooling, partially from the RAC industry not reaching out to the public with coordinated messaging.
A free educational session, organized by World Refrigeration Day (WRD), ASHRAE and UNEP OzonAction at the 2022 AHR Expo in Las Vegas is aimed at encouraging the RAC industry to share messaging resources and to better engage with consumers, policy makers and young people. “Breaking Down RAC Industry Silos” will take place on Tuesday, February 1, from 11am to Noon, PST, Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N238/240, WRD said through a Press release.
Despite the increased number of policies, standards and codes related to RAC industry, there is still significant lack of attention and understanding of the importance of the RAC sectors by governments, end-users, and public, WRD said. Issues like refrigerant transition, emissions reduction and maximizing energy efficiency have been addressed over the last couple of decades by most governments mainly due to relevant global policies and binding frameworks, WRD said. However, the sector’s contribution to human welfare and our modern lifestyle goes beyond those topics and needs to be acknowledged and adequately considered by different groups from outside RAC community, WRD added.
World Refrigeration Day is a platform that all in the RAC industry can use to raise the industry’s profile, WRD said. Examples of how that platform is breaking down industry silos in outreach efforts will be presented by past WRD global campaign partners – ASHRAE, UNEP, IIR, EPEE, GFCCC, FAIAR, ISHRAE, and U-3ARC.
Cooling to the Green Deal with natural CO2 refrigerant systems
WELSHPOOL, United Kingdom, 17 August 2021: Invertek Drives showcased its dedicated VFD, Optidrive Coolvert, for use on CO2 refrigeration display cases used in the retail sector. The company added that its Optidrive Eco operates on larger current refrigeration compressor racks and cold rooms.
Invertek make the announcement against the backdrop of the European Commission’s Green Deal, also referred to as Fit for 55, which sets out proposals to cut EU net greenhouse emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This could mean the current target of reducing fluorinated greenhouse gas (F-Gas) emissions by two-thirds by 2030, compared with 2014 levels, will be adjusted and tightened further.
The EU F-Gas Regulation brought a 44% reduction in the amount of available HFCs in the EU, compared to 2015. By 2030, the current regulation allows only 20% of HFCs being available, with stepped drops between then and now. This could change in the recast.
According to Invertek, the impact of both means there is a need to ramp up the use of natural refrigerants, such as CO2, in cooling and refrigeration systems. And this isn’t just in the EU but throughout the world as part of the existing Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, it said.
Variable frequency drives (VFDs), the company said, are playing an important role in reducing emissions and energy use in HVAC&R systems. Optidrive Coolvert, it said, is one of the smallest VFDs in its class providing OEMs with opportunities to reduce panel space and lower machine costs. It fits directly into refrigeration display cases alongside a CO2 compressor, it added.
This is in addition to end-user savings of up to 25% using CO2 refrigerant condensing systems, which it is specifically designed to work with, the company claimed. A combination of meeting EU F-Gas Regulations and cutting energy use is a significant benefit for the end-user as well as for the environment, it said.
Mike Carman, Head of Sales, Invertek Drives, said: “The recast of the F-Gas Regulation comes as the EU sets out its new and wider environmental ambitions through the Green Deal. It’s widely believed this is the precursor to a significant adjustment in the F-Gas Regulation timeframe.
“With either more cuts in the amount of HFCs available in the EU or increased limits on emissions, it’ll impact on the manufacturers and end-users of refrigeration and wider HVAC/R systems”
According to Invertek, the Optidrive Coolvert also has the widest ambient operating range of between -20 degrees C and +60 degrees C, making it ideal for use in a wide range of environments. It can be used for the control of CO2 rotary or scroll, BLDC compressors used in supermarkets and convenience store display cases; heat pumps, and condensing units, the company said. This is in comparison to the Optidrive Eco VFD, which operates on larger-capacity semi-hermetic and screw compressors used in industrial and food retail refrigeration racks, and chillers, the company added.
According to Invertek, Coolvert is compatible with all motor types, including induction motors, permanent magnet motors, brushless DC motors, synchronous reluctance motors and Line Start PM motors ranging between Single Phase (Active PSE) 7A and 20A, and Three-Phase 14A to 24A (input of 200V to 480V).
