In the commercial environment, a refrigerator provides a cold storage solution for dining and kitchen facilities. They can be used for freezing or keeping food cool, or a combination of the two.
The technology for refrigeration has improved in the last century, with more efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions becoming available on the market. Also, greater power availability and enhanced technology has meant fridges are now large enough to walk into, in addition to the reach-in solutions.
A refrigerator uses a refrigerant to cool its interior space, keeping any stored food cool and fresh. In the past, fluorocarbons were the predominant refrigerants used, but this compound was found to be detrimental to the environment. Nowadays, hydrocarbons are the preferred choice due to their non-toxic properties and greater efficiency.
The process involved in cooling the interior of a fridge involves compressing a refrigerant within a closed system. A refrigerant compressor is used for this process because at different pressures, the refrigerant draws in and gives off heat as it turns from liquid to vapour.
A fridge can maintain a constant temperature because the system of compressing and de-compressing a refrigerant is cyclic and can be regulated by certain technologies.
Variable Speed Compressor
These technologies include a variable speed compressor, which can adjust to various demands in the refrigeration industry. A variable speed compressor allows for refrigerator users to adapt the compressors speed and cooling capacity so that less energy is used where it is not needed.
The technology utilises motors with permanent, brush-less magnets inside, which improves efficiency and reliability in the long term.
Variable Frequency Drive
Another component important to reducing energy usage is a variable frequency drive (VFD). This piece of technology regulates the compressor and fan motors of a refrigerating system so that they are not running at full cooling capacity all the time.
Often, a refrigerator will not need to be running at constant capacity, so a VFD is included to adjust to part-load conditions and reduce energy wastage and noise.