Refrigeration Systems

Industrial refrigeration unit

System improvements

Energy-efficient improvements to your refrigeration system help improve system performance and reduce maintenance costs. See our tips below.

Improve refrigeration system performance

Refrigeration systems offer many energy management opportunities. Making improvements will help improve system performance and reduce maintenance costs.

Use floating head and very low head pressure

Use of liquid pressure pumps or electronic expansion valves allow reduction of head pressure which enables lower condensing temperatures and can reduce electrical energy costs by about 20%.

Maintain refrigeration and freezing equipment at optimum levels

Maintaining and operating your equipment at optimum levels can result in substantial energy savings.

  • Perform maintenance on units periodically. Keep heat transfer surfaces clean, especially refrigeration coils.
  • Set operating temperatures of refrigerators and freezers only as low as necessary and check regularly to maintain consistent temperatures.
  • Achieve significant energy savings by installing high-efficiency refrigeration equipment. This might include glass doors or air curtains on refrigeration and freezer units or purchasing high-efficiency compressors. Also, it is important to size refrigerators and freezers properly to avoid over- or underloading.
  • Avoid heat buildup. Use as few lights as possible to illuminate interiors and use night covers on refrigeration and freezer units to keep out unwanted heat.

Operate refrigeration systems to optimize efficiency

  • Optimize the defrost cycle based on seasonal, humidity and load requirements by resetting cycle frequency or installing an automatic control.
  • Use hot gas defrosting instead of electric defrosting because gas is more economical.
  • Purge non-condensables (air, gases from oil breakdown, water, organic acids, etc.) from the refrigeration system at each purge point because it makes systems run more efficiently.
  • Operate the system at the lowest condensing pressure possible with existing condenser capacity.
  • Raise the evaporator temperature to the maximum level possible.

Monitor refrigeration components to save energy

  • Replace all insulation damaged by moisture as it decreases insulation value.
  • Check door seals and weather-stripping regularly and repair if needed.
  • Install motion sensors or train personnel to turn off lights in unoccupied refrigerated areas.
  • Shutdown refrigeration in areas where extensive loading and unloading occurs.
  • Install sensors to monitor product temperature rather than air temperature in the cold storage area.
  • Control the refrigeration system to operate only when a product needs cooling.
  • Inspect mechanical and electrical equipment regularly.
  • Ensure hot and cold water basins are clean. 

Control conditions to reduce refrigeration needs

  • Reduce the intensity of the lighting. Consider lighting levels at 0.5 watts per square foot (not 1 watt per square foot). This creates lighting savings and reduces heat the refrigeration system will not need to remove.
  • Increase insulation thickness in walls, floors and ceilings. This reduces the required capacity and system run time.
  • Install dehumidifier units to control humidity. Humidity can greatly affect the load on the refrigeration system.