Dawn Meats going fossil fuel free

Members News - Environment - May 15, 2018

As part of Dawn Meats commitment to low carbon production, they set a target of achieving fossil fuel free status at the McDonalds Plant in Carroll’s Cross. A multi-pronged approach was developed:


  1. Heat recovery from the refrigeration and cooling systems
  2. Solar and wind powered street lights
  3. A passive integrated constructed wetland to treat wastewater
  4. A LEAN management system was instigated involving multiple kaizen and A3 projects
  5. 100% renewable electricity was sourced

Business in the Community IrelandThis mini-case study focuses on project (a) above.


The Heat Recovery Process at Carroll’s Cross is as follows. Cold water from the onsite well is used to cool the refrigerator compressors, taking the water to approximately 45⁰C. Next the water is sent through Heat Pump 1, taking the temperature to 55⁰C. The water is then moved through Heat Pump 2, in the Condensers, where the temperature of the water goes to 60⁰C. The final 10⁰C is achieved by directing the water through the main plant air compressor and boasting with heat exchanger. All of this process is controlled by the on-site SCADA system.

A notable element of this project was the need to install a second water line through the site

  • Before this project there was one communal water line from the ground source to the hot water tank which meant at that time we could set only one flow rate to recover heat. Given the variability in heat generation from different sources within the recovery system this was not optimal.
  • By installing a second line, the quality of the heat recovery could be optimised to achieve the desired final temperature. The second line was directed through the main plant air compressor and tying into a heat exchanger. This greatly reduced the temperature in the compressor room and gave the required quality heat.


The heat recovery system at Carroll’s Cross has been a huge success with verified annual savings made through the installation outlined in the table below.

Fossil Fuel Litres KWH Savings (Equivalent) Savings (€) CO2 Savings (T)
Oil Eliminated 74,000 806,600 €64,380 217.8

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