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‘Rising cost, price-sensitive consumers pave way for TES solutions in GCC region’

GM, TPmec, highlights applications for Viking Cold Solutions and Phase Change Material, intelligent controls and monitoring features

| | Oct 31, 2018 | 5:22 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 31 October 2018: Rising costs and an increasingly price-sensitive consumer base dominate the GCC region’s market scenario, said Rajeev Sivadasan, General Manager, TPmec, adding that current conditions being faced by cold chain stakeholders are owing to increasing energy cost, constraints in food supply and global economic uncertainty. “Refrigerated warehouses, frozen food distribution centers and grocery freezers are the highest energy-consuming sector per cubic foot in the world,” he said, adding that as a result, reducing energy cost is being viewed as one of the easiest ways to increase a company’s bottom line.  According to the Carbon Trust, he explained, a 20% cut in energy costs is equivalent to a five per cent increase in sales on the balance sheet. This, he said, is paving the way for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) solutions, gleaning from the TPmec’s experience as a channel partner for Viking Cold Solutions in the GCC region.

Sivadasan explained that US-based Viking Cold Solutions offers TES solutions that reduce energy demand and provide flexibility and savings in an otherwise energy-intensive frozen/low temperature cold storage industry. Outlining the features, Sivadasan pointed to its use of Phase Change Material (PCM), a substance with a high latent heat of fusion, which can remain at a consistent temperature, while storing and releasing large amounts of energy, as it transitions between solid and liquid states. “While changing phases, our engineered PCM absorbs 300 times more heat than food,” he said. Combined with intelligent controls and monitoring software that can be integrated with the existing refrigeration system, it can reduce the energy consumption by approximately 25-35%. The features, he said, shifts the load from peak towards off peak period, reduces the runtime of refrigeration systems and establishes temperature by more than 38% inside the storage space, thereby increasing the shelf-life of food and ensuring its quality is maintained.

Sivadasan added that the system doesn’t have mechanical moving parts and can be installed in both new and retrofit projects.“Our system actually integrates with existing racking systems, does not reduce any storage space and does not limit sprinkler or fire suppression systems,” he said. “[It] will not affect commodity classification and will not impede or disrupt any logistical operations. In fact, the system’s controls and remote monitoring actually improve overall efficiencies and allow for predictive maintenance of other system components.”

Sivadasan said the company has saved clients’ energy consumption by 11,403 Mhr, reduced carbon footprint by over 8,100 metric tonnes and mitigated product losses of over USD 13 million. “TES is protecting frozen food quality and is changing the face of the cold storage industry,” he stressed. Since the tie-up between TPmec in Dubai and Viking Cold Solutions, Sivadasan said, both firms are approaching cold chain companies to educate the market on the benefit of this solution. Applications, he said, vary widely across the United Arab Emirates and the region, to include cold stores, frozen food distribution centres and supermarkets with cold rooms for fruits, vegetables, dairy, milk and other temperature sensitive items. “It can even be used in the medical field, where medicines or serum are stored in low-temperature storage spaces,” he said.

Sivadasan said that growing awareness with regard to the GWP of refrigerants, integral to the operation of refrigeration equipment, is also making a case for TES solutions. With the United Arab Emirates’ looming environmental targets and the Supreme Council of Energy’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16%, equivalent to reducing 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2021, Sivadasan said that TES falls in line with the sustainability goals of the United Arab Emirates, as well as that of countries in the GCC region, which are rolling out similar initiatives.

 

Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com


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