Good practice

Better-performing refrigeration plant for German pharma

Better-performing refrigeration plant for German pharma
© Grispb, image #142144358, 2017, source:
Chemical and process engineering
Medium cost
Annual saving:
Resource savings: Energy:
25 % energy savings
Associated cost savings: Energy:
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Make the most of what you have

  • Better data can be used to boost system performance of current equipment
  • The resulting optimisation can cut energy consumption by around 25 % 

Refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are a major energy cost for many companies, and significant contributor to carbon emissions. But thanks to technological improvements, today’s refrigeration units perform equally as well using at least 50 % less energy. Similarly, new coil designs and more efficient compressors have improved efficiency in air-conditioning technology by 20 % or more.

Merck KGaA, a German pharmaceutical company, explored ways of saving energy costs by boosting the performance of units already in place. Better optimised refrigeration systems in line with analysed needs and a set of performance parameters yielded strong results.

Key benefits

The monitoring, analysis and calculations carried out by Merck KGaA led to several parameters being adjusted to reduce energy consumed by its large refrigeration units. The resulting optimisation showed how data can be used to cut energy consumption by around 25 %, in this case. 


"You should be interested in system performance since the operating cost of refrigeration ... is dependent on the efficiency of all components – not just one. It is possible to select and install the most efficient system components but that is no guarantee that the operation of those components, when put together in a system, will be efficient ... the interaction of components greatly influences how the system as a whole operates." - Douglas T. Reindl, Ph.D., P.E. Director, Industrial Refrigeration Consortium University of Wisconsin-Madison

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