Energy audits on walk-in coolrooms and freezers tell us that twenty-percent of all consumed energy goes straight to these large refrigerated rooms. That’s a bit of a problem, considering the premium put on energy savings today. But there is a unique set of tools, energy saving devices that are turning the tide. Let’s see these tools in action and find out all about the benefits of energy saving devices in coolrooms and freezers.
A set-it-and-forget-it mentality doesn’t yield big savings when the controlled appliance uses four large walls and an industrial-grade refrigeration unit. A far more potent controller is mandated here, something that will precisely control the chilled environment and intelligently maintain a flatlined thermal envelope. Advanced thermostats take this caregiving strategy a step further by adding networked temperature recording and logging to the device’s design.
A couple of pocket-sized thermometers placed on shelves and corners of the cool enclosure tell us how well the air is threading its way through the sealed chamber. Poor airflow issues are indicated by temperature discrepancies, but the matter can be corrected by removing any obstacles. Better yet, install a set of wire shelves, for non-solid storage shelving does help the coolroom breathe. Next, use an infrared thermometer gun to create a quick picture of what’s going on inside the freezer, but if precision really matters, then swap out the infrared monitor for a thermographic camera.
State-of-The-Art Device Consolidation
A new generation of thermal controllers is making some headway into refrigeration territory. They’re the stepchildren of the smart thermostats that control homes and offices. Networked controllers monitor arctic temperatures and ensure stored commodities never spoil. They transmit important metrics to remote monitors and incorporate some very handy extra features, including a diagnostics mode and a built-in compressor protection function.
The Frost Bridge
All of these devices incorporate strictly electronic services, which is fine, but what about the mechanical side of things? Automated regulators and self-acting cooling valves live in the hardware stage. These valves and refrigeration-oriented assemblies work in tandem with the electronic systems to achieve dramatic reductions in energy consumption figures.
A full fifth of all power supplied to a hotel or restaurant goes directly into its environmentally controlled storage room, so it’s no wonder this equipment requires careful monitoring. That’s the benefits of energy saving devices in coolrooms and freezers, in a nutshell, a capacity to properly audit this power-hungry system and really take control of the gear so that it can fully realize its efficiency potential.
Coolrooms and freezers are high-end engineering constructs, but they’re also influenced by intangible forces. There’s the mathematics of thermal envelopes to consider, plus the laws of thermal dynamics, rules that conserve energy within the refrigeration unit. Refrigeration operating efficiency is an important parameter here, one that determines how well the cooling space runs, but what factors subscribe to this calculable rating?
Refrigeration Operating Efficiency
Performance coefficients are important in the walk-in coolroom and freezer sector because these oversized refrigerators consume more energy than any other appliance. Keep that fact in mind next time a coolroom door is left open for several minutes. Better yet, use unbiased science to work out the performance rating. The quotient we’re referring to uses an end-to-end binary, a series of summated figures that begins with input energy and culminates with the frosty output stage as cooling power.
Net Refrigeration Capacity
There are two sets of energy variables at work, as illustrated above. Primarily, the refrigeration cycle uses chemicals and a proprietary mechanical system to create a chilled environment, but it’s an electrical input rating that raises the question of energy expenditure, for electricity is consumed, whereas chemical processes loop endlessly. Net refrigeration capacity, therefore, uses the input electrical power load and the output walk-in heat loading factor to calculate the energy capacity of the unit. As this figure gels, the capacity rating creates a unique profile of the rooms cooling envelope.
Assessing Contributing Mechanisms
The fans in the refrigerator add to the electrical side of the loading factor, as do the light bulbs, door heaters, and pumps that dominate the power input variable. On the other side of the calculation, chemical refrigerants offer condensation savings while the compressor delivers mechanical economy. All of these accessories will obviously influence the efficiency ratio, so the furrowed brow on an engineer’s forehead will only deepen as he’s forced to resort to complex calculus equations. But, at the end of the day, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this ratio is based on a coefficient that directly compares input power to output power.
Born out of a need to resolve loss factors and create an easy to illustrate performance coefficient, the refrigeration operating efficiency rating uses two sets of energy variables to achieve this feat. Input power, obviously, is electrical, but it’s split up into numerous components. Meanwhile, the output energy rating, which is defined by cooling power, is plugged into the ratio calculation as the second energy variable.
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