If a coolroom’s layout is optimized, yet the equipment’s still drawing way too much electrical energy, something’s still not right. Odds are the refrigeration unit has some kind of a performance frustrating issue. Even more frustrating, this issue is ongoing. It’s not getting any better, and it won’t until someone tracks down the energy siphoning cause. Calling in an expert service engineer, that pro-worker should head straight to the equipment coils.

Obstructed Refrigerator Coils Cause Energy Losses

Indirectly speaking, the icy build-up hampers coil efficiency. Perhaps there’s excess moisture coming off of a row of frozen meat, or maybe the region in which the coolroom resides is naturally humid. Whatever the reason, the excess moisture condenses when it comes in contact with the evaporator coils. And it’s not going to stay that way for long. After the condensate forms, it freezes. Over and over, this cycle repeats until a thick layer of ice impacts the cooling mechanisms heat transferring functions. Meanwhile, over on the condenser coils, dirt and debris have a similar effect on the heat release stage. Without a fully exposed condenser, the refrigerant can’t cool and condense efficiently.

Coil Restoration Methodologies

It’s nice to know that a little warm water and soap can restore a complicated assembly of technologically advanced electro-chemical parts to their functional best. Instead of replacing a hard to get at compressor unit, the servicing team just washes the dirt off of one coil while someone else removes the ice from the second set of coils. Only, hold on, it’s not quite that straightforward. To really restore heat transference performance, elbow grease isn’t enough, not even with a bucket of hot water. In reality, when refrigeration companies offer a coil restoration service, they’re talking about powerful steam equipment and cleaning agents. Applied as a multi-stage system rejuvenation process, steam and non-corrosive cleaners soften and-de-bind the ingrained dirt. 

There’s outside work to be done. The vents and filters require cleaning. If they’re filthy, a few replacement parts will soon fix things. That same approach won’t work on the condenser coil. Likewise, after the ice has been carefully melted off the evaporator coils, there are still traces of muck and gunk coating those exposed parts too. A run-of-the-mill coolroom servicing company might try that warm water and soap approach, and they might even have limited success. Stepping up to the next level, a genuine coil restoration assignment uses proprietary coil cleaning techniques, which may or may not include steam ablation technology. With coil performance back to its functional best, advanced auditing and data collection instruments make sure coolroom efficiency is maximized.

Contrary to popular opinion, refrigeration services don’t always place a heavy focus on cooling equipment. Admittedly, that’s their raison d’ê·tre, their main role in life, but this is a profession that covers many different engineering disciplines. Why, there are even times when C & M Coolrooms technicians find themselves repairing or replacing heating cables. 

Where Are The Heating Cables?

Warming wires of this type can be found in several locations. Before going any further, however, these aren’t true heating elements, they are radiant fractional amounts of thermal energy. For example, a cold concrete floor could crack because of the minus 20°C temperatures inside a deep-freeze unit. Worse still, there might be groundwater under the concrete. It’ll freeze, the ice will expand, and the concrete will crack again. Door seals also need wired heating. Trace heating wires thread their way around door frames so that a rime of ice doesn’t cause the door to stick. Last of all, heating cables can be wrapped helically around all sorts of fittings, including ducts and pipes.

Replacing Damaged Or Aged Thermal Cabling

The tiny amounts of energy are enough to stop a floor cracking or prevent a door from accumulating frost damage. Unfortunately, just like any other equipment fitting, these insulated electrical wires do have a limited lifespan. Admittedly, it’s not going to be easy to replace underfloor cables, not unless they were installed in tubular conduit. One solution to this issue is to replace the underfloor cables with rubberized mats. The knobbly pattern on those rubber sheets insulates the floor while also acting as a slip prevention aid. For the broken door seal, a replacement heating cable is far easier to replace.

Portal Frame Wiring Replacement The technician turns off the power, as the circuit may still be live, even though it’s no longer functioning. A continuity test with an electrical multimeter should be used next. If the circuit is damaged, the tech puts on a pair of gloves, exposes the wire, and carefully removes it from the door edges. A replacement cable, one that uses the same electrical specs, is now substituted for the damaged heat tracing. Remember, the lip of the door may seamlessly connect to the unit’s insulation panels. If that’s the case, a C & M Coolroom technician should be called out to carry out the work.

Interestingly, there are new underfloor options on the horizon. Heating cables are still clearly the superior option. Only, they can be impossible to replace. One solution involves running them through buried metal conduits. A second idea is to use a piped fluid, such as glycol. Transporting trace amounts of heat into the floor, there are no moving parts to fail in a fluid-based underfloor heating system.

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