The very essence of a cold store is the maintenance of temperature control to enable perishable produce to be handled, stored, inspected and despatched in prime condition for sophisticated customers in overseas markets.
The exceptional 40 + years’ experience of Chris Turner, of TVD Projects was called upon for the refrigeration design and specifications for the SAFT Atlantic Hills plant.
“We must be doing something right” comments Chris, “this is the third project we have completed for SAFT; the other two were at Cold Harvest in Paarl and the SAFT Killarney Gardens facility completed in 2014.
“Atlantic Hills was originally designed as a two phase project which involved the conceptualisation of 16 different permutations before the final design emerged as a single project. Design specifications included the refrigeration plant, the insulated structure, drive-in racking, cooling tunnel lighting and cooling tunnel curtains.
“The Atlantic Hills plant is similar to the Killarney Gardens premises and comprises 34 cooling tunnels, three holding rooms, two staging stores and two refrigerated airlocks.
“As refrigeration is a energy hungry utility, special attention was paid to energy optimisation of the entire refrigeration installation such as specifying variable speed drives and an integrated energy management system.
“The plant is completely automatic in operation and is self-diagnostic which indicates if specific temperature parameters are exceeded or if system components fail.
“Maintaining specified temperatures is critical for successful plant operation to ensure the high value export produce reaches its destination in peak condition. It is unlikely that the average overseas consumer has any inkling of the sophisticated systems and processes involved when tucking into their crunchy South African apples or creamy avocados!” said Chris.