The President Hyper Vaal in Vanderbijlpark is one of the biggest projects undertaken by Matador Refrigeration in its 58-year history.
There were numerous challenges in all aspects of design, installation, electronic control and monitoring and the sheer enormity of the system.
It was, in our opinion, a very responsible decision by the owners, the Synodinos family, who opted for the R134a / CO 2 subcritical cascade refrigeration system to be their chosen solution for the refrigeration plant.
Not only was this a step in the right direction for the environment, but it also allowed Matador to focus on energy saving which was paramount in our design.
With the use of special energy-saving equipment and a few trade secrets implemented we achieved some interesting savings on energy consumption.
With a total system load of 1313.4 Kw on the medium temperature applications and 162 Kw on the low-temperature systems, one can imagine that when we announced the requirement for the power supply of 1 400 Amps per phase to the electrical engineer, it raised some eyebrows.
We now had the challenge of reducing the running consumption dramatically. Ultimately this was achieved through some “different” engineering coupled with Variable Speed Drives installed on each of the 6 multiplex compressor systems.
With the supply of the plant entrusted to the Cape Town based rack manufacturer Phoenix Racks, no expense was spared on energy-saving equipment that included VSD’s, Soft Starters, and the “Eco” range of Bock Compressors to achieve maximum energy savings.
After final commissioning and fine-tuning, the average running Amps of the main plant was around 870 Amps in peak summer conditions and the lowest recorded was 550 Amps.
The heat exchange equipment supplied by Heating Centre was also selected with energy savings in mind, ie air-cooled condensers capable of operating the plant in very high ambient conditions without compromising the integrity of the maximum output capacity (when required).
A 1 500 litre hot water reclaim system was also installed to provide hot water via a plate heat exchanger and a heat pump for back-up in peak times.
This system supplies the entire back of house requirement.
A special application in this project was to supply a biltong drying room capable of producing 3 tons of product in three days.
This application was designed and installed by Matador Refrigeration and, according to the Butchery department manager, this is a huge success.
The electronic control system which manages each application in terms of temperature, defrosting, alarms, and overall system operating functions was supplied by Carel.
The electronic system is connected directly to the contracted security company and will alert the responsible person of any problems in after-hour periods.
A huge thank you to the wonderful team at President Hyper and especially to Basil and Nick for entrusting Matador with the refrigeration requirement and who, throughout the project, provided support and the drive to get it finished on time.
Congratulations to the entire Matador team, from management to pipefitters and assistants, who provided a world-class project that they can be proud of.