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Spar DC expands, takes on board new tech

Spar DC expands, takes on board new tech

By John Ackermann

Continued market growth and the expansion of the network of retail outlets, pushed the infrastructure of the Spar DC in Philippi to its limits, until in 2016 vacant land on the site was developed with the addition of a new perishables dispatch area and a -25°C cold room.

In 2007, when the refrigeration plant room of the DC of Spar Western Cape was initially planned, provision was made for future expansion. Space was allowed for additional compressors and ammonia vessels.

The large dispatch/receiving area of single floor space, has two heights – 48 x 48m x 12 m high and 48 x 15m x 5.5m high. The section of 12m height has fixed racking along the one wall. It is a working area with staff receiving, dispatching and consolidating orders for stores, so the noise level in the area was of prime concern.

Air temperature in the area is maintained by 14 BAC ammonia blower coils with an air throw more than 20m. The high number of blower fans, a total of 54, required special consideration to achieve a low noise level. In conjunction with the consultants, Energy Partners, the new ebmPapst, Axi-Cool fans were selected for ultra-low noise levels and a power consumption of below two amps per motor at full speed. With so many motors, the additional cost of the Axi-Cool fans, would be recovered in less than 18 months from the savings in electric power cost when compared with conventional axial fans and AC motors.

To provide cooling for the new extensions, two additional Mycom screw compressors and an additional high stage surge drum (suction accumulator), were installed in the plant room. In the space previously provided on the plant room roof, two additional BAC evaporative condensers and a Liquid Receiver were installed.

Regular plant checks by trained technicians are a requirement of SANS 10147 and gives the plant owner the peace of mind that the plant is safe always and operating efficiently.

The Mycom compressors, a Mycom N220-JSV coupled with an 185kW motor and a Mycom N200-VMD coupled with a 220kW motor, have Logix compressor control panels. The -25o°C blower coils are mounted in external pods with hydraulic operated flaps, which automatically close during defrost cycles. The entrance to the cold room has a high speed automatic vertical roll up door and a CFW air curtain with horizontal air flow. To minimise the accumulation of frost and ice, which is a safety hazard, adds to the power usage during defrosting, extends the duration of defrost cycles and lowers the heat transfer performance of the blower coils until cleared of ice, a dehumidifier has been installed in the cold room.

Since commissioning, a Logix Clarity master panel control system has been installed to control all plant room equipment (including previously installed compressors) and the evaporative condensers. The Logix master control system will provide real time information of the plant room equipment, evaporative condensers and logs performance over a five-year cycle. A Carel Plantvisor Pro 2 monitors all air temperatures in both the new and old temperature controlled rooms.

Each of the eight dispatch and receiving doors have vertical, automated roll up doors, an insulated docking seal and dock levellers.

Cape Town based contractors, MRE, started with the extensions to the refrigeration plant in May 2016 and completed commissioning in November. Like the other branches in the national network of MRE in Durban, Gauteng and Port Elizabeth, service technicians from the Cape Town branch visit the Philippi DC weekly to monitor performance and do regular maintenance tasks, such as draining oil and attending to the slightest leak of ammonia.

Regular plant checks by trained technicians are a requirement of SANS 10147 and gives the plant owner peace of mind that the plant is safe always and operating efficiently. Well maintained plants are essential for low power usage and add to the bottom line of operators.


Click below to read the May/June 2017 issue of Cold Link Africa

CLA May-June 2017

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