Case studies

Refrigeration upgrade cuts apple and chestnut grower’s costs

Apple and chestnut grower cuts costs with refrigeration improvements

Family business Nightingale Bros Pty Ltd has upgraded its refrigeration to cut energy costs by just under 40 per cent.

The apple and chestnut grower, at Wandiligong in Victoria, replaced its old R22 system with an ammonia water-cooled central plant with smart controls that improve the energy efficiency of refrigeration operations.

The CEFC's strategic alliance partner, refrigeration specialists MINUS40 carried out an energy audit on behalf of Sustainability Victoria and recommended proven technologies for the energy saving improvements that were expected to cut carbon emissions by 488 tonnes a year.

Refrigeration can be responsible for up to 85 per cent of total energy consumption in cold storage businesses, but improvements to technical elements of modern refrigeration systems have the potential to reduce energy consumption by 15 to 40 per cent.

Nightingale Bros operate 240 hectares of apple orchards, 160 hectares of chestnuts and two hectares of persimmons in Victoria and New South Wales

Tourists to the region know Nightingale Bros for its Alpine apples, which it has been growing in Wandiligong for more than 60 years. Nightingale Bros used finance through the Commonwealth Bank's Energy Efficient Loan product, co-financed by the CEFC, to carry out the $1.2 million upgrade.