Its open Modbus RS485 communication, the company said, ensures seamless connection to any external application controller, allowing the OEM freedom to select which components to use, which again helps lower manufacturing costs.
With an IP20-rated front and an IP55-rated rear, its panel mounting allows the drive’s power electronics to be cooled by the chilled air of the condenser, the company said, adding that this allows OEMs to select the smallest panel size for the control of the electronics, while removing heat generated by the drive and maintaining the IP rating.
Chillventa launches new Web site
Nuremberg, Germany, 2 August 2021: Following the Chillventa eSpecial 2020, and after four years without an in-person gathering, the exhibition for refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heat pump technology will run from October 11 to 13 at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, the organisers said.
The Chillventa CONGRESS, will take place on October 10, the organisers said, adding that exhibitors can register for the event immediately. The organisers said they have launched a new Web site, which offers an improved user experience and provides even more focused information.
Chillventa, the organisers said, will offer opportunities for networking in person and view innovations through live demonstrations. The planned trade fora, Chillventa CONGRESS and supporting programme will spotlight issues like energy performance, contributing to the energy revolution, combined cooling and heating and the cooling of data centres, the organisers said. The event will also look at topics like the circular economy and the cold chain in the pharmaceutical sector.
“We are preparing to finally see our exhibition halls back in action again and to welcoming the international refrigeration, AC, ventilation and heat pump community in person to Nuremberg,” said Daniela Heinkel, Director of Chillventa at NürnbergMesse. “We are sure that the kind of platform offered by Chillventa is now more in demand than ever and are confident that it will build on its successful 2018 round.”
LU-VE GROUP delivers 500 unit coolers for China logistics centre
UBOLDO, Varese, Italy, 12 July 2021: LU-VE Group said that it has completed the delivery of 500 unit coolers for the expansion of the Nansha International Logistics Centre, one of the largest logistics centres in the world, at the port of Nansha, which serves the Guangzhou (formerly Canton) area in the Pearl River Delta.
LU-VE said that after about two years of work, the Centre raised a mega complex, consisting of six buildings for the storage of refrigerated goods, with a capacity of about 500,000 tons, which will expand the Port of Nansha, one of the five largest infrastructure projects in the world for container traffic. The complex will serve the cold chain (inspection, storage, processing, packaging and distribution) of the Jiangnan Fruit Market in Guangzhou and all major urban conurbations from Shenzen to Hong Kong and Macao, in the Zhū Jiāng (or Pearl River) Delta, LU-VE said. It will be used for fresh fruit and vegetables imported into China from all over the world, especially from North America and South America, and for frozen products destined for export (mostly fish products), it added.
“In January 2020, our Tianmen plant was the first of our Group to suffer the negative effects of the pandemic,” said Iginio Liberali, President, LU-VE Group. “It reopened in March, and since then our production has continued to accelerate in order to serve a rapidly and steadily growing market. Our presence in China is central to LU-VE’s internationalization strategy, due to its great potential for expansion. This new contract provides excellent support for our operations in the country. My applause goes to the whole Chinese team who managed to overcome difficulties, returning stronger and more performing than before.”
Most of the unit coolers – numbering 450 – that the LU-VE Tianmen plant, in Hubei Province, supplied belong to the LHS (Large Hitech Surface) industrial range, LU-VE said. The units use glycol water as refrigerant and are intended for cold rooms for storing products with high moisture content and for freezing (temperatures between -10 degrees C and -30 degrees C, the company said. Other compact unit coolers from the FHC commercial range, which the company claimed are characterised by quiet operation and low energy consumption, are instead installed in the cold rooms for fresh products (positive temperatures) or frozen products (temperatures below or equal to -18 degrees C.
Epta: ‘Possible to replace HCFC, HFC refrigerants with transcritical CO2 anywhere in the world’
MILAN, Italy, 29 June 2021: Increasingly stringent international regulations are driving a massive transformation in the world of commercial refrigeration – at a European level with the F-gas Regulation and internationally with the Kigali Amendment, commercial refrigeration manufacturer, Epta said through a Press release.
