From the collection of raw materials and manufacturing - to storage, distribution and retail - the UK’s leading formulator of high-performance glycols and secondary refrigerants work in collaboration with the likes of Arla, Muller, Lidl and Alfred Bartlett, to identify fluid related energy saving opportunities and deliver a comprehensive suite of services including, fluid selection advice, fluid testing/analysis, and cooling system efficiency management.

Key components of Hydratech’s energy efficiency program for the cold chain include:

1. Switch to DTX High Performance, Non-Toxic Glycol

Reducing energy consumption in the cold chain does not always require significant investment in new hardware, or expensive system modifications.

Proven to reduce energy costs by >10% (as verified by Star Technical Services), Coolflow DTX is a revolutionary non-toxic secondary refrigerant, suitable for replacing propylene glycol in food and cold storage cooling systems.

Performance wise, DTX has very similar heat transfer and pumping characteristics to ethylene glycol and subsequently benefits from numerous operating advantages such as high thermal conductivity, low viscosity and low dose rates.

By retrofitting existing systems - moving from propylene glycol to Coolflow DTX, customers have reported considerable energy/CO² savings. Arla Foods has seen a 17% reduction in energy consumed by the main coolant circulation pumps and process cooling systems after moving to Coolflow DTX. There has also been a noticeable reduction in running time and load on the dairy’s primary refrigerant compressors - which they believe will considerably prolong the life span of their system.

DTX retrofit cost reductions are achieved by:

• Increasing speed of heat transfer and production process
• Improving Coefficients of Performance
• Minimising compressor loading and running hours
• Reducing pumping energy consumed

2. Reducing capital expenditure cost (CAPEX) at concept design phase

As well as utilising the performance benefits of Coolflow DTX, customers such as Ocado, Lidl and global logistics leaders DHL have designed their refrigeration systems with Coolflow DTX in mind, allowing them to make considerable savings in hardware and capital expenditure.

Where DTX is specified at the design stage, savings can be achieved through downsizing of:

• Primary gas compressors
• Heat exchangers
• Circulation pumps & motors
• Pipework diameter and length

The smaller systems and plant footprints onsite also provide significant operating cost and energy savings.

3. Monitoring glycol condition and concentration

Based on many years of experience, it is not uncommon for the maintenance of cold chain cooling systems to be overlooked. Under such circumstances various issues can develop, including advanced corrosion, biological fouling, and sediment formation. All of which will have a direct and negative impact on heat transfer efficiency, pumping performance and energy consumption.

Hydratech’s in-house laboratory carries out analytical fluid testing of thermal fluids, primarily microbiological and chemistry testing - to identify water contaminates, bacterial presence, water treatment levels or the make-up of elements.

Following testing, a Hydratech engineer will issue a comprehensive report - to confirm coolant and system condition (concentration, pH, total dissolved solids, turbidity etc) and where appropriate any recommended action. Hydratech recommend quarterly sampling, in accordance with BSRIA and British Standard BS8552 guidelines.

Selecting the correct type and concentration of glycol is very important. The glycol type should already be known and recorded in the commissioning documents or maintenance logs for your systems. Hydratech can assist with glycol determination analysis if it is not known.

Too much glycol or too high a % will cause system inefficiencies through reduced heat transfer ability and pumping capacity. Not enough glycol or too low a % can lead to the expensive freeze-ups previously mentioned and can become susceptible to biological fouling.

For over 25 years, Hydratech have been assisting the cold chain industry with fluid advice and selection. By understanding their exact application requirements, the team at Hydratech can specify the optimum fluid solution and ensure customers benefit from improved system efficiency, extended system life and considerable energy savings.

4. Fluid and system management - maximising the potential for optimised performance

As refrigeration systems typically use between 60 to 85% of the energy in the temperature-controlled areas, correct maintenance and system condition is essential if system efficiency is to be optimisedand operating costs are minimised.

By combining expertise in water treatment chemistry, fluid thermodynamics and mechanical engineering, Hydratech Services delivers a fully integrated, holistic approach to process and hydronic systems management. This in-turn maximises the potential for optimised performance, reduced operational costs and significant return on investment gains.

Hydratech provides a range of office and site-based services, including:

Pre-commission flushing, chemical conditioning and filling with Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF)
• Flushing, reconditioning and refilling of pre-existing systems
• Reactive (retro) design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of Side Stream Filtration Units
• Pressure testing new and pre-existing systems
• Balancing and commissioning of new systems
• Re-balancing and recommissioning of pre-existing systems
HTF sampling, analysis, monitoring and management
All aspects of chemical treatment for water-based HTF's
• Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) programs for process and potable water systems

5. Thermal optimisation - heat exchangers & heat transfer fluids

By optimising the thermal interface between heat exchangers and heat transfer fluids, Hydratech have helped leading cold chain businesses maximise thermal efficiency, reduce energy consumption, minimise CO2 production and boost profitability.

For heat exchangers incorporated in refrigeration systems - especially food and beverage systems - there is often installed a Cleaning-in-Place (CIP) arrangement on the process side, but not on the heat transfer fluid (HTF) side. For this reason, it is rare for the HTF side to be cleaned ‘at all’. Subsequently the rate of heat transfer can be severely impeded, at the cost of reduced output, increased energy consumption etc. Hydratech engineers are trained to disassemble, clean, reassemble, pressure-test and recommission heat exchangers.

It is often possible to identify a range of modifications, large and small, that would improve process output and efficiency. For example;

1. For heat exchangers, it is often possible to remove one or more plates and thus reduce pressure-drop and improve pumping efficiency.
2. It is not uncommon for the original heat transfer fluid selection and concentration to be overly conservative. Hydratech are often engaged to replace ‘old technology’ fluid with more thermally efficient products, often providing >10% improvement in production output and/or energy savings (as previously mentioned in point - 1. Glycol Upgrade - Coolflow DTX retrofit).

To find out more about how Hydratech can help your cold chain business improve system efficiency, reduce energy costs and maximise uptime, call Sam Hickson 01792 586800 or email: