Local area cooling for efficient fish processing (FS134)


This feasibility study will collect and analyse information to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of the localised area control concept, which will reduce carbon and running costs and create a better working environment for staff.

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:

5 Months

Project Outcome:

Cooling an entire fish processing hall is not energy efficient because the refrigeration system has to extract all heat loads when only fish temperatures need to be low to preserve safety, quality, and shelf-life.  If techniques could be developed to keep just the fish cool, then processing hall temperatures could be increased resulting in energy savings, and more pleasant working temperatures.

This feasibility study evaluated the technical and commercial feasibility of this local area cooling (LAC) concept.  A survey of literature, existing technology, and patents revealed only little previous activity on LAC.  Detailed temperature and energy measurements were made for the processing space, and how fish temperatures changed through the processing sequence(s) were determined.  The majority of fish warming took place at only 2 locations. The collected plant data and survey results stimulated generation of possible concepts for LAC equipment.  Small scale trial rigs were constructed and laboratory trials showed that fish could be maintained at temperatures up to 25°C below a local ambient temperature.  Provided this could be successfully scaled up then the processing hall temperature could be increased without adversely affecting fish temperatures.  Calculations suggested this would save c.75MWh annually, (worth £22,500 at 30p/kWh).

This project demonstrated technical feasibility of the LAC concept at a model scale, however, a full implementation was not considered commercially viable with this processing facility. Subsequently, more sophisticated approaches to calculating LAC savings that addressed limitations of the simple approach used here. Further work is required to consider this.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

New England Seafood Ltd