Switching to a high-purity compressor oil has allowed a cold storage company to reduce operating costs while optimizing compressor efficiency.

Claus Sorensen has 13 facilities in Denmark, comprising more than 23 million ft3.

Maintaining a cold storage facility is a complex task. The compressors used in the cooling systems are critical to the success of the operation and must be maintained consistently at peak efficiency. At the same time, operating costs must be kept in line.

            This combination is even more challenging when the operation is as large as Claus Sorensen A/S, the biggest refrigerated and cold storage group in Denmark. The company has 13 facilities located from Skagen in the north to Padborg in the south, totaling more than 23 million ft3 (672,000 m3). Claus Sorensen has more than 75 years of experience in freezing and storing food products, including seafood, meat, bread, ice cream, fruits and vegetables. The group also operates high-capacity ice factories in major Danish fishing ports and is the world’s biggest supplier of clear ice to the fishing industry.

            “Our freezing plants make rigorous demands on the compressor oil we use,” explains Michael Glering, operation manager at Claus Sorensen’s plant in Vejle. “We operate to temperatures as low as -40oC [-40oF].”

Michael Glering, operation manager at Claus Sorensen’s Vejle plant, is pleased with the new compressor fluid from Petro-Canada Lubricants.

Testing a New Fluid

A few years ago, Claus Sorensen bought several new Grasso refrigerating compressors for the Vejle plant. A drum of Petro-Canada’s Reflo A ammonia refrigeration compressor oil was supplied with the compressors.

            “The oil is formulated with 99.9 percent pure base oils and is produced using a patented high-temperature purity process,” says Nickolas Joujou, category manager, specialty fluids, for Petro-Canada Lubricants in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. “Unlike many traditional refrigeration oils, Reflo A is designed to be less volatile at high temperatures and less soluble with ammonia. As a result, the oil can significantly lower oil carry-over and reduce oil consumption.”

            After consulting with Petro-Canada’s Danish distributor, Petro-Chem A/S, Claus Sorensen agreed to test the new compressor oil in one of its plants. “We decided to take the plunge, and it has been a big success,” says Glering. “We’ve experienced no major problems after changing fluids.”

            Instead, since switching to the new compressor oil, Claus Sorensen has experienced a considerable reduction in oil consumption.

            “With Reflo A, we’ve reduced our oil consumption by 25 to 30 percent per year in a large, two-stage compressor. When you consider the 27 Sabroe and Grasso piston compressors we have here in Vejle, and the larger number of compressors we run nationally, the cost savings can really add up,” Glering says.  PCE

Petro-Canada Lubricants refines crude oil feedstock to produce lubricating oil-based stocks and other specialized products. For more information, call (800) 576-1686 or (866) 335-3369; e-mail lubecsr@petro-canada.ca; or visit www.petro-canada.com.

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