Here, we will learn all there is to know about industrial refrigeration; the components in the system, the goods and bad of the system. Industrial refrigeration can be a complex topic at times. So, it is crucial, to begin with, the basics.
Where do you need Industrial Refrigeration?
Well, as evident from the name, industrial refrigeration includes commercial-grade refrigeration. It makes use of ammonia refrigerants system. In our day to day life, or for the daily needs, we can use the traditional freezers that fit into a corner of our home. But there are places which need some serious level of cooling; places where the whole building needs to be brought down to the freezing temperature. Or there are places and industries out there, which demand a large freezing area, or even a larger cold storage area.
Places of application of Industrial Refrigeration:
- Ice cream factories
- Beverage production industries
- Dairy processing units
- Large food storage houses
But, it not always food production and storage industries that demand industrial refrigeration. There are places that are built in the modern-day for human pleasure, and sporting events, where an artificial freezing atmosphere has to be created. You would have seen the growing trend of ice rinks and artificial snow parks come to mind. Such institutions call for a cooling system that cannot be set up using the traditional cooling setup. For this, we need industrial refrigeration systems.
What refrigerants do you use for industrial refrigeration?
Ammonia- The conventional refrigeration system makes use of CFCs which are very harmful. But the modern industrial refrigeration systems make use of ammonia as refrigerants, most commonly.
Ammonia is a naturally occurring substance. It is abundant and has an ozone depletion rating of zero. It also does not significantly contribute to global warming. Most importantly, ammonia has a heat absorption potential like no other substance. It can absorb the heat while it is evaporating. This essentially reduces the size of the cooling unit and reduces the costs of production. Hence, it makes the entire industrial refrigeration system environment friendly.
Point of caution: However, if leaking, ammonia can give out the very foul smell and can be highly inflammable and injurious to health. So, maintenance of the machines and pipes has to be constantly done.
CO2- This is yet another popular refrigerant used in industrial refrigeration. It is another naturally occurring element used as industrial refrigeration refrigerants. It is highly in demand as it is produced naturally and has a minimal natural impact. As compared to ammonia, this is much safer because it is non-flammable and non-toxic. However, as much as non-toxic it is, great care has to be taken while handling CO2. It is a gas heavier than oxygen, and it is odorless. So, in case of a leakage in the pipelines, and within a closed environment, it will displace oxygen and soon create a very dangerous situation.
Water- Water is also used in industrial refrigeration but exactly as a refrigerant but as a coolant. However, there are a lot of issues with the use of water in industrial refrigeration systems. Other elements are used as refrigerants in industrial refrigeration systems. For example, HFCF (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons), and Hydrocarbons. But these are soon becoming obsolete, or otherwise in lesser use due to their hazardous qualities primarily.
Types of industrial refrigeration
While the other refrigerants have simple refrigeration processes, ammonia has three types of refrigeration. They are as follows:
- Single-stage – it is the simplest process.
- Two-stage – It suitable to provide high efficiency, and low compressor discharge temperatures.
- Cascade ammonia – It can provide refrigeration to a varied range of cooling loads.
Now, in conclusion, while setting up an industrial refrigeration system, one has to consider safety, environmental impact, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Make sure you thoroughly research the industrial refrigeration system that you will be adopting for your place. It will ensure safety and will also be less hazardous for the environment.