Commercial Refrigeration Methods
Commercial Refrigeration and Vapour Compression
Vapour-compression refrigeration is one of the many refrigeration cycles available for use that is most often used in commercial refrigeration. It has been and is the most widely used method for air-conditioning of large public buildings, offices, private residences, hotels, hospitals, theatres, restaurants and automobiles.
It is also used in domestic and commercial refrigerators especially in large-scale warehouses for chilled or frozen storage of foods and meats, refrigerated trucks and railroad cars, and a host of other commercial and industrial services. Oil refineries, petrochemical and chemical processing plants, and natural gas processing plants are among the many types of industrial plants that often utilize large vapour-compression commercial refrigeration systems.
What is Commercial Refrigeration?
Commercial refrigeration is explained as lowering the temperature of an enclosed space by removing heat from that space and transferring it elsewhere. A device that performs this function may also be called a heat pump.
Liquid Refrigerant in Commercial Refrigeration
The vapour-compression commercial refrigeration system uses a circulating liquid refrigerant as the medium which absorbs and removes heat from the space to be cooled and subsequently rejects that heat elsewhere.
The condensed liquid refrigerant, in these refrigeration systems in the thermodynamic state is known as a saturated liquid, and is next routed through an expansion valve where it undergoes an abrupt reduction in pressure. That pressure reduction results in the adiabatic flash evaporation of a part of the liquid refrigerant. The auto-refrigeration effect of the adiabatic flash evaporation lowers the temperature of the liquid and vapour refrigerant mixture to where it is colder than the temperature of the enclosed space to be refrigerated.
The cold mixture is then routed through the coil or tubes in the evaporator. A fan circulates the warm air in the enclosed space across the coil or tubes carrying the cold refrigerant liquid and vapour mixture. That warm air evaporates the liquid part of the cold refrigerant mixture. At the same time, the circulating air is cooled and thus lowers the temperature of the enclosed space to the desired temperature. The evaporator is where the circulating refrigerant absorbs and removes heat which is subsequently rejected in the condenser and transferred elsewhere by the water or air used in the condenser.
To complete the refrigeration cycle, the refrigerant vapour from the evaporator is again a saturated vapour and is routed back into the compressor.