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PFG goes Custom in Rice, Minnesota
January 4, 2019


Need a powerful refrigeration unit that comes in a smaller size? No problem! Our latest Master Series package for Performance Food Group could be the perfect solution for your needs. This specialized unit is designed to be a low-charge, direct expansion rooftop mechanical house for large industrial systems.

The project, which was originally awarded to us in August 2017 alongside ARCO and GMA, was a building expansion for PFG in Rice, Minnesota. The expansion added a new freezer, cooler spaces, a 28-degree room, a 34-degree room, and a dock.

PFG was looking for a low-charge, energy-efficient, rooftop-mounted unit. Our Master Series unit fit its needs perfectly! PFG elected to run the unit off of R507.

The low-charge unit is about 11.5 feet wide and 38 feet long. Fitting that much refrigeration capacity on top of such a small rooftop unit was a fun challenge; our engineering team did a phenomenal job conceptualizing a one-of-a-kind solution to deliver that much capacity under low-charge parameters. The PFG Master Series project was modeled in 3D several times to give our team different avenues on how we might design the best unit for this specific project. We worked hard to ensure PFG received maximum refrigeration from a small package while also ensuring the unit was serviceable.

After we finalized the design, our manufacturing team put the package together quickly, especially considering the high level of customization that was involved with this particular unit. They did a remarkable job producing another high-quality project that we are hoping to standardize and sell in the future.

In the field, our team used a large crane lift to install PFG’s 65,000-pound unit. Ultimately, our team was able to safely complete the project ahead of schedule! We were at temperature three days before the deadline — we started the system up on Aug. 7, 2018 and reached the goal temperature by Aug. 30.

“My favorite part about the project was the engineering challenges that were required to successfully build and design this unit,” our Project Manager said. “I felt that it really pushed our team and helped take Innovative to the next level with some of the engineering solutions that we were able to design into the package.”

The finished PFG Master Series Unit has two condensers, three Bitzer screw compressors, our PLC controls, and a Motor Control Center with a state-of-the-art Human Machine Interface. There are 11 evaporators in this package, all of which are direct expansion.

The unit has two suction groups that it can run. The first can operate as a medium-temperature suction group — this includes all rooms that are 20 degrees and warmer. There is also has a low-temperature suction group, which runs at -20F.

The package, which was designed with energy efficiency in mind, relies completely on air-cooled condensers and adiabatic cooling. Because of this, the system has a greatly reduced water cost. That’s just one more reason to love this project!