A large part of the electrical refrigeration industry today is based on industrial refrigeration. There are many industrial refrigeration applications where the refrigerant is used as a refrigerant and is found in different components. Commonly used in refrigeration applications are glycol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and butylene glycol.
Refrigeration and refrigerated freight are two processes that are closely associated with electrical refrigeration. The refrigeration of goods is done on a wide scale and is done for commercial applications. Refrigeration is a major industry today and the majority of refrigeration equipment in commercial usage is powered by electricity. The types of refrigeration equipment include refrigerators, chillers, freezers, dryers, and air conditioners.
Increasing demand for energy sources to power equipment is the factor that has driven energy prices up in recent times. As such, there are more research and development of alternative energy sources and in turn, these will reduce the carbon footprint. The new equipment will be required to replace the older or non-compatible equipment. This will make this process very cost-effective.
An example of an alternative energy source is liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen, unlike solid nitrogen, can be added to gas cylinders and supplied through pipelines. Liquid nitrogen freezes at a lower temperature than the solid nitrogen and this makes it suitable for cooling. Liquid nitrogen has been used extensively for the refrigeration of liquid chemicals in the pharmaceutical industry, which is growing significantly.
Largest industrial users of electrical refrigeration in recent times have been facilities that supply chilled food to large establishments and hotels. These industries are largely dependent on electrical refrigeration equipment, which are fuelled by natural gas, propane, ethanol, and/or diesel. Some of the larger facilities have their own in-house electrical refrigeration equipment.
The liquid utilities and fluidics industry use refrigeration equipment for lubrication purposes. These products include polymers, non-wovens, and polyvinyl chloride. Today’s fluidics industry does not purchase this type of refrigeration equipment from the commercial market because it is highly specialized and needs to be designed, tested, and then installed by highly trained professionals. In addition, these high-end products need a dedicated cooling source. Smaller facilities that utilize refrigeration systems for their lubricants or lubrication products will have to choose a specific manufacturer of the refrigeration system to get proper design support.
One of the most common refrigeration applications is hydraulic refrigeration. This is a modern application that involves a compressor, a switcher, and an automatic control system. For the typical refrigeration system, it is connected directly to a refrigerant supply line and then to a distribution system. Hydraulic refrigeration systems are usually connected to a single refrigerant source and this can be a large tank-less refrigeration unit, a large liquid refrigeration unit, or a refrigeration system designed for storage.
Another popular refrigeration application includes portable refrigeration units. These devices have a sealed packaging unit and a fan to circulate air inside the sealed packaging. The conventional refrigeration units that were used in large commercial establishments have been replaced by compact, self-contained, tank-less, and ventilating units.
An emphasis on energy conservation is also a driving force behind the use of electrical refrigeration. Today’s environmental concerns have prompted manufacturers to design refrigeration systems that use less energy. This energy efficiency is most readily achieved when electrical refrigeration units are attached to a clean energy source such as solar or wind power. The electrical refrigeration units are cooled by the outside air outside the unit and the energy is supplied by a separate power system.
Energy conservation has long been a concern for the manufacture of electrical refrigeration units. While there are certain requirements for electric refrigeration systems that will not use any energy for cooling and will only use electricity to warm the refrigerant, there are still certain tasks that must be performed with the aid of electrical refrigeration equipment. These include the opening and closing of the refrigeration units, operations that affect the circulation of air within the cooling system, and the charging of the refrigeration units.
The electrical refrigeration industry is continually working towards energy conservation. Manufacturers understand that there are ways to reduce the energy consumption and cost of electric refrigeration and the energy conservation efforts are ongoing. Many technological advances have been made over the years in energy conservation that have reduced energy consumption.