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Alfa Laval preserves future crop diversity

To ensure the survival of millions of seeds stored for posterity at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a mountain had to freeze.

DATE 2015-02-27

Alfa Laval preserves future crop diversityThe Global Seed Vault is the biggest repository of seeds in the world situated 100 meters into a mountain outside Svalbard’s capital Longyearbyen. To ensure a stable temperature of -18 degrees inside the Seed Vault, a cooling solution was supplied by Brødrene Dahl AS from Tromsø, Norway and installed by Spitzbergen VVS under contract from the Norwegian government.

 AlfaCubic in the ceiling

The solution involves two small Alfa Laval AlfaCubic units (BL402B7) hanging from the ceiling of the seed vault, and two additional bigger units (BL503B7) that sit on the floor and act as backup. In total, the coolers have a capacity of 55 kW and use brine as a coolant. 

“Given the extreme Arctic conditions, we needed high-quality products with optimal functionality,” says Jan Kristiansen at Brødrene Dahl AS. “This is the first solution that we have worked with that was to be installed and operated inside a mountain, which in itself places special demands on the products.”

 AlfaCubic air heat exchanger increases the heat transfer area which results in greater efficiency.

Freeze a mountain on Svalbard down to -18 degrees Celsius to preserve seeds.

Four AlfaCubic, high performance cooler units with superior heat transfer values.

This is the first solution that we have worked with that was to be installed and operated inside a mountain, which in itself places special demands on the products. Our job was basically to freeze amountain.


Jan Kristiansen, Brødrene Dahl AS