Alaska-based Denali Brewing and Spirits has completed the commissioning, site training and startup of its PROGreen CO2 (R744) chiller from U.S. manufacturer Pro Refrigeration; it is one of the first CO2 process cooling chillers installed in the U.S.

The installation marks the completion of “another phase of its decarbonization efforts,” according to a recent statement from the microbrewery.

Based in the village of Talkeetna, Denali brewery is Pro Refrigeration’s second installation of a CO2 process cooling chiller. Last year, Pro commissioned its first CO2-based chiller for a dairy in Tulare, California,

Plans for the installation at the brewery were first announced in May, following a year of research, development and engineering. The installation was done by Pro Refrigeration and Denali’s service contractor, Arctic Refrigeration. Additional remote support was provided by South African consultancy Future Green Now (FGN).

Pro Refrigeration’s 100 HP PROGreen CO2 chiller replaces Denali’s HFC-blend-based 40HP PROChiller System, also from Pro Refrigeration, which was installed in 2013. The old chiller will remain at the site as a backup solution.

Visit to North Carolina

In preparation for the installation, Denali’s CEO Sassan Mossanen and Arctic Refrigeration’s Service Manager Duke Brandt recently visited Pro Refrigeration’s production facility in Mocksville, North Carolina. During the visit, Damon Reed, Chief Revenue Officer at Pro Refrigeration, introduced the pair to the new system.

“Being able to plan piping in the return and supply for the main process tie-ins and pre-piping for the heat recovery unit ahead of the equipment actually arriving was great,” said Brandt. “Getting the opportunity to see the system at the factory allowed for this.”

Shortly after the site visit, the chiller was transported across the U.S. to the microbrewery in Alaska. While in transit, Arctic Refrigeration installed the system’s piping and completed most of the system integration.

“Communication between the electrical contractor, brewery personnel, mechanical contractor and the OEM was great to monitor everything at startup and make sure there would not be any issues,” added Brandt.

“Communication between the electrical contractor, brewery personnel, mechanical contractor and the OEM was great to monitor everything at startup and make sure there would not be any issues.”

Duke Brandt, Arctic Refrigeration

To oversee the final steps of installation and to provide site training, Reed travelled to Alaska along with Pro Refrigeration CEO Jim VanderGiessen and Field Service Technician John VanderGiessen.

“Making sure we planned proper onsite technical training for the Arctic Refrigeration technicians and Denali staff was important to ensure the hand-off of the system was a success,” explained Reed. “Using the training during the factory visit we were able to plan for the on-site audiences accordingly.

“Having everyone from PRO, Denali, Arctic Refrigeration and FGN working together and communicating constantly was great,” added Reed. “This truly was a team effort.”

The new CO2 chiller system will be used to cool the microbrewery’s ready-to-drink cocktail range. The drink has been chosen as the official canned cocktail of the Seattle Kraken NHL ice hockey team and its home arena, Climate Pledge Arena, a multi-purpose facility in Seattle with a focus on sustainability that uses an ammonia/NH3 (R717)-based refrigeration system.

According to Denali, “the [companies] celebrated the close of this important chapter with a taste of the drink that started this project.”

Want to find out more, or have something to say about this story? Join the ATMO Connect network to meet and engage with like-minded stakeholders in the clean cooling and natural refrigerant arena.