Turkey Processing Plant Saves $50,000 and Reduces Energy by 50% with a High Pressure Washdown

Date of post: February 20, 2024
A turkey processing plant was experiencing frequent breakdowns in its high - pressure washdown and sanitation system. By working with Carotek to implement a new system, $50,000 yearly savings was achieved and energy consumption was reduced by more than 50% energy-saving-sample

Food Processing Washdown Sanitation System Challenge

Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative (VPGC), based in Hinton, Virginia , is an independent coop that processes poultry for around 200 turkey growers throughout the Shenandoah Valley region . One critical component of VPGC’ s turkey processing plant , the food processing washdown and sanitation system, was experiencing frequently recurring pump failures on two 150 horsepower pitot tube pumps .

According to Phil Miller, Engineering Manager at VPGC, “ My major pain point with our old high-pressure pump system was reliability. The pumps would last anywhere from maybe six months to a year, and we’d have to replace them.”

As a result, the plant was experiencing:

  • Frequent process interruptions
  • Maintenance costs averaging $40K - 50K per year

It was clear to Steve Floyd, Inside Sales, Marketing, Training & Service Coordinator at Carotek, that the existing washdown system was outmatched. “ During my visit at Virginia Poultry Growers, I took a tour of the existing pitot tube pumps. The first thing that I noticed was the noise. It immediately made me think about a new high pressure pump system from Grundfos. ”

VPGC was in need of a more robust, reliable, and economical food processing washdown and sanitation system.

High Pressure Washdown Sanitation Solution

Carotek recommended a Grundfos Hydro HP washdown system that can deliver more than 400 gpm at 680 psi . Although the old pitot tube pump system was designed to supply 300 gpm at 1000 psi, a lower design pressure is sufficient for plant washdown tasks while reducing pump horsepower required.

The Grundfos Hydro HP system is a multi - pump system designed specifically for high pressure water demands in food and beverage plants. Hydro HP systems accommodate both low flow and high flow demands, with VFD controls to control the speed of the motor . The VFD controls help provide the needed system pressure while using the minimum amount of horsepower for energy efficiency

At VPGC, there are times when only low flows under 60 gpm are required, such as during first shift production. For those periods, two 15 horsepower jockey pumps are included in the solution.

A Grundfos CU352 pump control system controls all eight pumps on the system. “ This application was unique because not only were we pumping at a high pressure, but we were also using variable speed drives to adjust the speed of the pumps, ” says Brendan Watson, Senior Technical Sales Manager at Grundfos. “ The CU352 controller’ s pilot pump feature enabled us to run larger pumps at higher peak periods where demand was needed more and more water was needed and running a jockey pump at lower demand periods – thus saving energy. ” It also monitors the entire system, including pressures, run times, alarm history, and energy consumption.

ndustrial Process Energy Audits


Today, the VPGC sanitation crew is able to clean the plant in the same amount of time as before with no noticeable decrease in pressure. Because of the high efficiency operation of the Grundfos Hydro HP , along with the decision to reduce system pressure, VPGC anticipates:

  • 50% reduction in energy consump tion of the plant ’ s high pressure system
  • Plant energy savings of more than 600,000 kWh per year, for a net savings of $50,000 a year
  • Reduced maintenance time and costs

Based on these factors, VPGC can expect the ROI on the new pump system to be less than two years.

After years of pump reliability issues with their food processing washdown and sanitation system, VPGC finally has an alternative to the pitot tube pumps. According to VPGC Engineering Manager Phil Miller, “ The controls are a lot more bulletproof than I thought they were. They only run when we need the water. They go up and down with our flow way better than our other system. I am not even looking back.”