Freezing on a grand scale

Merkle & Partner: Simulation technologies for energy-efficient and optimal logistics centre design, also with cooling areas.

Logistics and cooling centre Teaser image Press

Unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as Annalena Baerbock's quote "Chicken should be stored at -20°C instead of -22°C and you could already reduce the electricity load noticeably" (Maischberger 2021). Using CFD simulations, however, logistics centres and cold storage facilities can not only be designed to be energy-efficient, but also optimised in terms of logistics and cooling distribution.

The air-conditioning of logistics centres, which include cold stores, freezers, refrigerated warehouses and packaging zones, is demanding. Areas with different temperatures should be separated from each other as far as possible. Within demarcated zones, temperatures should be distributed as evenly as possible. And thermal bridges such as airlocks or gates as well as heat exchangers, fans, etc. are also part of a sound design. Not only with regard to energy consumption, but also with regard to the quality of the goods to be cooled and the work processes, such centres must be well thought out.

Large food companies have been using engineering calculations for the design of their logistics and cooling centres for years. CFD simulation can answer numerous questions in great detail; from the placement of the production belts, to the division of the climate zones, to the air flow at conveyor belts and airlocks.

The essential statements can already be obtained from a corresponding CFD model with the help of the flow calculation, in which the flow distribution and speed are evaluated. Areas with no flow, so-called dead water areas, but also areas with very high flow velocities (draught) can be identified in this way. Subsequently, optimisation can take place so that comfort and energy costs are in harmony with optimum cooling performance and temperature control.

"What you can build, we can calculate," says Stefan Merkle, Managing Director of Merkle & Partner GmbH. "For over 31 years, we have been using simulation calculations in large parts of the industry to optimise products, buildings or processes. With insightful success for our customers."

Further information at www.merkle-partner.de

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