Revamping of refrigeration system at the Hero Spain plant

Revamping of refrigeration system


Dissipate the excess heat from industrial processes, essential in production

In the facilities of Hero España in Alcantarilla (Murcia), which occupy 42,000 m2, a wide variety of products are elaborated, ranging from baby food to jams and marmalades. This makes the factory have different production processes. As in any industrial process, the choice of a suitable system to dissipate the heat, is a key element in the success of the installation.

The constant growth of the factory and its production lines made it necessary from 1974 to apply a new system to dissipate the heat that replaced the old refrigeration systems, which, in addition, had low energy efficiency, high consumption of water and high maintenance costs.

The new system had to meet the high demands of safety, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency required by the company’s own quality policy.

Among the important challenges to be solved were the salinity and lack of water in the area, the high ambient temperature in summer and the factory’s growth forecast.

“They had chosen evaporative refrigeration towers because of their higher energetic efficience, less asquisition cost, maintenance facility and less environmental impact”

Torraval cooling towers


In order to face adequately the challenge of dissipating the heat, the responsibles took their decision under two lines of action.

They had chosen to update the system. On the one hand, apply an appropriate technological solution and, on the other hand, establish and apply a specific prevention and maintenance plan.

The Hero responsibles, with the advice of the Torraval technicians, decided to install a system of evaporative cooling towers with the following characteristics:

• Material of the towers: GRP (polyester reinforced with fiberglass).
• Type of tower: forced draft.
• Filling: laminar-drip.

Evaporative cooling tower

Why were evaporative cooling towers chosen?

The reasons for choosing cooling towers instead of other technologies as refrigeration systems or air condensation systems are several and have to do with facts such as its greater energy efficiency, its lower acquisition cost, the ease of maintenance and its lower environmental impact.

Hero opts for GRP towers due to the security they offer, the possibility of an easier maintenance and its durability.

On the other hand, Hero installs the forced draft towers, among other reasons, for its ease of maintenance, and uses the drip and laminar fill, according to the service conditions required by the process.


  • High versatility.  La facilidad de instalación ha permitido a Hero integrar 36 torres Torraval, todas en perfecto estado de funcionamiento. .
  • Savings of up to 50% of electricity consumption.
  • Maximum security. The aggressiveness  of the biocides  causes  unwanted  corrosions in  metal towers.  When  choosing  GRP,  this problem disappears.
  • Lower acquisition and maintenance costs.
  • Environmental benefits. The evaporative cooling is   an   essential   technology   to achieve the objectives of reducing CO emissions to the atmosphere.

The  cost  of  GRP  towers  is  lower  than metal towers.  Likewise, the   forced  draft (lower part engine)  allows  Hero  to maintain with their own resources, having  better accessibility and lower maintenance costs.


  • Lowest TCO * of the market.
  • Less acquisition costs and maintenance.
  • All Hero’s towers have been in perfect operation for 50 years.
  • No incident related to biological problems in in 40 years.
  • Minimum and versatile maintenance (easy and accessible).

*TCO: Total Cost of the property.

Torraval evaporative cooling tower

Compared to some air condensation systems that we are using in other areas, the power consumption is half.”

Luis Gabarrón, Head of the Support and Control Department of Hero España:

We treat the water before introducing it in the circuit, so that its useful life is as long as possible, does not negatively affect the installation and there is no problem of corrosion or microbiological nature.”

The Torraval polyester towers are stable, resistant, clean and easy to maintain. In short, they are the most economical  and  efficient in the market.

The cooling towers have been one of the elements that have contributed to achieve a constant reduction of the electric power consumption necessary in the manufacturing processes of Hero”.


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