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Chilled selection

Not only does the Atherton Supa IGA supermarket have an innovative selection, it also has the latest refrigeration equipment. It was even the first store in all of Australia to get a retrofit with AxiBlades.


Mike Shakes is known for his innovative ideas. His Atherton Supa IGA supermarket in Queensland, Australia, has won him several national and international prizes. “For one, I was IGA Australia International Retailer of the Year,” he says. “My supermarket won because of its variety and freshness and its selection of organic products.” The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) is the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network with operations in 46 of the United States and more than 32 countries, commonwealths and territories.

In his Atherton Supa IGA, which has 2,800 square meters of floor space, Mike Shakes primarily sells regional seafood, meat and produce. His air-cooled condensers have their work cut out for them to keep the groceries fresh and the shoppers relaxed, as steady 35-degree temperatures and 90 percent humidity are perfectly normal during summers in Atherton. And that’s expensive. “Energy costs in Australia are high and getting higher,” says Shakes. “So I’m always on the lookout for efficient solutions.”

Up to 43 percent less energy annually

When ebm-papst offered him one of the first retrofits with AxiBlade EC axial fans worldwide, and the very first retrofit in Australia, he didn’t have to think twice. “I already knew the company from my air conditioning upgrade two years ago and knew I could trust them,” says Shakes. So in January 2017, a service provider replaced three of the six fans in his air-cooled condenser with brand new AxiBlades, which were not even on the market in Australia at the time. That took less than 30 minutes per unit.

ebm-papst checked the input power for the three fans a week before and a week after the upgrade. The result: The retrofit yields annual energy savings between 38 and 43 percent per fan for Mike Shakes, depending on how long the fans operate. He has already agreed to the replacement of fans in another air-cooled condenser.

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