What are the solutions currently applied in the refrigeration industry, both industrial and commercial, when we talk about energy efficiency?
The first thing is to have an adequate design of the installation, which allows us to optimize each area according to our needs, foreseeing the flexibility we will need in the future, since a poorly designed installation can cause major problems.
In the same way, choosing the refrigerant gas with which the plant will operate is vital. Not all refrigerant gases act in the same way, and this influences the internal need for heat removal and the climatic and environmental conditions in which the installation will be located.
Regarding a trade, chamber or installation, the better isolated it is, the less heat/cold exchange it has with the exterior and the greater energy efficiency we will achieve. The insulating elements of the same play a key role for savings and energy efficiency.
Include power variators that allow optimizing the elements of higher consumption, such as the compressors of the installation, to avoid excess consumption, peaks of engine starts or unnecessary wear of the latter.
The defrosts are processes that allow us to eliminate the frost produced by the evaporators, avoiding breakdowns in the installation. Many refrigeration installations do this process with a defrost system for resistances. Bearing in mind that generating heat by means of electricity is a highly expensive process, changing these systems for other elements of lower consumption such as glycol circuits, will facilitate savings in electricity consumption. It is true that, in order to have a glycol circuit, it is necessary to install the tubes through which the fluid will circulate, but it is an investment that is recovered and promotes greater energy efficiency.
As in all industries, indirectly, the correct maintenance of the installation will allow us to operate efficiently, saving costs in energy consumption and replacement of elements before having fulfilled its standard life cycle. We cannot talk about energy efficiency unless an adequate preventive maintenance plan is managed.
Having an optimized (and well-functioning) control system will allow us to automatically manage the parameters among which we want to operate the installation. This will make it possible to be efficient in the energy management of the plant, avoiding unnecessary consumption spikes, excess work and use of divisions of the installation that we do not need at any time.
The good choice of refrigerant gases, together with a controlled installation with HMI systems, PLC and above all SCADA, are technological solutions that are already shaping what is the present and future of energy efficiency in the refrigeration industry.
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