Refrigeration Equipment That Improves Efficiency

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Refrigeration Equipment That Improves Efficiency

Business owners are always on the lookout for extra savings, and yet they could be allowing thousands of extra dollars a year to slip out through the window. The extra cost does not come from high shipping charges or paying employees overtime; the culprit is the refrigeration system of many big businesses. In fact, grocery stores, fast food chains, and restaurants can spend 25 to 60 per cent of all their electrical costs on their refrigeration system.

It is definitely time to take another look at that aging walk-in cooler and plan out a way to make it more energy efficient. Local shops and online websites like eBay sell entire low-energy refrigeration systems, but it is also possible to retrofit an older system to make it use less energy. Every journey begins with a first step, and when it comes to energy-efficient systems customers need to know what components are the biggest energy hogs before they decide which parts to buy.

How Refrigeration Works

Customers need to know how a basic refrigeration system works before buying parts for it. Essentially, most modern refrigeration units use a compressor, a condenser, a throttling valve, and an evaporator. It is a closed, circular system, so all the parts must function together in order for the refrigerator to work. The compressor raises pressure, emitting hot gas which travels into the condenser that turns the gas into liquid. The TH valve lowers the pressure of the liquid, turning it cold. This cold liquid then runs through the evaporator where it becomes cold gas. The gas passes back through the compressor and the system begins all over again.

Energy Efficient Areas

Once a buyer understands the basic parts of a refrigerator, it is clear to see what areas can benefit from energy efficient models. Evaporators, compressors, and condensers are typical energy-hogs, and today's modern versions use a fraction of the electricity of older models.

Energy Efficient Part

Display Unit

Walk-In Refrigerator

Reach-In Refrigerator

Beverage Merchandiser

Evaporator Fan Motor

x

x

x

x

Condenser Fan Motor

x

x

x

x

Compressor Systems

x

x

x

x

Liquid Pressure Amplifiers

x

x

 

 

Anti-Sweat Heaters

x

 

x

 

Defrost

x

x

x

 

Lighting

x

x

x

 

Doors

x

x

x

 

Energy savings can also be passed along by making a few simple changes. Installing efficient lighting is a less expensive way to save money on energy costs. Adding doors to the refrigeration unit is another step that cuts down on the electrical bill.

Evaporator Fan Motors

The average grocery store with its long line of refrigeration units has hundreds of these little fans powering the system. While just one fan motor uses only one-tenth horsepower, using hundreds of them quickly adds up electrical costs. The good news is that these parts can easily be exchanged and retrofitted onto older systems. Savings are significant depending on where they are installed. An average grocery chain sees a 7 to 8 per cent savings on refrigerators and display units. A restaurant owner can see a 29 per cent savings on their beverage merchandiser just by installing a high efficiency evaporator fan motor.

Condenser Fan Motors

Refrigeration systems also use condenser fan motors to turn hot gas into warm liquid. Again, large refrigeration units have multiple condenser fan motors eating away at the electric bill. Switch them out with high efficiency motors and see average savings between 3 to 5 per cent. Grocery stores can add both evaporator and condenser fan motors to see savings of 10 to 13 per cent.

Compressor Systems

Compressors are found on all types of refrigeration equipment from walk-in refrigerators to vending machines. Compressors increase the pressure within the refrigeration system, turning cold gas into warm gas. Replacing the compressor with a high efficiency model can yield 12 percent savings on reach-in refrigerators. For an entire system upgrade, combine a new compressor system with new condenser and evaporator fan motors for 22 to 25 per cent savings.

Liquid Pressure Amplifiers

Liquid pressure amplifiers work with the refrigeration pump to keep the level of liquid refrigeration high. The more liquid refrigeration that runs through the system, the less electricity the entire system takes. This is a very important principle to remember, and adding a liquid pressure amplifier is an easy way to cut down on energy costs. They are typically only used for grocery display cases and walk-in refrigerators and freezers. If the system works with an air-cooled condenser that draws air in from outside, the electrical savings can be well into the 20 per cent range.

