DEFRA Project

Researchers at the University of Sunderland are hoping everyone from small businesses to multi-national companies will give a warm welcome to their latest scheme to make refrigeration techniques cheaper and greener. The research, sponsored by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), aims to identify and develop more energy efficient refrigeration technologies and business practices for use throughout the food chain while not compromising food safety and quality.

Dr David Baglee, who is leading the research team, says: “Sunderland’s role will be to concentrate on research into business practices and how the application of these would improve energy efficiency.”

Initially, we are looking at small to medium-sized local businesses, such as abattoirs and butchers, to see how we can make refrigeration much greener and much cheaper. “Problems can be anything from poor maintenance practices, to something as simple as employees forgetting to close the freezer door! But inefficient refrigeration can be a massive cost, both in terms of your business and, of course, the impact it has on the environment.”

Sunderland worked with Bristol, Brunel and London South Bank Universities on the project over a two year period.


The team:

  • Investigated improved maintenance techniques, new refrigeration technologies, and techniques such as value stream mapping to save money, time and energy.
  • hoped that the final findings of the research would be used by all foot retailers from local butchers to Tesco and Sainsburys to save money, cut down on environmental impact and ensure maximum levels of food safety.

Knowles, Michael and Baglee, David (2011) Energy usage modeling as a condition monitoring tool. In: MIMAR 2011 – 7th International Conference on Modelling in Industrial Maintenance and Reliability, 18th – 19th April 2011, Cambridge UK.

Knowles M.J. and Baglee D. The Role of Maintenance in Energy Saving, 19th MIRCE International Symposium on Engineering and Managing Sustainability – A Reliability, Maintainability and Supportability Perspective, 2 – 3 December 2009

Baglee David, Value Stream Mapping: A Dairy Industry Perspective, IEE Conference Digest Series , Institution of Electrical Engineers, 2008, Vol n/a, ppn/a, 09633308

If you would like further information regarding this project please contact:

Dr David Baglee
Project Manager

AMAP Institute
University of Sunderland
The Industry Centre
Colima Avenue
Sunderland Enterprise Park West
Hylton Riverside
Tyne & Wear

Telephone: 0191 515 2869