Although still relatively young as a business, Orchard Cooling brings together a number of well-respected names in the refrigeration world, but as refrigeration director Sean Macoy pointed out, the rest of the staff are just as important to the company’s growing success.

“At Orchard Cooling we work as a team, and by that, I mean that our engineers play just as important a role as we do as managers,” he said.

“Because we are all trained electrical or refrigeration engineers ourselves, we understand the issues they are dealing with and we work together to deliver the best possible outcome for the client.

“That shared knowledge means our engineers can communicate with us on the same level, with respect being shown both ways, and it also helps us run a tight ship, keeping costs down.”

The company’s success also reflects its innovative approach to creating refrigeration systems for growers and, increasingly wineries, that are economical to run and less harmful to the environment.

The company’s unique cooler defrost system produces a 75% saving on energy, thanks to a warm fluid defrosting method that uses air source heat pump technology as part of a secondary cooling system. Figures show the system can save growers thousands of pounds each year by reducing energy consumption.

“We will be using this tried and tested, energy-saving defrost design on all projects in the future as it has proved to save our customers huge amounts of energy over the older-type systems that use electric heater defrosting,” Sean explained.

“This system, with a few modifications, can be retrofitted to older secondary systems using glycol to reduce energy consumption and that important CO2 figure.”

The new system is being incorporated into two high-profile projects due to be finished early in 2022. The first is a 32-store block being built in Kent for a prominent top fruit grower which will feature five Swegon secondary chillers using glycol.

Swegon chillers are also being used in a racked arrival and despatch area being fitted out by Orchard Cooling as part of another controlled atmosphere store being built in the county. On this project, as with many others, the highly trained team is also doing the electrical work.

While focusing on alternative solutions, Orchard Cooling still installs the DX refrigeration systems that remain popular with some smaller growers, but uses modern, more efficient refrigerants. It can also offer complete project management, including all health and safety requirements.

Orchard Cooling also attended this year’s highly successful Vineyard and Winery Show, capitalising on the increasing interest being shown by winemakers in the company’s efficient and environmentally friendly energy saving refrigeration systems.

“By designing efficiency into every system, we don’t just help growers and winemakers meet or exceed increasingly important environmental standards, but we also give them the lowest possible running costs,” Sean explained. “With wine-making becoming increasingly popular across the South East we are making sure we can support new entrants to the industry as well as helping the more established players upgrade their facilities.”

Based at Langley, near Maidstone in Kent, the innovative team offers a complete design and installation service for all types of cooling application and has an in-house service and maintenance team that can provide out-of-hours backup when required.

Despite the inevitable upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Orchard Cooling has maintained a full order book and continues to go from strength to strength, with Sean again putting that success down to customer service from a focused team. “We develop good relationships with our clients, not least because we always give honest advice on the best solution for the customer, whether we are discussing a new project or an existing building,” he said.

“Next year will be our five-year anniversary and although the last year has been challenging for everyone, for obvious reasons, we continue to go from strength to strength and we are looking forward to completing some major projects in 2022.”

The strong team of engineers is headed up by Sean and fellow directors Dave Reynolds and Rob Burbridge, plus Paul Kennett, who looks after system design and sales. Heather Borland takes care of the accounts and, in Sean’s words, “countless other duties”.

“It’s an effective, stable team that our clients know they can depend on,” he concluded.