The company said it has already achieved important milestones in the technological development of HFC-free solutions. It added that its Life-C4R (Carbon 4 Retail) Refrigeration project, co-financed by the European Union, confirms the benefits of a natural approach.
Francesco Mastrapasqua, the company’s Institutional Affairs Manager, said: “The three-year Life-C4R – Carbon 4 Retail Refrigeration project was created to sensitise the scientific community, the component suppliers and the retail world’s key players in the use of increasingly efficient solutions. One of the goals is demonstrating how HCFC and HFC refrigerants can be completely replaced with transcritical CO2, anywhere in the world.”
The patented FTE 2.0 Full Transcritical Efficiency and ETE Extreme Temperature Efficiency systems, Epta said, are recognised by the EU as simple and efficient systems and are at the very core of the Life-C4R. “The Life-C4R Plan is essential in validating the FTE and ETE performance in all climatic conditions, in promoting their international diffusion and in certifying both as global and reliable solutions for the future of commercial CO2 refrigeration,” Mastrapasqua said. “The data analysis of the three Italian pilot projects and four replica prototypes in Romania and Spain, installed in collaboration with Epta Iberia and DAAS, will be presented during the Life-C4R Project digital conference, scheduled for July 1.”
The event will be an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on the plan’s innovations, lessons learnt and the advantages of the FTE 2.0 and ETE technologies, using the results collected in store by retailers, Epta said, adding that those interested in attending the conference could do so by registering at https://blog.eptarefrigeration.com/en/life-c4r.
FTE 2.0, Epta said, represents the evolution of its patented FTE Full Transcritical Efficiency system. It is recommended at any temperature and is, therefore, a must for obtaining maximum efficiency above 37 degrees C, it said. Simple, efficient, reliable and industrialised, FTE uses flooded evaporators, it said. They allow for the difference between the evaporation temperature and the cabinet’s internal temperature to be significantly reduced and, therefore, for an energy consumption 10% lower than a traditional CO2 system, it claimed.
This is a simple solution, the company said, where it has mechanically added only a multilevel liquid receiver to the standard configuration. On the one hand, FTE reduces the compressors’ discharge temperature, allowing for smooth functioning at high temperatures, it said. On the other hand, it guarantees their perfect lubrication, favouring a longer life cycle of the component itself, it said. FTE also guarantees up to 20% lower installation and maintenance costs, it added. Finally, the FTE 2.0 version, which is integrated into the rack, takes up less space and reduces installation and start-up times, it further added.
The ETE, Epta said, allows for 100% cooling capacity to be reached even in the hottest climates, both in industrial and commercial refrigeration applications. Recommended at temperatures between 30 degrees C and 40 degrees C, it guarantees maximum savings over 40 degrees C, also in combination with FTE, the company claimed. In this case, the transcritical CO2 system is guaranteed to work perfectly at any latitude, even on non-booster systems and in industrial refrigeration, it said. ETE’s “secret” is contained in the refrigerant temperatures’ reduction before its distribution to end users, it said. As it leaves the air exchanger at a value close to the ambient temperature, the gas is further cooled, it said. The system, it added, allows for an almost total disappearance of “flash-gas”, creating significant energy savings over time and smooth functioning even well above 40 degrees C.
KRN gets new Global Commercial Director
DUBAI, UAE, 28 June 2021: India-headquartered KRN Heat Exchanger & Refrigeration Pvt. Ltd., which manufactures heat exchangers, said it has appointed Raja Subramanyam as its Global Commercial Director.
Based in Dubai, Subramanyam will be responsible for KRN’s international growth, starting with Middle East and Europe, the company said in a Press release. Prior to this, Subramanyam worked as an independent cold chain consultant, drawing from a wealth of experience through his tenures at Carrier, Emerson and Ingersoll-Rand, the company said.
Speaking on his new role, Subramanyam said: “KRN has a state-of-the-art factory spread over 80,000 square feet in Rajasthan, India, from where it produces nearly a million world-class units per year. After creating a name for itself in India and having increased its production capacity, last year, it’s only natural for the company to foray into international markets. Despite the pandemic, the company’s growth plans are robust, and I look forward to establishing the company’s presence globally.”
