Soon after Denali Brewing Company was signed as the official canned cocktail at Climate Pledge Arena (home of the NHL Seattle Kraken), CEO Sassan Mossanen made a call to Jim Vandergiessen Jr. at PRO Refrigeration. They needed a new chiller system to support this new business!
PRO had recently commissioned their first CO2-powered chiller in California, proving the huge benefits this natural refrigerant-based system offers in lower operating costs and increased operating efficiency.
“Jim explained how well the system was performing in CA, and how it is optimized with variable capacity control to significantly reduce our power consumption. That gets an Alaskan’s attention!” said Mossanen. “The fact that this system also reduces our carbon impact, and the free heat recovery this will deliver, are more reasons we went this direction.”
PRO Refrigeration and Denali began working together in 2009 with a small 3 HP Chiller System located in the original brewery in downtown Talkeetna. PRO has since supplied Denali with numerous chiller systems as they grew and expanded to their state-of-the-art production brewery and distillery. The most recent system is 100 HP, supplied with dual compressors, redundant coolant pumps, and a 750-gallon dual-chamber glycol coolant reservoir.
“Denali has always made us better by bringing us some great challenges,” Jim recalled, “We can’t wait to see this new system in operation, and are proud to see Denali become one of the first breweries in the country to take this big step to CO2 as a refrigerant.”
The PROGreen Team was created in 2021 to develop a new Chiller series for PRO, one that uses natural-based refrigerants instead of chemical-based refrigerants. PRO currently offers the 100 HP R744/CO2 Model in their standard product offering, with, or without, a propylene glycol-based coolant reservoir, with a capacity of 750 or 2000 gallons.
VanderGiessen, PRO’s CEO, explained the environmental benefits of a CO2-based system. “Global Warming Potential (GWP) is the baseline measurement for a product’s potential environmental impact over 100 years. While most chemical-based chillers have a GWP rating of 3,900, the PROGreen CO2 system drops the GWP to 1.”
“I can’t think of a better way to protect the environment and promote Denali’s ongoing sustainability initiatives than by partnering with PRO Refrigeration to significantly reduce the impact of our production processes on the environment,” exclaimed Mossanen. “We are fortunate enough to operate in one of the most pristine environments on the planet and we intend to protect it.”
The chiller system will arrive at the brewery in May, providing the cooling capacity to support this new product line. Their circa 2013 40 HP PROChiller System will move into a “backup” role.
Another key partner in this project is Arctic Refrigeration, from Anchorage, AK. Service Manager, Duke Brandt, will be traveling to Mocksville, NC, for system commissioning and training. PRO will also have a team of techs onsite in Talkeetna for field commissioning.
PRO is inviting industry members in the region, including the members of the NCBrewers Guild and NCWine groups, to their Mocksville, NC, facility to see the new PROGreen System and meet the team from Alaska on Wednesday, April 27th, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM ET. Please visit the PRO Facebook page for details.
Auburn, Wash.-based Pro Refrigeration, Inc., is the leading cooling technology and equipment company for craft fermented beverages and dairy in the US. The company provides innovative solutions for cannabis, food processing, and machine and process cooling with a complete product offering from ¾ to 300 HP serving applications that require chilled fluid from –45 F to +45 F. Pro also has a network of regional salespeople serving in each corner of the US. Visit www.prochiller.com for more information.