NEW IBERIA, Calif. — Imagine having over $8 million of refrigerated products in a warehouse and experiencing main refrigeration failure. How would you save the day?

Aggreko’s emergency response capabilities were put to the test when an Alabama-based grocery distribution center asked the manufacturer to provide temporary cooling for more than 240,000 sq ft of refrigerated warehouse space that held more than $8 million of refrigerated products.

Following a main refrigeration failure at the facility and facing at least three weeks of downtime, the critical factor became time and cooling capabilities.

“The priorities were to resume normal operations as quickly and as cost effectively as possible,” said Bill Philbeck, director of risk management for the facility.

Within 24 hrs of the first contact with the facility, Aggreko assisted with the design and analysis of the logistical capabilities, and had mobilized the equipment to replace more than 1,300 effective tons of cooling capability.

The company would supply a temporary cooling system which could adequately provide cooling for five different temperature zones ranging from 31Þ to 50ÞF, and from 28,000 to 81,000 sq ft in size.

The cooling process

The small dimensions of the doorways and the low-temperature requirements demanded specially sized air handlers, long runs of hose and cable, and specialty fittings for very low temperatures.

Aggreko pulled resources from its fleet throughout the country, including one chiller that came from the set of the movie Titanic. The first of the five systems was installed and running in less than 48 hrs of the equipment arriving on-site. The four remaining systems were installed ahead of the required deadline.

The 1,300-ton chiller system consisted of eight chillers, 52 air handlers, more than 8,000 ft of water hose, and nearly 3 1/2 miles of power cable. The five systems were powered by more than 4 MW of temporary generators, consisting of three 1,250-kW generators and a 500-kW “Hushpower” diesel generator.

The emergency cooling system installation was completed through the efforts of a seven-member team working 14 to 16 hrs a day. Four technicians, split into teams of two, worked 12-hr shifts, maintaining the five systems around the clock.

“This was a total turnkey operation that was flawless,” said Philbeck.