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How evaporative cooling creates the optimal climate for food production

7 min read
Insights Content Potato Chips Factory
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When climates go unregulated inside food factories, product quality suffers and worker satisfaction plummets. In this article, we discuss how a Barcelona-based snack factory overcame its climate control issues efficiently and effectively with evaporative cooling.

While potato chips are the simple, go-to snack for many, the manufacturing process behind them is more demanding.

As well as involving a lengthy and complex journey from soil to shelf, specific conditions are required to store, prepare and fry potatoes to a consistent, acceptable standard. At the same time, the climate inside must also be safe and comfortable for workers on the ground.

It is not just potato snack production that relies on the careful control of temperature and humidity – other foodstuffs, such as wine, chocolate and meat, also hinge on effective climate control. As a result, creating and maintaining conditions that accommodate every need inside food processing plants is a difficult balance to strike.

How indoor climate affects food production via temperature and humidity - Biocool infographic image

In this article, we discuss how a potato chip manufacturing plant in Barcelona created the ideal environment for their people and their products using the natural power of evaporative cooling.

What problems did the potato chip factory face?

Faced with high temperatures both indoors and out, employee comfort within the Barcelona-based factory was beginning to deteriorate.

To create a cool, comfortable environment, and meet the demands of Spanish occupational risk prevention regulations, the factory identified the need for a capable cooling system.

This ideal solution had to efficiently and economically circulate enough cool air to keep temperatures between 26°C and 27°C across the large 500m² space. At the same time, the area’s relative humidity could not exceed 60% to maintain product quality and protect worker productivity and wellbeing.

Although their objectives were clear, they found fulfilling these goals and sourcing the technology to meet these stringent requirements was less straightforward.

Traditional air-conditioning systems, while able to deliver precise temperature control, could not cool the large space efficiently or cost-effectively.

Meanwhile, commercial fans presented a cost-effective solution, but could not reduce the temperature enough and lacked humidity control – a necessity for the factory.

Ultimately, evaporative cooling was the ideal approach for this project as these units cool vast areas cost-effectively while simultaneously regulating relative humidity.

To learn more about the effectiveness of evaporative coolers, how they compare to other cooling systems, and where else this technology is best suited, check out our insight.

What solution did Biocool provide?

After a recommendation from an industrial textile company and an initial conversation with the Biocool team, our BIO 18AIV evaporative cooler stood out as the unit of choice:

  • Capable of delivering cool air quickly, this unit has the capacity to create safe and comfortable spaces for employees to work throughout the whole area

  • The unit also controls the humidity inside the factory to ensure that the quality of potato snacks remains high

  • By harnessing the natural power of evaporation to create a flow of cool air, energy usage and operating costs are minimised

  • Emitting only water vapour as a byproduct of operation, the BIO 18AIV also reduces the carbon footprint of their operations

Product showcase of Biocool BIO 18AIV Evaporative cooler benefits for food production premises

Separating the project into three stages, the potato chip manufacturer initially sourced three BIO 18AIV units to monitor their performance in the factory environment.

These evaporative coolers are used with Biocool humidity and temperature probes that constantly monitor the surrounding environment. When these sensors detect changes in the indoor climate, the coolers automatically readjust to ensure that conditions are kept optimal at all times.

After being impressed with first-phase performance, the client opted to outfit the remainder of their facility with BIO 18AIV systems – a further three were installed for phase two, and 16 for phase three.

What impact has the BIO 18AIV had?

As well as preserving the quality of the facility’s potato snacks, the installation of 22 BIO 18AIV systems has had a positive impact across every corner of the facility.

Teams work safer and in greater comfort

Heat stress. Respiratory illness. Dry skin. When temperatures exceed certain thresholds, or air becomes too humid or dry, symptoms of this nature can quickly emerge and cause problems for staff on the ground.

By ensuring temperature drops of up to 13°C, and effectively regulating levels of humidity indoors, the BIO 18AIV continues to keep their employees cool and environments safe to occupy across the factory floor.

Chart showing how BIO 18AIV evaporative cooler maintained consistent indoor temperatures despite changing outdoor conditions - Biocool infographic image

Daily operations are highly economical

At a time when the cost of energy continues to soar globally, having an inefficient climate control solution can send operating costs spiralling, and impact the profitability of day-to-day operations.

Built with efficiency and sustainability in mind, the BIO 18AIV continues to regulate conditions economically by harnessing the natural process of evaporation, unlike traditional A/C which relies on CFC gases and power-hungry compressors to produce cool air.

Find out more about how evaporative cooling helps reduce energy consumption.

Evaporative cooling energy cost savings compared to air conditioning at €2,400 vs €9,800 per year - Biocool infographic image

Savings of this magnitude do not just benefit the snack factory’s bottom line – they also mean that their investment will pay for itself in a matter of years.

Production is exceptionally eco-friendly

Without an efficient and effective climate control solution, emissions can quickly soar. This doesn’t just hamper a manufacturer’s reputation – a lack of environmentally-friendly climate control technology can exclude facilities from certain schemes and eco-grants.

The BIO 18AIV minimises the snack factory’s carbon footprint by using a fraction of the energy of a comparatively sized air-conditioning unit. Releasing water vapour as a byproduct of cooling also limits the environmental impact of daily operations as well.

How the environmentally friendly Biocool BIO 18AIV evaporative cooler releases 2,700kg fewer emissions per year than air conditioning units - Biocool infographic image

Why food processing plants trust Biocool

As well as meeting the specific needs of this project, Biocool’s evaporative coolers have been employed to create and maintain optimal conditions in a wide range of climate-sensitive food processing plants – from candy production to meat-curing factories.

To create an environment that benefits both people and products while generating the returns desired, it’s important to work with an experienced manufacturer – one with an unrivalled commitment to quality, efficiency and sustainability.

With teams of expert project specialists, over 20 years of climate control experience and a robust lineup of evaporative coolers, we help you source the right solution for your needs.

Built to perform and guaranteed to last – all of our evaporative coolers are designed with reliability, sustainability, efficiency and usability at their core. Furthermore, all of our systems are backed by:

  • 2-year component warranty

  • 10-year structural warranty

  • 20-year anti-corrosion warranty

To learn more about the BIO 18AIV, as well as our full range of evaporative cooling solutions, get in touch with one of our experts today by completing the form below.

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