Industrial refrigeration is a fundamental technique in the production chain of the agricultural sector. High-energy consumption of these installations embodies a concern for local producers thus new improvements to have been implemented in order to optimize its performance. Saving costs and minimizing its impact in the environment are also very important when it comes to the use of these installations.
Necessary innovations in the environmental sector
Industrial refrigeration systems mainly use electric energy. That is why technological advancements and legislative changes are so important when it comes to the environment as they affect directly the enterprises of the sector. Let’s see where the main efforts are being made in order to implement these changes in the industrial refrigeration installations:
- Implementation of new equipment of compression. New equipment of compression is design to optimize the modulation of changes in demand as well as to implement control systems and monitor them to work more efficiently and save energy.
- Installation of energy efficiency equipment. The equipment uses double layer condensators which allow them to deal with disordered flows of electricity in order to optimise the operation of the installation. By doing so, electricity levels can be adjusted as well as reduce its consumption.
- Improvement of condensation measurement in different conditions. The main goal is to measure internal temperature of the cool chamber, from the outside temperature of the relative humidity in each point as well as real temperatures of the refrigerated content. After this analysis, optimal start up parametres are obtained, its operation and condensation degree which will allow the installation consume the strictly necessary energy in each case. This would reduce work of compressors along with its energy saving.
- Installation of temperature measurement and humidification systems. These devices allow us to obtain the correct level of temperature and environmental humidification so that installations work perfectly. The new measurements work as simulators of the sonda in order to measure the food temperature instead of the temperature of the air (it could vary depending on the area of the chamber). It allows for refrigeration cycle frequency reduction, high energy demand when starting it up and stabilize its consumption when temperature changes.
- Use of natural refrigerants. Refrigerating gases are very responsible of global warming, that is why the industrial sector is working to completely ban them in 2022. The alternative will be natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide or ammoniac as well as low potential refrigerating fluids in global warming. Currently, there are more than 80 alternative refrigerants in the study phase.
- Thermal isolation at installations. The use of change of phase materials in industrial refrigeration allows to keep a constant temperature inside and take advantage of the thermal inertia of installations.
Challenges industrial refrigeration industry faces in the future.
New equipment has high energy saving capabilities and know well different options which will allow them to select the best machines that best adapt to the needs of each installation. It could save up to 50% of energy. However, it is still necessary to keep developing this equipment and adapt it to the main challenges the industry is facing:
- Modulation of service demand variations
- Implementation of new control, regulation and monitor systems
- Use and search of new refrigerating fluids
These innovations can be applied both in the design of new installations and improvement of existing ones as well as maintenance. By increasing its efficiency , important energy saving will be achieved with both impact on economic and environmental levels.