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Do we have the expertise to optimize operation of our refrigeration plant? (2)


Optimum condensing pressure. Winter operation.


To maximize energy savings during winter operation, condensing pressure should be kept as close as possible to the optimum. However, optimum condensing pressure will vary from 50 psig to 100 psig based on the temperature and humidity of ambient air. Do your operators know how to determine the best condensing pressure?

Assume that optimum condensing pressure was determined as 80 psig. How do you operate the plant at such low condensing pressure? It is not an easy task, because there are many barriers to operate a refrigeration plant at condensing pressure below 100 psig. You may read my previous newsletters about these barriers. However, this effort is rewarding, because up to 50% of total energy savings can be achieved by implementing this energy saving measure.

I have found that operators often do not challenge traditional operation at minimum condensing pressure of 110 - 120 psig. This is the reason that the majority of refrigeration plants have a lot of potential energy savings.

To get maximum energy savings, every operator should answer the following questions:

1.     What is the optimum condensing pressure during winter operation?

2.     What are the barriers to operate a plant at condensing pressure below 100psig?

3.     How should these barriers be overcome?


Optimization of the refrigeration plant operation is a relatively new direction in industrial refrigeration. If you do not know the answers to the mentioned questions, ask a consultant experienced in optimizing operation of the refrigeration plants.

My experience has shown that 90 - 95% of the refrigeration plants can be operated at condensing pressure below 100 psig. This means that a lot of energy can be saved by implementing this energy saving measure.  


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