What are Cold Storage Facilities?

Cold storage facilities are amenities/ enclosed insulated places that are cooled to maintain specific temperatures for the storage of temperature sensitive products.

 

Typically, these products include perishables such as food and pharmaceuticals that can degrade if not stored correctly.

What Purpose Does Cold Storage Serve in the Supply Chain?

Cold storage facilities act as a buffer between manufacturers and customers enabling a steady stream of products to market, hence, balancing flow between the the two ends of the supply chain.

 

Think about it this way. Manufacturers want to produce products efficiently which generally means high production rates. But consumers are need led, so tend not to demand goods at the same rate as a manufacturer could supply them.

 

A cold storage facility will smooth this flow whilst storing products in their optimal conditions, usefully, maintaining their condition and lifespans.

What Makes Successful Cold Storage Facilities?

There are a number of important features that achieve successful cold storage facilities.

 

Location.

Facilities that are close to major trunk roads and population centres have a distinct advantages, including, access to a plentiful workforce and shorter less time consuming transportation logistics.

Efficiency and Reliability

Efficient reliable temperature control plant. Reliability is key to maintaining products in optimal condition- any down time can cause large losses of product and reputation, whilst efficient operation reduces costs, increasing profit margins.

Information and Control Technology

Information technology systems are absolutely critical for controlling operational procedures ,including, stock picking and inventory, transport planning and forecasting of demand.

What are the Best Cooling Systems that can be Employed in Cold Storage Warehouses?

Ammonia Refrigeration Plant

Probably the most efficient cooling systems available use Ammonia refrigerant.

Pumped around a warehouse in steel pipework loop, it is used in a piece of equipment called an evaporator to cool the space before returning to the compressor plant and starting the circuit again.

Whilst Ammonia (NH3) is very efficient, plant can be expensive to service. Also, leaks are dangerous to health, so highly specialist engineering services are required.

Leaving aside Ammonia’s health and safety challenges, its other major advantages include a GWP (global warming potential) rating of zero, also, its common place in nature means it is readily re-absorbed without contamination.

HFC Refrigeration Plant

HFC’s are fluorinated refrigerant gases that are used in the same way as ammonia, being circulated on a loop and using evaporators to cool the space.

One clear advantage of utilising HFC’s is improved safety and lower servicing costs over Ammonia systems. However, once you factor in the increased energy costs for work done, ammonia use becomes a more attractive option, especially, considering its neutral effect on the environment.

Glycol cooling plant.

Glycol/ water mixes can be used as a secondary refrigerant. By this we mean, second after a primary plant, often a HFC system that cools the glycol before it is circulated through coolers in the work space.

Whilst not as efficient as the aforementioned single phase refrigeration systems, it has the distinct advantage of being very user friendly, and safe, when used in a centralised refrigeration plant.

Ways of Making Cold Stores More Efficient

Obviously there are a myriad of ways to improve efficiency of your cold store. However listed below are some simple common sense examples which most of the time could be considered as good house keeping. We will also touch on some more technical aspects.

Check your access systems

Doors that are left open longer than necessary will let in warm air and increase costs. Check your access systems to ensure doors close promptly. Also, are procedures in place that limit any unnecessary traffic entering and leaving.

Limit Heat Loads

Switch to lower wattage LED lighting with sensors. Not only will this save electricity at the front end, it will also reduce heat loads in the area. Sensors which turn off unnecessary lighting will also help.

Another piece of equipment that uses large amounts of electricity are evaporators (coolers). Because these run below freezing, they need electric heaters to periodically clear the ice that builds up on the cooler face.

This is called a defrost cycle, and optimal settings of the heater interval and defrost duration times will not only keep you coolers clear of ice, making operation more efficient, but will also save electricity costs.

Make Sure all your Plant is Clean and Tidy

Keeping your cooling equipment clean will improve its efficiency. Condenser coils that the plant uses to exchange the energy from the cold store to atmosphere need to be kept clean. Similarly, internal coolers should be kept clean to maximise efficiency.

