Friday, 16 January 2015

Cold Room Installation For IBC Cold Storage

As mentioned in my last post I am no stranger to the cold room! Working in cold storage and refrigeration has taken me to many parts of the world and if you missed that last post then follow the link above to read about my 'cold room adventures' in more detail including some memorable photos taken over the years.

These days I spend most of my time talking to cold room customers about their requirements and calculating the optimum way in which they can build and operate a cold store. Sometimes, however, I am asked to get my hands dirty and supervise a cold room installation. Recently I did just that :)

If a cold room is a straight forward size and can be built from regular modular panels with a regular size door, shelving and basic refrigeration plant, then most people can buy what many now call a cold room kit - ie. a package of modular panels, regular door, basic shelving and monoblock refrigeration which they can collect from our premises in Dunstable and install themselves on site. If this applies to you, you might want to check out our special walk in cold room package offer currently available.

Sometimes a customer has a special requirement with certain elements of the cold room design having to be a bespoke supply. The recent cold room installation that I got involved with is a good example. The client is involved in the chemicals industry and needed special storage for IBCs (bulk containers) containing chemicals. The size of the containers meant that a standard cold room door would not be wide enough for the loading and removal of the chemicals when necessary. So I got involved and put together a package that I knew would readily fulfil all their requirements.

Cold room photographed after installation showing the special size door
One other special feature about the storage facility required was the aspect of safe storage temperatures that had to be accommodated. You can read more about the detail of this bespoke supply by visiting this cold room installation post on our company's main blog which covers all things relating to refrigeration and sandwich panels.

Monday, 22 December 2014

No Stranger To The Cold Room

As I look back on this year I realize just how much time I spend talking about cold rooms and refrigeration systems. I talk about them in the office, on the phone, in emails, on Skype and even when I'm travelling. To be honest I cannot think of many days this year when the subject of cold storage has not featured in my life!

This was brought home to me when I looked at photographs I've taken over the last 12 months. My cold room travels have taken me from good old Dunstable to Europe (Belgium, Italy, Spain, Bavaria), the Caribbean (Curacao), the Far East (Hong Kong) and even to New Zealand.

In Belgium the subject was cold room panels, doors and shelving. In Italy I met with olive oil producers keen to talk about temperature controlled storage for their olive oil. In Spain and Bavaria it was refrigeration systems discussions involving our good friends at Intarcon. In the Caribbean it was because of my involvement in 2 projects: construction of a test chamber for a pharmaceutical company and the supply of modular panels and other equipment for a new modular housing development on the island of Curacao. So the list goes on.

Today I'm going to share with you a few of the photos from those travels. Once you've seen them I hope you will agree that there's nothing at all dull or unexciting about being a cold room storage expert :)

Controlled environment project in the Caribbean

Downtown Hong Kong

Cute sleepy seal in New Zealand

Old olive tree in Italy

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Walk In Cold Room - How To Get A Great Deal

Over the years I have seen all types of walk in cold room and by that I mean in type and size.

For example, there is the small walk in chiller which is used by many caterers, bakers and butchers. Florists also use this type of cold room to keep their flowers fresh. Control of temperature for storage is paramount for them - no flowers, no business! The same applies to laboratory cold storage needs. If a laboratory doesn't store its samples etc correctly, it cannot perform its job accurately.

Then there is the small walk in freezer popular with many fast food chains (pizza and burger outlets) as well as restaurants and, again, butchers and bakers.

I have personally been involved in the supply and installation of countless walk in cold rooms and not just in the UK but many countries. Usually the installation work is only required for large cold room and bespoke design projects .... and that suits me just fine.

The truth is that installations take up a lot of time, often not just before and during the installation but also afterwards. Also, many cold room operators have on-site staff sufficiently capable of carrying out the installation themselves, especially if it's a modular assembly cold room. Providing all appropriate health and safety rules are observed, it should be a fairly straight forward process to assemble and install a modular cold room.

This is why so many end-users and contractors opt for modular assembly when it comes to walk in chillers and freezers. It makes sense all round. For any end-users or contractors looking for a good, quality walk in cold room package here is the good news ..... I just bookmarked a special offer (see link) of a quality, modular assembly cold room that comes with refrigeration and shelving and instructions for self-assembly. How long the offer will last who knows but it certainly looks a great option.

Just imagine, you need a new cold room (whether chiller or freezer doesn't matter) and you find one with size and specification options that suit you AND that includes monoblock refrigeration and some shelving. It's easy to assemble and comes from a reputable UK supplier. Job done :)

Friday, 31 October 2014

The Quiet Cold Room

If there's one thing about cold rooms that can bother people it's the noise of the associated refrigeration plant. Yes, cold room noise nuisance is a fact of modern life - strange but true. I saw a page on the City Of York's website the other day under the noise pollution section which looked at noise nuisance from air conditioning and refrigeration plant!

Imagine this .... where you live there are some local shops and on any typical small retail development that is in or near a residential area, you could find any or all of the following:
  • a small supermarket
  • a couple of fast food outlets
  • a small distribution centre (eg. refrigerated food)
Temperature controlled storage will be a feature of some if not all the facilities in the above list and that means you can expect to find one or more small to medium sized cold rooms being used.

The refrigeration plant used on many of this type and size of cold room, especially the refrigeration condensing units, can be quite noisy so for any residents nearby these cold rooms can be a constant source of noise and irritation. If you look at the page in the link above you will see that a big change has taken place in this particular market and low noise refrigeration condensing units such as the Sigilus from Intarcon (with bespoke options too) now provide a great solution for cold room storage in residential areas.

Special condenser to keep cold room noise down

I have personally seen huge changes take place in the UK cold rooms and refrigeration industry over the years and one of the most notable is the increasing number of small retail and food outlets that have been built close to people's homes. Many local residents are very happy about this as they can enjoy having a small supermarket or pizza take-away within walking distance of their home and that can make life easier. However, once the shopping has been put away or the pizza has been eaten, if they can't relax to watch a little tv or read a book because of noisy nearby refrigeration, well that's a counter-balance they are not likely to be happy with and rightly so.

If you can relate to this type of situation just find out which of your local retailers is using cold room storage and tell them they need to install low-noise refrigeration condensers!