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At CIMCO we collaborate with you to tailor heat pump solutions that align with your operational needs, energy efficiency objectives, and decarbonization strategy. Our ammonia heat pumps, boasting efficiencies of at least 300%, not only ensure significant cost savings but also contribute to waste reduction, improved utility costs, and lower emissions.

Infographic: How heat pumps work 




Decarbonizing and Optimizing Temperatures for the F&B Industry




Gas Boilers vs. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps, unlike less efficient gas boilers, typically generate 3 to 4 units of heat from just one unit of energy, enhancing efficiency and cutting energy consumption. This efficiency gain results in lower Scope 2 emissions and reduced monthly utility bills. Despite potential upfront costs, heat pump systems, especially those using ammonia, offer lower lifecycle expenses compared to traditional heating systems. Ammonia's zero global warming potential (GWP) contributes to emission reduction, unlike fossil fuels like natural gas that release substantial CO2 emissions. Moreover, traditional refrigerants like f-gases pose environmental risks, making ammonia-based systems a more sustainable choice.

Heat Pumps


Waste Heat: A valuable resource for food and beverage processing

In conventional food plant processes, a substantial amount of heat is traditionally generated, only to be dissipated into the atmosphere as waste. Coincidentally, these very food plants require significant volumes of hot water for essential wash-down procedures. Meeting this demand for hot water typically involves burning fossil fuels, a practice that not only releases emissions but also results in a considerable loss of efficiency.

The introduction of ammonia heat pumps presents a sustainable solution to this challenge. These heat pumps efficiently capture and repurpose the otherwise wasted heat, converting it into a valuable resource for applications such as wash-down processes. The heat pumps not only minimize heat wastage but also mitigates the need for burning fossil fuels, contributing to both environmental sustainability and increased operational efficiency.

Notably, the majority of processes in the food and beverage sector either currently operate, or can be modified to operate at temperatures between 50-90°C, making ammonia heat pumps particularly well-suited for these applications.



Coefficient of performance (COP) of Industrial Heat Pumps


The coefficient of performance (COP) serves as a metric for gauging the efficiency of a heat pump. This efficiency is intricately linked to the temperature increase required, commonly referred to as the temperature lift. The relationship is straightforward: the greater the temperature lift between the heat source and the sink, the lower the efficiency or COP. A COP of two signifies that the heat pump delivers twice as much thermal energy as the electrical energy it consumes.

In the case of industrial heat pumps, achieving high efficiency becomes feasible, especially with a COP exceeding three, when the temperature lift falls within the range of 30-50 °C. Notably, industrial heat pumps leveraging waste heat sources tend to exhibit particularly high COP values, often around 5-7, showcasing their adept utilization of existing heat sources. To illustrate, a COP of 5 implies that for every unit of energy the heat pump consumes, it generates five units of valuable heat.

Infographic: Heat sources and heat sinks





Here are common food and beverage processes with their specific temperature requirements, highlighting the capability of heat pumps to effectively support these operations.




Poultry Processing

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Dairy Processing

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Beverage Processing

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Vegetable Processing

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Project Spotlight:

Proven Savings at Maple Leaf Foods with CIMCOs Ammonia Heat Pump

Maple Leaf Foods in Brandon, Manitoba is a prime example of how switching to a natural refrigerant heat pump can greatly reduce electricity use, cutting down emissions and accelerating the facility's journey to decarbonization. The plant processes 18,000 hogs per day, five days a week, and uses 140F water for up to 22 hours a day. 

Traditionally the process relied on natural gas boilers and direct-contact water heaters. By adding a heat pump function into the existing ammonia refrigeration system, Maple Leaf reduced its natural gas consumption by 3 million cubic meters annually, amounting to savings of $223,599 (per year).

    Read the case study




Our mission is to deliver sustainable solutions through conscientious design, engineering, construction, and installation of technology. 

CIMCO has been a leader in thermal solutions for the past century, actively collaborating with both our customers and the industry to adapt, learn, and thrive in changing times. Over the years, CIMCO has cultivated a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise in emerging technologies, delivering innovative solutions to the municipal, industrial, and commercial sectors

While heat pumps may be considered a recent technology by some, they have been an integral part of CIMCO's refrigeration systems for decades. Although the initial adoption of industrial heat pumps was modest, the imperative to address the environmental impact of natural gas has prompted industries to embrace more sustainable alternatives. Pressures to achieve net-zero targets by 2050 and other similar factors have further fueled the demand for heat pumps. 


In response to the evolving industry landscape, CIMCO has effectively leveraged its thermal expertise to enhance the efficiency of heat pumps. We have tailored their applications to meet the unique needs of our customers, ensuring a customized and optimal solution. As the push for sustainability and decarbonization intensifies, CIMCO remains at the forefront, contributing to a greener and more efficient future.


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