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Partner: Kilkenny Cooling Systems

Partner: Kilkenny Cooling Systems

03 October, 2018

Background 

Kilkenny Cooling Systems is a family owned and operated company established in 1972. A major player in the beverage cooling industry, their equipment can be found in over 12,000 premises in Ireland and abroad. This equipment relies on ice as a phase change medium for stored cooling, which has been used for decades in their products from beer chilling to food production systems.

The Need

Wishing to maximise the performance of their beer cooling system, John Smee, owner of Kilkenny Cooling Systems, approached TEC Gateway in the Nimbus Research Centre at Cork Institute of Technology, to do some work on a prototype beer cooler.

The Solution

Nimbus, Ireland’s Leading Research Centre in Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things, suggested Kilkenny Cooling Systems avail of the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher initiative to fund the research on the prototype.

The Innovation Voucher funding, worth €5,000, enabled Nimbus to conduct a performance assessment of the VS prototype beer cooler, monitoring and analysing the performance of the various prototype systems against industry norms.

Nimbus then implemented changes to the product resulting in the superior performance of the VS prototype in terms of thermal cooling and energy efficiency. The system can measure demand in a bar and run the cooling system fast enough to meet that demand and no more.

This means product lines cool and fresh during quiet periods, using 39% less electricity than a modern standard cooler. This makes VS Beer Cooler more efficient than any other system on the market. 

Benefits of the Engagement

Since its launch, the Kilkenny VS beer cooling system has been very successful with exports to the UK and is out selling their standard system. Kilkenny Cooling Systems has won the IBEC Environment Award 2016 / 2017 and the VS Beer Cooler was shortlisted for the SEAI Energy Awards.

The Kilkenny company represented Ireland at the European Business Awards for the Environment in 2016 and the team was ‘highly commended’ in the Innovation category for the Kilkenny VS Beer Cooler design at the Irish Refrigeration Awards.

Nimbus and Kilkenny Cooling Systems have continued their collaboration, with plans for the development of the next phase of the VS prototype beer cooler. By integrating increased functionality and intelligent control of the device to maximize operational efficiency, they envisage increased energy and further cost reductions.

Having expertise on hand such as that provided by Nimbus was extremely helpful and definitely contributed to this project’s successful outcome. The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme played a key role in the progress of our VS Beer Cooler R&D project. I would strongly encourage any business considering undertaking their own R&D to avail of an EI Innovation Voucher.  - John Smee, Kilkenny Cooling Systems

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