The Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC) at the University of Bristol provide expert solutions to the food and refrigeration industries.
The core activities of the Centre relate to research into food production and processing and the relationship of these to food quality, safety and the economics of food production. FRPERC has carried out work in a wide range of subjects related to food production, including refrigeration, processing, decontamination and equipment optimisation.
The refrigeration team at FRPERC (now Refrigeration Developments and Testing Ltd) have designed, built and tested a combined air cycle system for food heating and cooling. The air cycle system can generate large quantities of reasonably high grade heat (above 230°C), while at the same time producing air at very low temperatures (-150°C).
Air cycle refrigeration systems use air as their refrigerant, compressing it and expanding it to create hot and cold air. This technology was originally developed in the late1800’s for transporting frozen food from the antipodes or the Americas on board ships. With the invention of CFCs in the 1930’s there was then a shift away from air cycle technology. Currently air cycle is utilised in most passenger aircraft and in the German high speed trains, both for air-conditioning purposes. Air as a refrigerant has advantages over traditional refrigerants which either cause destruction of the ozone layer, global warming or are poisonous, highly flammable or expensive.
FRPERC have a very long association with Measurement Systems, going back 25 years. Datascan 7000 modules were chosen for both data acquisition, monitoring and control of the air cycle system. Six Datascan modules of 5 different types (7320, 2*7020, 7035, 7050, 7041) were used for a number of different tasks.
Orchestrator was chosen as the data acquisition software and has proved extremely reliable during operation.
Data is recorded to hard disk, during experiments for later analysis. Many channels need to be viewed in real time. Configurable monitors are used to display these channels in an easy to navigate graphical view. Trends are used to see when the apparatus is reaching steady state conditions. Alarm conditions are used to warn of un-safe levels and switch off the compressors to maintain safety.
Measurement Systems provides comprehensive support for both the modules and software.
Refrigeration Developments and Testing Ltd, a new company formed by four members of FRPERC will be using Datascan modules and Orchestrator software in their continued development and testing of refrigeration equipment and other heat transfer related projects.