Industrial refrigeration systems have numerous uses and applications, from cooling food and beverages to storing medical supplies. In some facilities, these systems are essential for keeping products and materials at safe temperatures, while in others, they're an optional addition to improve product quality or process efficiency.
That said, no matter what you're using an industrial refrigeration system for, there are three components you'll need to consider when choosing equipment: compressors, condensers, and expanders.
In any industrial refrigeration system, the compressor's function is (unsurprisingly) to compress the refrigerant gas. This step, the first in the refrigeration process, increases the pressure and temperature of the gas, readying it for the rest of the process.
There are various different types of compressors used in industrial refrigeration, and each one has its own benefits. Reciprocating compressors, for example, are highly energy efficient, reducing your running costs. Hermetic compressors, meanwhile, are ideal when you need high-temperature performance. You'll even find scroll compressors, which fit into smaller systems and offer great noise control in environments where staff are working (or in facility locations with noise ordinances).
As the name suggests, condensers condense the refrigerant in your system, turning the high-pressure gas into a liquid. Condensers work by reducing the heat of the refrigerant gas, without affecting the pressure.
While there are fewer condenser types than there are compressors, there's still some consideration needed when choosing the right option. Air-cooled condensers are easy to maintain and can be situated outside the refrigeration system, creating a cooler working environment. Water-cooled condensers, meanwhile, offer high efficiency for facilities looking to refrigerate quickly and inexpensively.
Expanders, also known as expansion devices or systems, take the liquid from the condenser and rapidly drop the temperature. This helps to control the flow of refrigerant through the system, ready for the final refrigeration stage: evaporation.
Expanders are built using a series of valves, each one serving a different purpose. Some valves regulate the pressure of the refrigerant, some control the flow of the liquid itself, and others are bidirectional, allowing the user to change the direction of that flow. Different expansion devices will use different combinations of valves, so you'll need to choose carefully based on your use case.
If you're a facility manager without an engineering background, don't fear if these components sound confusing. Hiring an industrial refrigeration system installation company helps take the guesswork out of the buying process, as they'll be able to advise you on the best system components for you.
For more info about industrial refrigeration system installations, contact a local company.