Combination Chilling and Freezing Systems


45-ton Dual-Temp Condensing Unit Runs Two 20-ton Remote-Mount Chillers


Two 50-ton RSW Units Deck-Mounted in Shrouds Can be Removed for Seasonal Conversion

IMS combination refrigeration systems can be used for brine or blast freezing while having the functionality to be used for RSW applications as well.

Chilling and freezing aboard a fishing vessel or tender presents the challenge of providing high capacity and top performance within a confined space. On a boat or in a shore-based processing plant, having a single piece of equipment that can do both jobs provides both cost-savings and flexibility.

Dual-Temperature Condensing Units

The core component of the combination chilling and freezing solutions from IMS is a dual-temperature condensing unit. These self-contained units include a compressor that can be used when either low temperatures (for freezing) or medium temperatures (for chilling) are required. They can be used with remote-mount chillers and/or evaporator.

The chillers can be “banked” for increased capacity and flexible placement. Typical capacity for these condensing units runs between 12-ton to 60 HP.

Work Multiple Fisheries

With combination systems from IMS, fishermen who want to work their vessels in more than one fishery can do so. Dual-temperature condensing units make this possible – this single unit can be used to run freezing equipment one day and then run chilling equipment the next. The story of the F/V Victory is an example of flexibility that one ship can have.

Direct-Market to Consumers from Your Vessel

Fishermen can use their chilling system to keep product cold while they are processing their catch and packaging it. The individual packages, ready to go to grocery store shelves or to the local farmer’s market, can then be placed into the onboard blast freezing system. There is a growing segment of the consumer market who wants to buy their food direct from the source, bringing independence and higher prices earned to fishermen.

Seasonal Conversions

In addition to providing systems that accomplish both chilling and freezing, IMS also provides systems that have the ability to be easily removed when they are not being used. For example, Seattle’s F/V Kari Marie is a crab boat that also tenders salmon; the on-deck chilling system is removed to free up deck space while the vessel is working the crab fishery. The valuable space is not lost when it’s not being used and the equipment is protected from the harsh environment at sea when it’s not part of the boat’s current job.

IMS is known for its ability to solve problems. Just as vessels can be radically different with varying needs at different times of the year, processors often face the dilemma of how to incorporate new equipment and needs into their existing operations. In the case of Norton Sound Seafood Products, the barge Inaliq, used to transport supplies in the off-season, needed to be outfitted with the ability to work as a crab tender – without losing the important function of carrying goods to and from the plant. IMS put together a team to engineer and install the removable live aquatic holding system; it’s an interesting story about how this was accomplished.

Hatch Mount Blast Freezers are designed for vessels that convert from a wet hold (filled with water – “tanked”) to a dry freezing hold. These vessels would typically fish for crab during that season and convert to freezing albacore during the tuna season. These systems are designed to literally drop in the hatch cover, plug into a receptacle, connect condenser water lines, and be ready to freeze product.

“Never bought fish this cold,” stated the Japanese broker when purchasing -40 degree F blast frozen albacore from the F/V Evolution. John McMillan equipped his tanked vessel with an IMS Hatch Mount Blast Freezer for easy seasonal conversion to the albacore fishery. When buying John’s albacore, the Japanese broker said he was not used to buying fish that cold from this coast. He ordered a special trailer to hold them since they were so cold. Referring to his new blast freezer, John said, “IMS is great. When you get good equipment, then you have what it takes to meet market demand.”

From Happy Customers

The market is moving away from quantity to quality - and one bad experience with a fish can loose a customer. Knowing that an efficient RSW system brings fish temperatures down quickly - which means quality fish - we purchased our refrigeration equipment from IMS. When the Victory is not tendering in Kodiak, we want the flexibility to also freeze aboard for the high-end market, so our IMS 40-ton dual-temp condenser system is designed to allow us to chill now and add freezing equipment later."

Gary Nielsen & Steve Spain, Owners - Kodiak Alaska, F/V Victory

Built new on Whidbey Island, Pacific Gem was outfitted with a dual-temp condenser with 25-ton Titanium Chiller for brine-freezing and RSW system to fish for tuna and crab.."IMS is local and well-known. Their systems are reliable and maintenance-free - which is a big issue for me. I know that if I do need parts, I'll get fast delivery. Other vendors have problems with that!"

Ron Harper, Owner - Westport Washington, F/V Pacific Gem