Large food processing facility reduces operating costs by evaluating & upgrading refrigeration system with Cochran Mechanical, & utilizing PG&E SPC program incentives


A large food processing facility in Bakersfield needed an upgraded refrigeration system to reduce high operating costs. Energy evaluations estimated the facility would save $300,000 a year per year & qualify for PG&E program incentives.

The production facility relies on refrigeration for hydro-cooling & cold storage, & was cooling four cold storage rooms.

Cochran Mechanical worked alongside the facility’s engineer to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the cold storage refrigeration system. The original refrigeration piping was undersized & pipe insulation had deteriorated with age. The original defrost & temperature controls were opening ineffectively, causing coil icing & excessive energy consumption. The overall configuration & usage patterns suggest that one of the engine rooms could be completely eliminated in conjunction with other system improvements.

Cochran Mechanical worked through a complex redesign project for the refrigeration system, & the various system improvements are interactive in their effects with respect to impact on energy use. The redesigned refrigeration system included installation of properly sized pipe & adequate insulation. Cochran Mechanical included new valves in order to optimize the zoning of the refrigeration loops for maximum efficiency. An entire engine room with two compressors was completely eliminated from operation. State-of-the-art, digital, programmable temperature & defrost controls were specified & executed by a local controls team. System operating parameters were included as part of the overall system redesign.

This large food processing facility now saves over $300,000 per year through reduced refrigeration costs.