Frigesco crowns remarkable year of achievement by winning the ‘cooling industry triple’

Published on: 2 June 2015

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Frigesco have secured the top refrigeration accolade in all three of the industry’s major national technology awards.

University of Exeter Innovation Centre based company Frigesco has won the ‘cooling industry triple’, securing the top refrigeration accolade in all three of the industry’s major national technology awards.

The company took the top spot in the Refrigeration Product of the Year Award at the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration ACR News awards, plus the Refrigeration Product of the Year award, for the Frigesco flash defrost system and the ‘in recognition of’ Energy Saving award at the National ACR award ceremony.

The team of Robin Campbell (Technical Director), Richard Willmott (Finance Director), Professor Tom Davies (Chairman), David Walter (Managing Director), and Bob Arthur (Non Exec Director) most recently won the Exeter Business Award for the Environment.  The company received its award at a packed ceremony in Exeter’s Sandy Park attended by 350 guests from Devon’s business community.

The Frigesco system was developed by a team headed by company chairman, Professor Tom Davies in 2011. Professor Davies is an Emeritus Professor in Chemical and Mechanical Engineering at the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter. 

Frigesco’s Defrost System uses a phase-change material – a substance that changes its state with a change in temperature and is capable of storing heat energy.  The system captures waste heat from refrigeration systems and carries out high efficiency defrosts of evaporators.  The technology improves energy efficiency of refrigeration systems by eliminating the need for external energy in the defrost process.  This can save up to 20 per cent of the costs of running supermarket cold rooms and frozen food display cabinets. 

The system is currently being trialled in major UK supermarket chains, fast food outlets and internationally in the US, Ireland and South Africa. It is also being developed for use in air-source heat pumps.

David Walter, Managing Director of Frigesco, said: “By any standards, winning the industry’s top three national awards is a remarkable achievement. However, it is particularly significant given the UK’s extremely high standards of technical innovation.

“Britain is recognised as a world-leader in cooling technology, and the judges’ view is that Frigesco is ahead of the pack in an extremely competitive field. It is testimony to the creativity and dedication of everyone on the team who has worked to develop flash defrost over the past few years.”

He added: “After substantial investment and development work, we are now moving forward to the final phase of commercialisation of the technology. We expect to be able to make further announcements in the near future.”

In addition to reducing electricity consumption and cutting refrigeration running costs, flash defrost improves the stability and resilience of refrigeration systems, extends plant life, safeguards food hygiene, and improves safety for store staff.

In 2014, headed by a strong group of five professional engineers and experienced businessmen the team moved to a unit at The Innovation Centre.

Richard Willmott, Finance Director  said: “We chose the Innovation Centre as we were looking for a flexible working environment with meeting facilities that was convenient for staff and presented a good image to those with whom we are doing business.  We have been very happy there and it has exactly met our changing requirements. We have moved from having an initial virtual presence to hot desking to a permanent office.”

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