Milk cooling tank compliant with Wedholms’ revised fluorinated greenhouse gas regulations

  • Wedholms introduces the first milk cooling tank to the European market using CO2 as a refrigerant in a standard direct expansion cooling system
  • Natural refrigerants such as CO2 will be required under the revised F-gas regulation, signed into EU law on March 11 this year.
  • From January 2025, all new standalone refrigeration equipment, except chillers, installed in the EU must use refrigerants with a GWP (global warming potential) value of less than 150

Wedholms has introduced the first milk cooling tank in Europe using CO2 as a refrigerant in standard direct evaporation cooling systems. The tank complies with the amended F-gas regulation, which will come into force in the European Union from January next year.

The DFC 953 milk cooling tank range is available for robotic milking with 1-8 robots and has capacities from 3,200 liters to 30,000 liters.

Synthetic refrigerants such as fluorocarbons are currently being phased out by the European Union. Under the revised F-gas regulation recently signed into EU law, all new stand-alone refrigeration equipment, except chillers, installed from January 2025 must use refrigerants with a GWP (global warming potential) value below 150. Existing systems can continue to be used and repaired for the rest of their economic life. However, from 2032, refrigeration systems using refrigerants with a GWP value above 750, with the exception of chillers, will no longer be allowed to be refilled during maintenance and service.

From 2027, there will be further restrictions on the maximum amount of synthetic refrigerants that can be placed on the EU market, limiting the amount to around 20 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. This will increase the price of synthetic refrigerants, making milk cooling tanks with outdated technology more expensive to purchase and operate, providing an incentive to invest in milk cooling tanks using more modern and environmentally sustainable technology.

Environmentally friendly refrigerants are being introduced around the world, and milk cooling tanks are no exception. Refrigeration is an essential process in agriculture and the dairy industry and we must use processes that work in harmony with the natural environment on which we depend,” says Stefan Gavelinmanaging director of Wedholms.

Early refrigerants are making a comeback

The phasing out of harmful refrigerants is a process that has been going on for almost 40 years. In the 1980s, the first evidence of holes in the ozone layer began to appear. Since then, successive regulatory systems have heralded new generations of refrigerants, each less harmful than the last.

Early refrigeration systems, as early as the 19th century, used natural refrigerants such as CO2, ammonia or hydrocarbons. However, with the production technology and safety practices of the time, it was not practical to use these refrigerants. In the 1930s, freon was introduced, which provided effective cooling at low pressure while also improving safety.

Freon began to be phased out after the ratification of the Montreal Protocol in the 1980s due to its high ozone-depleting potential. Since then, attention has returned to natural refrigerants. CO2 has a GWP of 1 and an ozone depletion potential of 0, making its environmental impact neutral.

We are coming full circle and natural refrigerants are becoming the norm again. CO2 cooling requires high operating pressures, but technological advances over the past decade have made such systems cost-effective in both commercial and industrial applications in a wide variety of applications.

At Wedholms we have decided to work with CO2 as a refrigerant. Ammonia is toxic and corrosive; hydrocarbons such as propane are flammable. CO2 has none of these disadvantages. Moreover, it is readily available in large quantities and at a low price.” says Gavelin.

CO2 is an effective refrigerant

CO2 is a very effective refrigerant. Its unique properties, both in the form of steam and liquid, ensure high energy efficiency, significantly reducing operating costs. This also enables the use of small components and small diameter lines, minimizing component dimensions and reducing parts and repair costs.

The high energy content of compressed CO2 produces heat as a by-product of the process. This is recovered by the DFC 953 system and used to supply hot water to auxiliary systems.

Direct expansion refrigeration is the most popular type of cooling system. It works on the principle that the gas temperature decreases as a result of lowering the pressure and expanding the gas. The cold gas absorbs heat from inside the enclosed space and releases the heat outside.

Compatible with all milking robots

The DFC 953 milk cooling tank compressor is frequency-controlled and operates exactly at the speed required by the process. A small 20 liter batch of milk is cooled to exactly the right temperature as efficiently as a larger 200 liter batch, avoiding ice formation in the tank.

The DFC 953 milk cooling tank range is compatible with all milking robots. Many adapter kits are available.

The control system provides a wide range of options for efficient mixing and temperature control, as well as advanced alarm functions.

The home consumption button allows users to obtain milk for their own needs.

Thorough cleaning is ensured by a shower head whose task is to eliminate calcium deposits and bacterial growth throughout the entire interior of the tank using a strong water stream.

About Wedholm:

For over 145 years, Wedholms has been a Swedish company with a global reach. The Wedholms company traces its origins to entrepreneur Carl August Wedholm, who in 1879 founded a company in Nyköping, Sweden, producing high-quality milk cans. Today, Wedholms has multiple operating units covering production, engineering, sales and service. The product range includes milk cooling tanks and silos, as well as related after-sales services. The company’s vision is to become a global leader in energy-efficient and sustainable milk cooling solutions.

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