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View Subscription Details: Letter ( 02/23/2011 ) - HTML Format

Efficient Operation

 

Today many companies are focused on optimizing operation of their refrigeration plants. Optimization is the best way to save energy in industrial refrigeration. However, companies often rely on operating engineers to provide this optimization. Typically, an operator takes a 1 - 2 days energy efficiency course. Later, based on course information, he tries to optimize operation of the refrigeration plant. This approach works for the initial optimization of the refrigeration plant operation and 5 - 10% of energy savings can be achieved at this step. However, to continue optimization every company required help from outside professionals as final optimization is a complicated issue. Recently, I read a Ph.D. thesis about optimized hot gas defrosting. This thesis covered only a part of a large issue of optimized defrosting. We need additional research to clarify the influence of frost formation rate, hot gas supply, evaporator fan power, evaporator type, space between evaporator fins, etc. on optimized defrosting. However, optimized hot gas defrosting is only part of the final optimization of the refrigeration plant operation. Unfortunately, an operator will not be able to do Ph.D. research on his refrigeration plant. I think that to maximize efficiency of the refrigeration plant every operator requires help from outside experts. Some companies claim that they have been focusing on energy efficiency for the last 20 - 30 years. However, they did not achieve an efficient operation. Majority of their refrigeration plants operate at minimum condensing pressure 100 psig or higher, because of hot gas defrosting, liquid injection oil cooling, oil carry-over and etc. I think that all these barriers have solutions and the majority of refrigeration plants can be operated at condensing pressure below 100 psig. To maximize efficiency of their refrigeration plants, companies should rely on knowledge and experience of whole industry. This is a short cut to the final optimization of the refrigeration plant operation. Otherwise, your refrigeration plants will continue to overspend energy use year after year.

 

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