One of the UK’s largest wine producers has upgraded its cooling facilities to replace the now-obsolete R22 refrigerant using rental equipment to maintain processes while the winery upgrades its temperature control to a high-tech heat pump chiller to improve production quality and provide greater control at all stages of production.
Temperature control specialists, ICS Cool Energy, who are carrying out the work, say that they are seeing increasing numbers of UK wineries upgrading temperature control solutions to optimise cutting edge techniques, ensuring the growing demand can be met, in line with the continued growth of the market.
In 2013, the UK wine industry was directly responsible for 9% of Europe’s wine production with an estimated value of £11.48m, since then, the market has continued to grow steadily.
At each stage of the wine making process, temperature control determines a wines distinctive flavour, as blends ferment at their own unique rate. The production process requires temperature management of jacketed vessels which ferment the wine, preventing the formation of crystals which can reduce the product quality and affect the taste of the wine.
Russ Baker, UK Sales Director of ICS Cool Energy’s Hire Division explains: “As with all our projects, our rental team carried out a thorough review of the winery’s requirements as well as the options for connectivity, before recommending and supplying an iC535 air cooled chiller.
“The new unit’s efficiency offers 10% higher duty than the redundant chiller plant whilst operating from the same power source; it provides an energy efficient alternative to the previous system which operated using R22 refrigerant, which has been banned under legislation that came into force at the beginning of 2015. The new cooling plant seamlessly connects to the site’s three 15,000 litre jacketed vessels to maintain production levels. Once the process is complete the product is transferred to casks, where it begins the aging process.”
To support the winery further, ICS Cool Energy will also be installing a heat pump chiller to support the sites longer term requirements in order to provide cooling for the stabilisation of acidity, as well as for cooling the fermenting vessels to control the exothermic reactions. As a heat pump chiller system, the unit is able to provide heating from the same source which will provide controlled heating for a process of malolactic fermentation, which heats varieties of red and sparkling wines to 20°C in order to release additional flavours.