Case Study: Custom Built Process Cooling Plant

Client Requirements

As part of its manufacturing process, the client required a cooling plant that would chill propellant reliably from 25°C down to -60°C, at the exact rate of 12kg/minute. This cooling process needed to be reliable and consistent under all ambient conditions from -10°C to 40°C.

The exacting specification was an exciting challenge, and one that required us to use our experience, expertise and contacts throughout the industry. 

Working with the clients in-house engineers, we came up with an equipment design that allowed us to build the refrigeration plant on skids in our workshops. Equipment was then transported to site and lifted by crane onto the client’s plant deck. 

The subsequent commissioning and Site Acceptance Tests (SAT) soon proved that our equipment design & manufacture exceeded client requirements, allowing for even more efficient product batch cooling. 

Our Solution

Our Solution

This project required extensive research, considered equipment selection, and collaboration with many of our industry contacts. We sourced compressors from Germany, refrigerant metering devices from the USA, and SWEP plant type heat exchangers from Sweden.

For reasons of ongoing maintenance, we used standard equipment where possible. For stage one of the cooling process (down to -20°C), we used the reliable and energy efficient Bitzer Ecoline ‘inverter powered’ condensing unit. Stage two (from -20°C to -60°C) was designed around a Bitzer 2 stage compound compressor with liquid subcooling. This gave us the extra cooling power needed to evaporate at -70°C, and at the capacity necessary. 

A particular challenge was sourcing a metering device capable of achieving such low temperature for evaporation. None of the European manufacturers were comfortable with us using their devices in these conditions, so we looked to the USA to acquire this vital component part. 

Despite the challenging nature of the project, by leaning on our experience and collaborating effectively with our contacts, we were able to successfully build, test, install and commission three sets of plant that exceeded client requirements and greatly improved their manufacturing capacity.

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