November 22, 2019
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Making sure that your refrigeration unit is working efficiently.

Refrigeration systems consume a vast amount of electricity, greatly adding to the running costs of a business.

Making small alterations and some basic maintenance practices can improve the performance of equipment and reduce operating costs to benefit your business. It is exactly the same principle as with having a Boiler Servicing Cheltenham way or anywhere else in the country, although for that you’ll need to help you out.

Reducing the environmental impact.

Cost savings are not the only advantage, as better energy efficiency means more reliability, less disruption and improved productivity, as well as benefiting the environment. According to the British Refrigeration Association and the Institute of Refrigeration, an estimated 17% of the national total of electrical energy consumed comes from refrigeration equipment.

It suggests reducing the cooling load through better insulation or pre‐chilling fresh air and maximising suction pressure, splitting loads on to different suction levels – or even considering 2-stage or economised cycles.

Other ways of increasing energy efficiency in refrigeration include what it calls ‘correct control philosophy’ – considering conditions during running hours, avoiding head pressure control and fixed speed auxiliaries.

Selecting the right components including compressors, heat exchangers and refrigerant to ensure that they are suited to the overall design and proper operation and maintenance of the unit is also vital.

General maintenance

In a commercial refrigeration setting, ensuring that heat exchange surfaces are clean and fixing any circuit leaks will help to optimise energy efficiency. Regular maintenance should ideally include checking the temperatures of cold stores, the seals, joints and valves for leaks and ensuring that air flow is not restricted around fans, motors and evaporators. The evaporator and condenser should also be checked for dirt and compressor oils should be monitored to ensure they are at the right level.

Time for a new system?

If your current refrigeration system’s efficiency cannot be improved, it may be worth considering a new one, given that the costs can quickly be recovered through energy savings.

When looking for refrigeration units to help your business reduce consumption, you may wish to consult a firm. Having decided to replace the old system, designing a new one requires a thorough review of current and future cooling requirements. These can then be passed on to potential suppliers in order to ensure that designs minimise consumption.

It is important that they consider your entire refrigeration system, not just one or two components.

Declan Bell