Published June 15, 2022 | Version 1
Conference paper Open

Integrated CO2 refrigeration and heat pump systems for dairies

  • 1. SINTEF Energy
  • 2. Cadio AS
  • 3. SINTEF Ocean
  • 4. Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • 5. Norwegian University of Science and Technology,


Production facilities in the food industry are large consumers of electricity and thermal energy due to energyintensive
processes such as steam production, cleaning, sanitising, refrigeration and drying. Furthermore,
there is often a considerable thermal demand for heating the building and for air‐conditioning purposes.
Dairy plants require both heating and cooling at various temperature levels to process the different dairy
products. The thermal demands in these plants have traditionally been covered by separate systems, such as
fossil fuel burners or electric boilers for the heating processes and various refrigeration systems for the
cooling processes. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on integrated energy systems for dairies
as a measure to reduce the overall energy consumption of the plant. This strategy involves integrating all
functions to serve the thermal demands into one centralised energy system.
This paper describes the energy system for a dairy plant in central Norway. A CO2 refrigeration system serves
the various cooling loads in the production process. The energy system in the dairy is mapped and the thermal
loads have been identified. Based on the current configuration of the cold side of the CO2 refrigeration units,
proposals for improvements are made. Using thermodynamic calculations, the modifications are evaluated
in terms of COP improvement and the annual reduction in energy consumption. The calculations show that
the energy consumption can be reduced by 12 % to 21.2 % depending on the alteration of the system.


2022 GL Selvnes et al dairy.pdf

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ENOUGH – European food chain supply to reduce GHG emissions by 2050 101036588
European Commission