Is Your Plant in Good Running Order?

In the same way that good housekeeping can improve your plants efficiency, regular servicing by a specialist can also help.

 

Typically refrigeration systems should be checked for correct operation, as well as refrigerant leaks that can be expensive in terms of replacement, damage or reduced efficiencies.

 

Further consequences of servicing neglect include breakdowns leading to loss which could be avoided.

Temporary Cold Storage Facilities- How we can Assist?

We have been working in the temporary cold storage facilities sector for many years. Mostly working in the temporary field, we supply fast reaction insulated structures and cooling systems to maintain customers businesses in times of need.

This could include, additional cooling systems to support existing cold stores, complete stand alone cooling systems to facilitate major works, or installing a complete temperature controlled temporary buildings.

We also specialise in fast conversions of warehouses into cold stores. Great for increasing capacity fast, possibly in response to seasonal peaks.

Our ethos and plant are angled towards fast response to our clients needs.

Temporary Cold Storage Facilities Case Studies

A Temporary Chilled Building for Logistics Operations

A Temporary Chilled Building for Logistics Operations

A great job this one. We were approached to offer a rapid solution for a chilled packing area. Large in size, and to be built within an existing warehouse, the area was to be used for chilled storage and packing of box meals.

A Temporary Chilled Logistics Building for Food Distribution

A Temporary Chilled Logistics Building for Food Distribution

To provide a major distribution company with a temporary chilled logistics building. A really good job this one, with an interesting problem to solve.

Chilled Storage hire for Seed Potatoes

Chilled Storage hire for Seed Potatoes

Jersey Royal were experiencing a problem with seed potatoes sprouting early. This causes issues when planting mechanically- the sprouts are knocked-off setting the growing cycles back and ultimately effecting the yield.

Temporary Fruit Coldstore in Kent For a Major Packer

Temporary Fruit Coldstore in Kent For a Major Packer

A really nice temporary chilled storage project. This fruit storage warehouse was finished to a high specification and has been contracted initially for 2 years.

Additional Cold Storage Capacity for a Major Flower Distributor

Additional Cold Storage Capacity for a Major Flower Distributor

Cold storage is especially tricky to maintain in readiness for the six or seven weeks of the year when you really need it. Renting equipment when you really need it makes business sense.

Temperature Controlled Warehouse Partitioning for Banana Storage

Temperature Controlled Warehouse Partitioning for Banana Storage

Certainly one of the largest and most challenging temperature control projects we have ever carried out. Measuring at 288,000 sq/mt and at a height of 20 metres, this area was partitioned from the main deep chill warehouse for a 15 degree storage chamber.

Temporary Cold Storage in Scotland. The Scalloway fish market in Shetland

Temporary Cold Storage in Scotland. The Scalloway fish market in Shetland

ACR were very proud to have been chosen to carry out this strategic project for Shetland Island Council. This project was a slow burner from the-off, with multiple visits to the Island, many options were discussed until the final solution was arrived at.

Event Air Conditioning Hire- A Bespoke 747 Cooling Project

Event Air Conditioning Hire- A Bespoke 747 Cooling Project

Advanced Climate Rentals were approached at short notice by the client with a significant problem. The plane was due to be used for an event, this included decking out the fuselage with live foliage to give a woodland theme.

Products

50kw Low Temperature AHU Hire

50kw Low Temperature AHU Hire

Our 50 KW Air Handling Units (AHUs) are the ideal solution for any commercial or industrial cooling applications. They can be hired, installed and working onsite with as little as 24 hours’ notice.

25kw Low Temperature AHU Rental

25kw Low Temperature AHU Rental

Our 25kW Air Handling Units (AHUs) provide cold store cooling and air conditioning for a huge range of clients.

Temporary Cold Store Cooling Rigs

Temporary Cold Store Cooling Rigs

Our Temporary Coldstore cooling rigs are the perfect solution to breaks in your cold chain. We can provide temporary cooling in a hurry so you don’t risk losses or miss out during peaks in demand. Whatever you need, we can bring the coldstore to you.

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