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Scientists Keeping It Cool

How to keep our large refrigerated coldstores working more effectively and economically is the focus of a Massey University based study.

The initial work, led by Don Cleland, has involved studying protection systems for doors which help keep warm air out of industrial coldstores.

“New Zealand has one of the highest volumes of refrigerated storage per head of population in the world. This is due to our large refrigerated food export industry which accounts for about a third of our export earnings.

“Refrigerated buildings use about five per cent of the national electricity consumption. Our research shows that energy savings of up to 20 per cent are often achievable for existing refrigerated buildings,” said Mr Cleland.

“For years New Zealand companies have used manual or slow-acting mechanical doors. These doors let in lots of warm outside air which carries water, which then ices up the inside of the coldstore making them less efficient and creating a safety hazard,” said Mr Cleland.

The research, which is an investment of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, will reduce costs and improve the quality of refrigerated products.

“Our research will give companies the evidence they need to justify expenditure on improved door technology such as fast- acting roller doors. It will also enable designers to more accurately size refrigeration systems,” said Mr Cleland.

In addition, the research group is developing models of coldstore airflow which will enable further studies of airflow patterns within refrigerated buildings.

For further information: Don Cleland, Institute of Technology & Engineering, Massey University Tel 06 350 5240, Email:

Madeleine Setchell, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Tel 04 498 7806 Mobile 025 40 60 40

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