Significant energy savings with U-Turn solution

When Globus decided to invest 21 million EURO in expanding and upgrading its central logistics complex to a new cutting-edge cold storage facility, it needed a state-of-the-art refrigeration system to match. With Alfa Laval's help, that's exactly what they got.

DATE 2020-03-23

“The U-Turn as an evaporator separator unit costs less than conventional liquid separators, offers better separation properties and reduces the need for engineering services, material and coordination on-site,” explains Günter Sass, Refrigeration Sales Director, Alfa Laval Germany. “It presents an ideal solution for Alfa Laval semi-welded plate heat exchangers in terms of the liquid column and pressure loss. The U-Turn saves room and reduces weight, since it goes through doors. This made it possible to meet the customer’s requirements.”

The result was a state-of-the-art refrigeration system, with a total capacity of 1,364 kW, in the smallest possible space. However, capacity and space were not the only requirements – increased energy efficiency was also mandatory, and again this objective was met.

“The use of the natural coolants NH3 and CO2 achieved a high level of environmental friendliness,” says Dieter Sperber. “The coolant filling level is very low in relation to the system’s output thanks to the system’s compact design, the use of the U-Turn heat exchanger and the air cooler connection via the brine network.”

Special attention was also paid to heat recovery. Thanks to the optimum configuration of the ten Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers and the intelligent control of the individual heat consumers, the energy gained from heat recovery covers the building’s entire demand for heat and hot water on cold winter days. The use of speed-controlled permanent-magnet motors and EC fans also helped achieve further energy savings.

Product

  • The U-Turn is a liquid separator especially designed for use with plate heat exchangers in ammonia applications, which ensures minimum pressure drop losses and maximum energy efficiency.
  • The module provides an effective and compact installation with less vertical rise and smaller overall dimensions than any other solution.
  • All ammonia connections are grouped on the same side, which allows the module to be installed in close proximity to walls or on the perimeter of a main skid.

U-Turn liquid separator 

The customer

  • The Globus Group in Germany includes 43 hypermarkets, 78 hardware stores, nine speciality electronics retailers and one Globus Drive.  
  • It employs more than 32000 people, including 630 in Bingen, Germany 

Challenge

To supply a state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly refrigeration system for the 13300-square-metre cold storage facility of a rapidly expanding German hypermarket group.

Solution

  • A refrigeration system featuring U-Turn separators and plate heat exchangers 
  • Easy to transport, position and set up
  •  Lower cost than conventional liquid separators
  • Efficient separation properties
  • Significant energy savings
  • Reduced need for engineering services, material and coordination on-site
  • Use of natural coolants NHand CO2 for high level of environmental friendliness
  • Locally based technical support for swift response