Refrigeration is considered as the key reason behind higher energy costs of any organization. There are different ways by which one could reduce the energy costs – starting from installation of refrigeration system to maintenance. Cold rooms help to store huge quantity of food for prolonged time, and need to be maintained at a specific temperature.

By adopting simple steps to improve the energy efficiency of refrigeration, one could realize significant cost savings. Let us learn more about smart steps that help to save on energy costs. The section is divided into three – maintenance, operational and installation to easily understand about the topic.

Let’s get started…

Maintenance

1. Regular Maintenance

Maintenance plays a key role in retaining the energy efficiency of cold rooms. Most of them call the service provider when the system breaks down, which could affect the integrity of your business. Regular maintenance helps to identify issues before they prove to be detrimental. Maintenance of cold rooms should be done by skilled workers and should take into account different aspects like cracks, loose sealing etc.

2. Ensure sufficient Refrigerant

Refrigerant or coolant is the gas that helps to transfer heat energy in the cooling system.  If level of refrigerant is low, it can result in reduced cooling and thereby reduced efficiency. Cooling system has to be recharged with refrigerant so that it could work properly.

3. Fix Refrigerant Leaking quickly

Refrigerant leaking if any has to be fixed quickly to ensure that the cold room works efficiently. Some of the main causes of refrigerant leaking are broken pumps, improper cold room installation, reduced refrigerant levels, air leakage etc. A skilled HVAC employee would be able to fix the refrigerant leakage easily. Refrigerant leaking can result in safety and financial risks for the business owners and not should be fixed immediately. Detectors can be mounted near the plant specifically at points where there is probability of high-leakage.

4. Wash Evaporator Coil quarterly

Unclean evaporator coil is considered yet another reason for inefficient cold room system. It prevents proper airflow in the system. Evaporator coils has to be cleaned regularly, at least quarterly to improve the cooling efficiency. Different factors need to be considered before setting cleaning frequency like, the location of cold rooms, age of cold rooms etc.

5. Replace old inefficient compressor

Compressor is the main part of a cooling system and works on the basis of electricity and capacitor and results in the flow of refrigerator. If you could see symptoms like reduced cooling ability, inability of the compressor to start and compressor overheats, replace old inefficient compressor with a new one after seeking professional expert.

Furthermore…

6. Engage with fast respond maintenance team, able to get the problem fix immediately

Always seek help from professional HVAC experts who are able to identify the problems and start working on the issues immediately. If the team does not respond to your queries quickly, go for other technicians who are available around the clock.

7. Make sure the Door Seal condition is good

Door seal condition needs to be checked on a regular basis and ensure that it is flawless. If there is any vents in door seal, it would not be able to serve the purpose effectively.

8. Clean condenser regularly

Condenser also need to be cleaned regularly to improve the lifespan of cold rooms and to improve its efficiency. Soft brush can be used to clean the condenser. Make sure to work carefully without damaging the unit.

9. Monitoring energy usage

It is imperative to monitor energy usage by using a reliable energy meter. If you are able to identify any unexplained spikes in energy consumption, reach out to a reliable service provider. Keeping track of energy consumption inspires people to keep a control on the energy consumption and to set future goals.

10. Don’t sprinkle water on coils

Never sprinkle water on an air-cooled coil as they are not designed to have any interaction with water spray. Water can result in corrosion or other microbial problems.

And…

11. Learn about low-cost technologies

Discuss with the technicians about the possibilities of any low-cost system that could replace the existing system. If there is any issues like increased noise or any unusual behavior from the system, update the information to the experts.

12. Check room for energy wastage symptoms

Rooms need to be checked regularly to identify if there is any energy wastage that could be reduced or controlled. Switch off the lights inside the room and verify if external light can seep into the room. Door misalignment, vents, damage etc. can also be checked by this.

13. Calibration of gauges

Operators need to verify that thermostat or thermometer is accurate by performing regular calibration of gauges with respect to tested and approved instruments. Ensure that the timer settings in automatic electric defrost is proper ( if the defrost is turned on for longer time than required, it could result in increased energy expenses).

14. Install thermal imaging camera

A thermal imaging camera can be installed inside the room to verify if there is any hot-spots inside the room.

15. Upgrade the system technology

Investing in a good technology would help you earn benefits in the long run. Some of them are as follows : automatic fault detection system, high-efficiency motors, electronic expansion valves etc. Other technologies in which you could invest are variable speed drives in compressor, efficient pipe insulation etc.

16. Upgrade the room

There is a galore of options available to upgrade the cold storage room like cabinet doors and lids, strip curtains, high-speed closers etc. Reflective coating can be used on external walls and roofs to reduce heat build up.

 So read on …

Operational

1. Open the door less frequently

Hot air that is trapped inside the cold room is one of the main causes of reduced efficiency of cold room. Statistics reveal that this amounts to almost 30% of heat energy absorbed by cold room. By opening the doors of cold room less frequently, one could save energy to some extent.

2. Always close the doors after entering and leaving

Make sure to close the door after entering and leaving. Double-checking the cold room (if the door is closed properly) is a good practice and should be followed by all employees, every time for maintaining the temperature low. This helps to reduce the seepage of hot air into cold room.

3. Load or unloading the goods in batch so we can minimize the frequency of opening the door

Loading or unloading single stuff at a time from the cold room would increase the frequency of opening the door. This could also increase the heat build up inside cold rooms. Operators should take special care to load and unload goods in batch as it helps to decrease the frequency of opening or closing.

4. Shut down refrigerator when lots of goods need to be loaded and unloaded

If there are too much of goods to load and unload, you may shut down the refrigerator until the loading process is completed. This helps to reduce energy expenses significantly.

5. Less human employees in cold room

Make sure that there are less human employees in the cold room at any time. Average human body temperature is 37 degree Celsius, which could also increase the heat flow to cold room. By maintaining less employees, average temperature would be lower which implies cooler cold rooms.

What’s Next…

6. Loading and unloading of goods in early morning or during evening

Another proven technique to improve the energy efficiency of cold rooms is to do the loading and unloading of goods in early morning or during evening. If goods are loaded or unloaded during afternoon, it could result in unwanted heat gain in cold rooms.

7. Adopt good loading unloading policy

Employees need to follow a loading and unloading policy to improve the cooling efficiency. Scatter goods that need to be cooled to promote optimum air circulation around the packages. These goods can be later consolidated together for freezing. High-turnover products can be kept near the doors of cold room to allow effortless access.

8. Switch off the cold rooms during night if needed

Wonder why our parents ask not to use high-energy consuming equipment like iron-box during night? It is because energy consumption is higher during night. Same concept is applicable to cold rooms as well. If the temperature is not critical for your product, you may switch off the cold rooms during night.

9. Only put necessary things in

Make sure that there are only necessary goods inside the cold room. If you keep on adding goods that does not require cooling, it would necessitate the refrigerant to pump harder, which results in less efficient cooling process. Keep close track of cold room and remove unwanted goods to improve the efficiency.

10. Ensure goods has not warmed up

Ensure that the goods that you wi