Aurivo reduces carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption by 80% with GEA solutions

Ireland’s second largest liquid milk processing firm Aurivo has reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fossil fuel consumption at its Killygordon site by 80%, thanks to a multimillion-euro upgrade that has harnessed new liquid processing systems, state-of-the-art energy saving and refrigeration and heat recovery solutions through heat pumps from GEA.

The successful project highlights the benefit of the GEA’s unique SEnS (Sustainable Energy Solutions) concept and has been awarded Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design (EXEED) Certification from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

The GEA and Aurivo utilities teams also worked hand-in-hand with GEA Ireland’s dairy liquid processing specialists, who installed the new, larger 45,000 l/h capacity pasteurizer, together with separation, homogenization and milk standardization equipment that work seamlessly with the upgraded refrigeration and heat pump solutions.

The overall upgrade has increased Aurivo’s hourly milk processing capacity and reduced energy consumption for processing, heating and chilling by around 12%. CO2 emissions have dropped by more than 181,000 kg per year. Additionally, the heat pump technology has dramatically cut Aurivo’s use of fossil fuels for heating the water used for pasteurisation.

“The new refrigeration and heat pump solutions provide us with 1200 kW of cooling and roughly the same in heating capacity,” commented Stephen Carlin, Aurivo’s engineering manager.

“The GEA heat pump that collects and recycles what was waste energy from the chiller provides us with the remaining energy needed to take the water up to the pasteurization temperature of a max of 78°C. This has rendered our traditional fuel oil-burning boilers almost redundant for the pasteurization process. In fact, we now only have to turn the boilers on for one hour a week to kick-start each process cycle.”

Carlin noted that there is also untapped capacity in the heat pump system: “At present we are only using 50 % of the heat pump capacity. If necessary, we could double the amount of hot water produced and so potentially double our capacity for pasteurization.”

As a single source supplier, GEA configurated and installed all refrigeration, heat pump and pasteurizer systems.

“We didn’t just provide a heat pump, we optimized the pasteurizer to suit the heat pump application for the Aurivo site,” stated Kenneth Hoffmann, product manager, heatpumps at GEA.

“All the way through the project we were focused on offering a complete solution, not just individual parts, so that our technologies could help to reduce waste, energy consumption and use of fossil fuels, while increasing capacity and making the Aurivo facility one of the most sustainable dairy plants in Ireland.”

Aurivo is continuing its partnership with GEA through a service level agreement. “We have been hugely impressed with the knowledge of the GEA experts and it’s really important to us that we will have access to a local service team for the whole GEA equipment,” Carlin noted.

“There are GEA offices and expert support just a couple of hours away here in Ireland and we know that we can call on the teams at any time 24/7, to ensure that we don’t
have expensive downtime and process stoppages.”

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