Santosh Kumar Yadav, Chairman & MD, KRN, said: “In Raja, we see an ideal leader, who, with his international, versatile experience of 25 years across diverse verticals, can strategize our entry into different markets and take KRN to the next level of success. We are committed to support him to become a valued and reliable partner to HVACR principals, worldwide.”
Subramanyam holds a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kumaraguru College of Technology, in Coimbatore, India. He is passionate about digitalisation and has initiated the need for digital transformation of cold chain technical assets through serving as Chair of the 10th edition of Food Chain, on May 31 in Dubai.
Danfoss Press Release – Fresh food, with minimum energy
NORDBORG, Denmark, 21, January 2021: Danfoss said it has strengthened its Alsense IoT services with a holistic store-level software suite, moving store maintenance from reactive to proactive. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said the technology enables food retailers to prioritise and reduce their maintenance efforts across stores and critical events. It added that the software solution was originally developed by Honeywell.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Smart Refrigeration Solution and incorporate it into our Alsense cloud-based services,” said Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Cooling Segment. “We are now putting predictive maintenance into action, allowing the food retail industry to prevent unplanned cooling system downtime and inefficiencies in energy consumption.”
Natalie Schnippering, Head, Product Management Digital Services, Danfoss, said: “Combining the Smart Refrigeration Solution with our existing Alsense portfolio accelerates our ambition of meeting food retail customers’ needs for optimizing and proactively maintaining a high store performance. The solution goes beyond the traditional monitoring systems that are primarily providing alarms and data overviews. It identifies operating issues, such as compressor failure or coil icing, and provides hands-on guidance to fix them.”
According to Danfoss, Alsense provides food retail professionals with transparency and executive overviews of refrigeration assets and energy efficiency at chain level. Going forward, the combined Alsense offering will enable managers to easily benchmark and prioritise efforts across stores to save time and optimise the impact of their maintenance spend, Danfoss said. Further, Alsense will provide service technicians with a prioritised action plan, empowering them to immediately address equipment performance and operating concerns upon arrival at a store, Danfoss added.
Chris LaPietra, Vice President and General Manager, Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants, said, “The Smart Refrigeration Solution software was developed based on customer requirements gathered from leading food retailers, who were looking to save money by reducing energy spend and improving performance of their refrigeration system.”
According to Danfoss, the step follows the launch of its Alsense IoT platform in October 2020 and will accelerate its efforts in providing food retail professionals with intuitive software tools and data-driven, expert-enabled insights to optimise operational efficiency, refrigeration asset performance and energy efficiency.
Al Salem Johnson Controls offers support to cold stores in Saudi Arabia for holding COVID-19 vaccines
JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 03 January 2021: Al Salem Johnson Controls said it is offering its expertise to support the health sector and pharmaceutical companies in equipping industrial cold stores with the latest technologies, through systems that ensure temperatures set by each COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer.
The company made the announcement against the backdrop of countries the world over, including Saudi Arabia, rolling out vaccination drives, and health and logistics sectors and pharmaceutical companies the world over preparing their cold storage solutions across the chain to ensure safe and efficient transportation and storage of the COVID-19 vaccines at very low temperatures, ranging between -20 and -70 degrees Celsius.
Al Salem Johnson Controls quoted one of the vaccine manufacturers, Moderna as stressing that its vaccine must be kept at a freezing temperature of -20 degrees Celsius for long-term storage (up to six months); the vaccine can be stored for 30 days at a temperature ranging between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. The company quoted Pfizer as saying that its BioNTech vaccine requires to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the preservation and storage temperature of the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, ranges between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, the company said.
It said that it has a track record of providing integrated solutions in HVACR, fire, safety & security systems and building management systems in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen, and that it has extensive experience in the field of industrial refrigeration and the implementation of cold store projects, as well as in customising and engineering refrigeration solutions to suit the requirements of each project, depending on the nature and needs of the materials being stored.
The company said it has vast experience in the customisation, design and development of industrial refrigeration projects, and has implemented a number of large projects in several cities across the Kingdom, in various sectors, including logistics centres, refrigeration warehouses, meat and poultry factories, storage facilities for fruits & vegetables, processed food factories, water and beverages factories, and medicine and dairy plants.
