Excessively high temperatures at its Northwich, Cheshire, bakery led Frank Roberts & Sons to seek an effective cooling system.

Roberts Bakery produces over two million bakery products a week for retail, catering and foodservice customers throughout the UK and Europe. Before the new system was installed, it was using general ventilation, introduced into the bakery via outside air-ducting and fans. This system relied on outside temperatures being between 12°C and 14°C, but when these rose to over 20°C the air being introduced was far less beneficial.

The company turned to heating, cooling and air conditioning supplier CoSaf Environments, which suggested the Breezair Evaporative Air Cooling System from Seeley International (Europe). This has since been installed to provide spot cooling throughout the bakery including the mixing, production, slicing, packaging and despatch areas.

CoSaf Environments conducted a survey of the bakery and found that the high roof collected heat. This acted as a huge blanket under which heat from the ovens and products was trapped, causing the temperature of the entire space to rise. Temperatures within the building exceeded the ambient temperature of 21°C by between 10°C and 16°C, depending on the location of the temperature reading.

“Apart from being prohibitively expensive, refrigerative air conditioning was unsuitable, as hot air from the ovens and gas-fired equipment would just have been circulated around the bakery”, says Bob Sullivan, director, CoSaf Environments. “By installing Breezair, we were able to use the existing extraction system, while at the same time introducing cooled, fresh air into the building.”

Cosaf initially installed four coolers into the morning goods production area. They were installed outside the building, with air distributed via aluminium ductwork to air diffusers and then into the production area to provide temperature relief.

Temperatures dropped by 6°C below outside ambient temperatures, prompting Chris Daniels, chief engineer at Roberts Bakery, to install a further 24 coolers throughout the bakery.

“The introduction of cooled, clean fresh air has benefited the bakery and our personnel who are enjoying a more comfortable and healthier working environment,” says Daniels.