If you operate any business involving food products, you know a little bit about the importance of refrigeration. Keeping food from spoiling means selecting a dependable freezer.
When selecting the right freezer for your brand, it helps to understand how refrigeration works, and the pros and cons of the refrigerant you select. To help you in this endeavor, we’ve broken down the main components of your fridge, and products used to make them work.
The Refrigeration Process
For the refrigeration process to work, warm air is first removed to enhance freezing potential. This requires the use of:
- A compressor
- A condenser coil
- An evaporator
- A refrigerant fluid
- An expansion device
As your fridge or freezer begins to work, the compressor inside increases the pressure in refrigerant gas by constricting it. When forced into the condenser coils on the outside of your refrigeration unit, the warm gas inside drops in temperature because of the cool air outside the unit. This causes the gas to take a liquid state, which cools before journeying back into the fridge or freezer. The now cool gas removes warm air from inside the fridge, cooling it before evaporating back into gas and repeating the process.
Most commercial-grade freezers use hydrofluorocarbons as a refrigerant. Recently, businesses in the food storage and service industries have begun using less flammable, and more eco-friendly refrigerants.
Like any refrigerator, ammonia-based refrigeration works with a refrigerant fluid (ammonia), which moves heat inside your fridge outside of your fridge. Ammonia has pros and cons as a cooling agent.
- Ammonia is an excellent choice of refrigerants for commercial freezers because it is quick to cool.
- Ammonia fumes pose less risk to the environment, making them popular among those with a green initiative.
- Ammonia is up to 10% more energy-efficient than chlorofluorocarbons.
- Ammonia is more affordable than chlorofluorocarbons.
- If you operate a small business, ammonia may not be the best option because of the fumes it produces. In a large space like a warehouse, these fumes can be properly detected, managed, and filtered. In a small space, ammonia fumes may become toxic.
- Systems using copper pipes can’t use ammonia refrigerant, because copper and ammonia are incompatible. The ammonia will quickly corrode copper.
If you’re unsure if ammonia would work best in your commercial cooling process, Keep It Cold™ can help you choose a safe method of refrigeration.
Liquid nitrogen is often used in blast chilling or flash freezing processes. Rather than flowing through the condenser coils of a refrigeration unit, liquid nitrogen is used in portable refrigeration to quickly freeze foods, preserving them without impeding flavor.
Liquid nitrogen is safe for food use because it evaporates when mixed with liquid ingredients. This is how quick freeze ice creams are served almost immediately, with no fear of ingesting the liquid nitrogen.
Flash freezing works on a variety of food products, whether being served iced, or preserved for later. The extremely low boiling point of liquid nitrogen (-320.5 o F), causes it to transform into a gas state, which is then poured onto food, where crystallization freezes the ingredients.
Commercial vs. Home Refrigeration
The refrigerant used in a business application differs from domestic refrigeration because of special issues, food standards, and Global Warming Potential (GWP).
In most home-based freezers, you will find 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, a chlorofluorocarbon product is used as the liquid refrigerant. This is a non-flammable gas but has negative implications for global warming. Used in small refrigerators like the one in your home kitchen, 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane isn’t a worry, but in large-scale refrigeration and freezing, it comes at a price.
Industrial refrigeration users are more frequently choosing ammonia refrigerants over chlorofluorocarbons to avoid high costs and pollution allegations.
Some refrigerators still use hydrochlorofluorocarbon but are being phased out, and banned by 2030 in North America.
Call Keep It Cold™ Today
Looking for the best portable refrigeration for your business? Keep It Cold™ has a variety of freezer sizes to choose from, including:
- 5’ feet
- 8’ feet
- 12’ feet
We also have a 12’ dual refrigerated trailer rental and a 16’ dual coming soon. The dual models allow you to set both freezer and refrigerator temperatures depending on the products you are storing.
For information and reservations, call 1-877-432-COLD.