It said that among the key industrial refrigeration projects and cold stores it has implemented are Shahini Holding Group in Riyadh, Transmed Distribution Company, Naqel Express, Al Rabie Saudi Foods Company, and three dairy and ice cream factories of the Saudi Dairy and Food Company (SADAFCO).
Industrial refrigeration, the company noted, is not a standard system that can be used for all projects; it requires a thorough study of the project’s facilities, utilisations and nature of work. In manufacturing facilities. It is crucial to determine if the system will be used to cool the facility, the production lines or both, the company said. Therefore, as a first step, its industrial refrigeration engineers visit and study the site from all aspects, then design and develop a system according to its cooling requirements, it added.
Al Salem Johnson Controls stated that its 29 years partnership as a JV with Johnson Controls International enables it to provide its customers with the latest technologies and to transfer the global expertise available to the Kingdom. Recently, Johnson Controls International was part of a team designing, developing and implementing a cold store at the Danish Odense University Hospital, by merging two industrial refrigeration systems that use ammonia and methane, to reach the required cooling of the cold store, spreading across an area of 352 square metres, Al Salem Johnson Controls said. The system, it said, can reach a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius, which is close to the temperature needed to preserve and store COVID-19 vaccines. The system, it added, uses SABROE Chillers, which offers industrial refrigeration solutions, under the umbrella of Johnson Controls International.
Islington and Clapham
As we bid goodbye to 2020 and gingerly step into 2021, the feeling is not of relief, because the virus is still on the prowl. It must be added, though, that we have reached an inflexion point with the early promise being shown by some of the vaccines that have been deployed.
Now, amidst the carnage of 2020, we have been witness to heartwarming instances of human endeavour – of the medical fraternity putting their lives at risk to save others, of boffins hard at work harnessing the power of science and engineering to provide relief to not only healthcare workers but also numerous other sectors.
Away from the COVID scene, there are other instances that have stood out. Like the Bunhill Heat and Power Network project, in central London, which uses waste heat from the London Underground network to supply heat and hot water to nearly 1,500 homes and other facilities in the Borough of Islington, in a bid to lower indirect carbon emissions and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Human ingenuity repurposed the former City Road London Underground station into an underground air extraction system. It draws warm air from the tunnels, still in use by the London Underground’s Northern Line.
Not only will the project reportedly lower indirect emissions but also cut heating costs by 10%, benefitting the residents connected to the network – a case of district energy providing succour to tenants by passing on the savings.
What is even more heartwarming, according to the company that supplied the technology to the project (see story on page XX) is that it can be replicated in underground networks the world over.
As if by coincidence, the subterranean labyrinthine depths of London constitute the theatre for yet another instance of human ingenuity and resourcefulness. Growing Underground is a farming enterprise that is using long-forgotten World War 2 tunnels used as shelter during air raids conducted by the Luftwaffe. About 100 feet beneath London’s Clapham, growers working for the enterprise are busy harvesting micro-greens using hydroponic technology, which uses 70% less water, when compared to traditional farming practices. The produce is pesticide-free and provides an opportunity to Londoners to eat fresh and without the guilt from knowledge that the greens on their plate are the result of burning copious volumes of climate-threatening fossil fuels in transporting them to their doorstep. The project is redefining food supply chains for the better and lowering food wastage by increasing shelf life.
Such examples as the Islington district energy scheme and Growing Underground serve as inspiration for us to consider abandoning some of the hackneyed approaches that are not taking us far in our quest for a better planet. They are about courage and speak of a certain frontier spirit that we ought to consider embracing.
UPS delivers Pfizer vaccine in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, 21 December 2020: UPS said it has successfully delivered the first batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia, to support vaccinations of first citizens and expatriates. Making the announcement through a Press release, UPS said Saudi Arabia is the first Arab country to roll out the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, marking a breakthrough milestone in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rachid Fergati, UPS Managing Director for Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, said: “UPS has proudly delivered the first batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Saudi Arabia, to support vaccinations of first citizens and expatriates in the country.
“Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Middle East that we are serving, and we are in position to continue delivering what matters to help stamp out the pandemic in the region.
“We have spent months developing new products, agile approaches and new capabilities to ensure we are fully prepared to deliver the vaccine at the right time, at the right temperature to communities all over the world, especially here in the region.
We are honored to work with UPS Healthcare partners in other countries to help deliver what matters in these times.”
‘Clear-cut instructions needed to address cold chain breaches in the healthcare industry’
What do you consider to be the main issue plaguing the modern medical cold chain, with regard to avoiding temperature excursions that could potentially degrade the potency of medication and vaccines?
The main issue is the lack of international or uniform guidelines to instruct health providers/ consumers about “what to do in case of a cold chain breach”? We do know very well how those drugs should be kept, but we do not know how to manage if a cold chain breach (CCB) occurs. There is a clear lack of guidelines for these possible incidences. These incidences are not just limited to developing countries, but they could happen anywhere at any time; an example is a power outage due to maintenance/upgrade or even natural disasters that cannot be anticipated.
Does it vary from developed and developing countries as the level of investment among them must vastly differ? Do you see lack of innovation in equipment as a problem or is the problem mostly adoption and investment in more reliable equipment? Similarly, is there a gap in further training and awareness in the ‘last mile’?
Developed countries usually have a more reliable infrastructure and power supply, as compared to developing countries. But when you think of the level of investment in these countries, often developed countries rely on their reliable infrastructure and may not see the need to invest further on this. Evidence of this is our recent research that showed the lack of guidelines and concerns about awareness and planning in Australia, which is a developed country. Whereas developing countries are aware of their infrastructure limitations but may have difficulty in investing.
Certainly, there is an evident gap in training and awareness. I believe developing user-friendly guidelines that are evidence-based, accurate and easy to understand, would significantly help. For example, imagine if an expensive biological drug that is worth about USD 1,000 and is stored in a pharmacy or a hospital fridge is exposed to a higher temperature, due to a temporary power outage for certain number of hours. Although the temperature records are available, there is no reliable instruction to healthcare providers whether the drug is usable anymore or not? So individuals need to use their judgement whether to expose the drugs (that could be quite costly) or to continue supplying it to their patients (that could bear a risk). Developing guidelines can provide clear-cut instructions on how to deal with those situations. Data from a small local study indicate millions of dollars worth of medicines could be saved each year if additional data regarding the stability of medicines were available to the relevant parties
Could you briefly comment on the impact these power outages could have on the integrity of the vaccines and medicines?
To explain the impact of power outage and CCB, we can look at the global burden, as identified by the WHO. The WHO estimates that up to 50% of vaccines may be wasted globally every year because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues. We found the gap in the knowledge, as we did not find any comprehensive international study that assessed the impact of CCB on non-vaccine medicines (those that need to be refrigerated). In our small local study we found that power outages could lead to significant financial loss, either to the healthcare providers that store the drugs or to the insurance companies, with regard to vaccination. The worst thing that could happen is that if healthcare providers or suppliers overlook a potential CCB and the medicine reaches the consumer, usually there is no way to assure the integrity of the medicines by the consumers or even by the healthcare providers. That may result in under-vaccination, without knowing about the potential CCB, and subsequently could predispose people to communicable diseases.
Are the government guidelines enough, in terms of securing a stringent cold chain? Where do you think are the most prominent gaps and what are your recommendations?
No. Government guidelines are often quite broad and do not provide practical solutions once CCB has occurred. For example, the WHO has developed a set of guidelines for governments in a bid to minimise exposure to high temperatures, if a power outage happens. But these guidelines don’t have any specific instructions on how healthcare facilities and pharmacies should implement backup systems. They also don’t provide a list of standardised equipment to prevent and deal with power outages. This would be helpful in both developed and developing country scenarios.
The most prominent gap is the lack of uniform evidence-based guidelines about transportation and storage or vaccines and medicines. Given that most pharmaceutical companies these days are international, similar or identical medicines are being marketed in different countries, so if manufacturers conduct comprehensive stability testing and transparently provide the information to the public, by collaboration between independent scientists and manufacturers, we can develop these guidelines.
