What are Heating Cables and Their Functions for Freezers and Coolrooms?

09 February 2016

Heating cables are a special form of electrical wiring that’s designed to radiate warmth. The product is flexible, so it’s quite easy to coil the cables around surfaces in order to keep them warm. Commonly used to defrost rooftops and gutters that are weighed down by snow, the purpose of the product takes on a sharper focus when used in freezers and coolrooms.

Room-Based Applications

We imagine one environment when picturing freezers. A thermostat and a cooling unit drop the temperature. Ice forms, and heating requirements never enter our thoughts. This is a place that’s meant to be cold, after all. Subzero air stops taste-degrading biological processes, as intended, by keeping the climate frosty, but freezers and coolrooms also run on equipment and structural components that can’t cope with ice. The solution to the issue is special flexible heating elements, heating cables that act as a low-grade but effective trace warming line. They’re fitted to freezer doors to stop the ice from warping or freezing the mechanism, and they’re also used to protect pipes, as they run parallel to water lines, preventing liquid water from turning to ice.

Prevents Floor Heave

If we were to pop inside an old cooler and see how it has survived the decades, we’d probably be shocked, for the floor has undergone a terrible transformation. It’s cracked and uneven, rising in some spots and dipping dangerously in others. Concrete flooring doesn’t react well to subzero temperatures, which is why some form of floor heating is essential if we’re to avoid this messy structural phenomenon. An expertly installed set of heating cables, passing through every square metre of the floor inside plastic tubes, stops the floor from freezing solid and the concrete from experiencing “heaving.” Remember, a frozen floor will crack and lift, which presents a new avenue for energy loss. Heating cables pass through metal conduits or plastic pipes under the floor to counter this freezing threat.

The cables come in two related variants, known in the trade as self-regulating and constant wattage. The two conductors in the self-regulating type sandwich a special conductive core within the cable, and this core varies its conductivity as the temperature changes. Meanwhile, the function of the constant-wattage form is fairly self-explanatory, in that it delivers the same heat at all times.

An installation engineer considers the length of the run, the type of heating cables, and many other factors when adding heating to freezers and coolrooms.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
E-mail: markconnelly@cmcoolrooms.com.au
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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