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Refrigeration is the process of removing heat from a space, material or substance. Industrial refrigeration processes cover a large number of industries such as foods, chemicals & manufacturing. In processes where low temperatures must be maintained, industrial refrigeration can be essential.
In industrial processes, chiller hire units are made use of to remove heat from a material or process. The chiller contains a refrigeration circuit which uses an absorption system or vapour compression to cool air. The main concept in refrigeration is that a liquid expanding into a gas will cool a local material or substance.
At the start of the refrigeration circuit, the refrigerant passes through a compressor. This is powered by an electric motor & increases the refrigerant’s pressure.
Next the refrigerant enters the condenser. It is in the condenser that the vapour changes into a liquid form & releases heat. This vapour is at a higher temperature than the air moving over the condenser.
Once out of the condenser, the refrigerant moves into an expansion valve where there is a reduction of its pressure.
Finally, the refrigerant reaches the evaporator, bringing in heat & turning into a vaporous form. Heat is taken from the area needing to be cooled & the refrigerant returns to the compressor for the cycle to begin again.
The basic refrigeration cycle outlined above differs for industrial refrigeration because of the following reasons:
Therefore, there are a number of additional components which may be needed for an industrial refrigeration system such as:
Water cooled chillers play a vital role in processes which need to cool large amounts of water. These chillers are efficient & can last for a number of years. However, the maintenance involved with water chillers causes them to be relatively expensive.
In the wine & spirit industry, process cooling is required. Heat is removed during the fermentation process. For example, beer temperatures need to maintained at a temperature range of 7-13°C to help facilitate the fermentation process.
Food processing also requires process cooling. For example, in the cheese industry, refrigeration is used to sustain temperatures of 10-20°C during the curing phase & preventing the growth of bacteria.