Should energy insecure countries be more vigilant?
Yes, where power supply is not reliable, there is an increased incidence of power outage that can affect the integrity of medications. An interesting example is, when there was an Ebola outbreak in 2014 and or after the Nepal earthquake in 2015, there was not a reliable power source, due to being in remote locations and the natural disaster that affected the infrastructure, respectively. A vaccine storage device was developed and trialled that was called Arktek. It is a super-insulated device that maintains the integrity of vaccines by keeping them in ice, in its inner chamber. It can keep vaccines at a temperature between zero degrees C and eight degrees C for 30 to 60 days, depending on outside temperatures and humidity. Although this might have worked well in those outbreaks in remote areas, however, it may not be possible to use these devices in all settings.
You mentioned that actual cost of vaccine and pharmaceutical loss is poorly studied and requires further research. Could you comment on what are the key areas that you believe should be given more attention?
The key areas include vaccines that are extremely important to the public health and biological drugs that are quite costly for the consumers/health insurance/public healthcare systems.
Manufacturers can invest on developing heat-stable drugs so that drugs can be stored outside the cold chain for a longer time. This will significantly contribute to preventing wastage in medications and saving in logistics. But we should acknowledge that, this may not be so simple.
How can manufacturers help address the issue?
Manufacturers could conduct more vigorous stability testing, share their data transparently with independent scientists and invest in developing guidelines to deal with power outages for their own products. This is the least you can expect from manufacturers, especially for biological drugs, where usually each supply of the drug that lasts for a month is worth at least USD 1,000 or even more. So the investment is well justified.
Food cold chain driving India’s refrigeration sector
Pune, India, 28 March 2019: The overall trend and future of the market of the Indian HVACR industry is very positive, said Arvind Surange, CMD, ACR Project Consultants, adding that the food cold chain has been the major driving force for the refrigeration industry and cold chain sector. “This is due to the fact that India is a major producer of perishable foods,” he said, sharing that India ranks No. 1 in milk production, No. 2 in fruits and vegetables production and is again one of top-ranking countries for meat, poultry and fisheries products. “The overall perishable food production in India is over 400 million metric tonnes (MMT),” he added.
Surange shared that current demand estimates show that the potential for growth in the cold storage capacity is about 10%. “However, in the food processing segment, there is a vast potential for the growth of the industry, as the current food processing capacity is less than six per cent of the production,” he said. Surange added that other applications of refrigeration showing great potential for growth include pharmaceutical and bulk drugs industry, beverages industry and the entertainment sector.
ACR Project Consultants aims to drive Green cold chain applications across India
Pune, India, 19 March 2019: ACR Project Consultants has placed a strong focus on the cold chain sector over the last 30 years, said Arvind Surange, CMD. It was while working on large number of cold chain projects, Surange said, that the company realised the need for integrating Green design concepts in the sector. “We introduced this concept in 2008 and have been promoting it at a global level, highlighting the importance of environment friendliness, energy efficiency, water saving, waste heat recovery, application of renewable energy and other green features,” he said.
Surange said that realising the importance of natural refrigerants, ACR took the lead in designing the first few low-charge Ammonia DX systems in India for cold storage projects. He said: “The basic features of these are: Ammonia charge reduction; compact and lightweight equipment; full automation, including use of electronic expansion valve; and air-cooled or water-cooled setup, based on water availability.
Providing an example of one of the company’s Green projects, Surange pointed to the integrated cold chain facility of Savla Foods and cold storage in Navi Mumbai, which includes recycling of water, waste heat recovery for generating hot water for processing, along with other Green features. He added that the project was named Best Green Cold Chain Solution by the Cold Chain and Logistics Industry in 2017 and Best Food Processing and Cold Chain Project by RefCold India Emerson Awards in 2018.
In addition to this, Surange said, the latest projects the company is working on involve PEB structure with insulated panel enclosures, mechanised loading and unloading systems, eco-friendly and energy-efficient refrigeration and electrical systems, water-saving techniques and full automation. “These projects,” he said, “have been implemented in right from the northern to the southern and from the eastern to the western regions of the country.”