Refrigeration Efficiency: Q&A With Our Energy Optimization Experts

Answer: Refrigeration efficiency issues, which include problems with ice buildup, temperature and insulation can take several forms. An energy audit will typically identify energy inefficiencies in one or several of the following areas:

  • Evaporator coils have heavy ice build-up
  • Evaporator temperature is lower than required for produce or process
  • System insulation is damaged or missing
  • Condensing temperature is excessive
  • Ice-makers are not turned off during extended unoccupied periods

The suggested operations and maintenance (“O&M”) improvements will vary based on your facility’s unique mix of inefficiencies, but what follows are some general guidelines.

Suggested Refrigeration O&Ms:

  • Defrost coils regularly.
  • Determine if automatic defrost system is improperly adjusted or defective.
  • Determine if air is leaking into refrigerated area from defective door gaskets or poorly sealed wiring or piping penetrations.
  • Increase temperature set point.
  • Repair or replace damaged or missing insulation. Protect vulnerable sections from future damage. Do not insulate hot gas piping unless required for safety.
  • Reset following manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Clean condensing fins or tubes.
  • Assure that ventilation for compressor rooms is adequate.
  • Develop schedule for manual operation.

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