Anti-Sweat Heaters

With all of the gas circulating through a refrigeration unit, things can get pretty humid inside the fridge. When the humidity becomes too high, it causes the vapourised coolant gas to liquidise. This makes the compressor work harder, which in turn throws the condenser into overtime. The result is that the store owner is paying too much for a humid refrigerating system. Installing an anti-sweat heater control that senses when the humidity inside the unit becomes too high, and then turns on the system, is always a better option. It uses less energy and results in extra savings.

Defrost Controls

Defrost controls are used in many refrigeration systems such as display cases, reach-ins and walk-ins. An average defrost control runs on a timer that kicks in at a set time where defrosting is needed or not. Like the anti-sweat heater, it is the design of the control, not the function itself that is the problem. Installing a defrost control that either measures the internal temperature of the refrigerator, or responds to pressure drops from the evaporator, is a better choice. When controlled in such a way, the defrost system only turns on when it is needed, so it never wastes energy. Defrost controls are found on display cases as well as reach-in and walk-in refrigerators.

Efficient Lighting

It is easy to pay attention to the internal parts of the refrigeration system and overlook one of the biggest energy culprits of all. Lighting is used for all types of refrigerators, from brilliant display cases to glowing vending machines. Old electrical lighting was not extremely energy efficient and was responsible for many high electrical bills. Replacing old fluorescent bulbs with T-8 fluorescent lamps is a quick process that instantly nets savings. Not only do they cut down on electricity by themselves, they also reduce the load on the compressor, which in turn saves even more energy.

Adding Doors

Reach-in refrigerators and freezers are closed off from the rest of the store by a door. A customer has to open the door to get their items, but this allows the business to save money by low operating costs. Imagine if there was no door on the reach-in freezer; the entire frozen food section would be unbearable. Yet many grocery stores and convenience stores use display cases that do not come with doors. This means that the system has to run all the time to keep the items in the case cool. Furthermore, the business owner usually has to raise the heat level within the store by a few degrees to account for the extra cold air coming off the display case.

There is no reason business owners have to suffer this way with their display cases. Adding doors to the display case keeps cold air inside and hot air outside. Clearly, this saves a lot of money on overall energy costs with only a small initial investment.

How to Buy Energy Efficient Refrigeration Equipment on eBay

You own a business, and you want to maximise your profit line with fewer operating costs. Shopping on eBay allows you to purchase either brand new refrigeration equipment, or piecemeal parts so that you can upgrade your existing refrigeration system. Even better, many of the products found on eBay are offered at below retail prices, meaning you spend less on your initial investment, while saving more money over time.

Start off by searching for 'industrial refrigeration equipment' by typing this phrase into the search engine. This nets you a long list of varied results, so it is always a good idea to try and limit your search to return specific listings. For example, if you need a display unit, then type in 'refrigeration display unit' to only return listings for this specific model. If you want the latest energy efficient models, search for 'new refrigeration equipment' to view brand new models for sale. Finally, adding terms like 'high efficiency', or 'energy efficiency' to your searches, helps narrow the listings to only models and parts that use less electricity.

Conclusion

Accounting for the bottom line is the top priority for many businesses. After all, it is difficult to make a profit if the company is spending too much on incidentals. For many grocery stores and restaurants, the refrigeration system is a big culprit when it comes to high electrical bills. Installing a new energy efficient system, or upgrading the existing one, allows the business to operate at a lower cost. There are several areas where refrigeration systems tend to blow the most energy.

Fan motors are big energy hogs that are easily replaced. Other parts such as compressors, liquid amplifiers, and anti-sweat heaters also do their part to keep electric rates at a minimum. Even changing out the light bulbs, or adding doors, can help with high electric costs. Those who are looking to save money on their initial investment in energy efficient refrigeration systems can find everything that they are looking for on eBay at a reasonable price that falls within their budget.

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