First ever propane wine-producing refrigerating facility in France
The French Réseau Froid VINCI Energies reported that a France-based (Mâcon) cooperative winery, whose R22 refrigerating equipment had to be replaced, chose to resort to R290 (propane) refrigerant with its GWP of 3, for the first time ever in France.
The propane-based machine has been installed outdoors for security reason even though it was necessary to gauge the impact of a potential gas leak or pocket on the machine. In the event of leakage, ventilation is induced to dilute the gas pocket and exhaust it out of the machine. Its semi-hermetic screw compressors feature a 325 kW unit refrigerating capacity.
Two independent refrigerating circuits cover half of the needs each. The maintenance costs are much lower and propane offers higher thermodynamic performances than ammonia. Also, propane is miscible with lubricating oils, unlike ammonia. This equipment has a built-in 650 kW chiller.
The cooled water whose temperature ranges between +5°C and +10°C helps keep the wine’s temperature stable during the wine-making process. Since the propane’s thermodynamic features are very similar to the R22’s, the end user is happy to experience similar operating conditions. In France, propane is scarcely used in high power refrigerating systems even if some manufacturers tend to offer components for propane-fueled facilities now.