Malaysia's Cold Chain Industry Guide


4 Industrial Tips to Choose the Right Industrial Refrigeration for Your Cold Room

Cold Chain Problem Solving & Diagnosis August 1, 2022


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What precisely is industrial refrigeration? They are machines that use the chilling process to remove heat from a particular item. Some of the most common settings for this machinery include food processing, brewing, and construction industries. Cold food storage, dairy processing, beverage production, ice rinks, and heavy industry typically uses industrial refrigeration application.

There are two types of refrigeration. One is commercial refrigeration, which is concerned with the design, installation, and upkeep of specific refrigeration units for commercial sales areas aimed at the general public. A good example would be a refrigerator found in homes with temperatures ranging between 7° and -18°. On the other hand, industrial refrigeration refers to refrigeration applications with the highest to the lowest temperatures in mechanical compression, reaching up to -60°C. Ice plants and storage plants commonly use an industrial refrigerator.

Now that you are aware of the types of refrigeration, here are 4 tips you can use to choose the best industrial refrigeration for your cold room.

Tip 1: What Your Business and its Operation Require

You would first have to consider the type of industry. Typically if you are running a food business, opting for a commercial refrigerator is wiser. Similarly, if you store large amounts of food that require regulated temperature control, it makes sense to go for industrial refrigeration. Knowing the varying temperature of your goods, whether food and beverages or pharmaceutical, is a clear point when selecting the best refrigeration. Also, consider the nature of your business operations–are you a processing plant or a storage facility? It matters because of the amount of space you have and the number of times you open and close the refrigerator door.

In most cases, purchasing an industrial refrigerator is a wise decision because businesses grow and require more space. However, keep in mind that large refrigerators can raise your energy bills. Plan for expansion, but don't select a unit with a capacity that is far beyond your requirements.

Tip 2: Choosing the Type of Refrigerants

The various liquids that transfer heat from one area to another are refrigerants. As temperature and pressure change, each of these takes on new forms. For example, as the system heats up, it turns into vapour. It cools and returns to a liquid state. It results in the heating and cooling refrigeration cycle. Some common examples of refrigerants are ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and fluorocarbons.

There are various factors when considering choosing the best refrigerants. Ammonia is an ideal refrigerant as it is cheap, safe for the environment and is applicable in many business operations. Other factors to consider are thermal conductivity, heat capacity, discharge pressure and environmental impacts

► Did you know? ►

Freon, known as R-22, was one of the first refrigerant types used in air conditioners. However, due to its ozone-depleting properties and harmful environmental effects, it has been permanently discontinued following the United States EPA's Clean Air Act of 2010

The values used to characterise different refrigerants are the Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and the Global Warming Potential (GWP). The ODP can vary between 0 and 1. The closer the chemical is to one, the more harmful it is to the ozone layer. The GWP ranges from 0 to thousands. The bigger the number, the more harmful it is to the environment.

Tip 3: Choosing the Machinery

The choice of machinery has a significant impact on investment costs. Choosing the best option will reduce electricity consumption in the long run. Different refrigerants will necessitate their machinery. An example is an ammonia (R 717) machinery, which differs from other refrigerants.

The four primary components of refrigeration equipment are:

  1. The compressor (screw, piston, centrifugal, rotary)

  2. The condenser (air-cooled, water-cooled, evaporative)

  3. The device for expansion

  4. The evaporator

Here are some common brand of refrigeration machinery that can be widely found in the Malaysia market for your reference.

Tip 4: System Designs

The system design is to remove unwanted heat from one location and discharge it into another. The refrigerant is pumped through a closed refrigeration system to accomplish this. It also serves other functions, such as preventing the refrigerant from becoming contaminated and controlling its flow for liquid, gas or vapour in some parts of the cycle. An example is the single stage, two stages and cascades ammonia industrial refrigeration systems. Each system design has its benefits and usage.

A poor installation can lead to higher energy costs, poor air quality, and inadequate working conditions. These issues can reduce productivity and make daily operations difficult.