As EPA & Snap regulations start to take effect there will be a push towards CO2 & Hydrocarbon natural refrigerants in Chicago, North America & beyond.
CO2 and Hydrocarbon Refrigerant have been in use throughout much of Europe for years and both have been proven to work well. There are major changes on the way for the HVAC and Refrigeration industries Read more
Northeast Cooling is a commercial refrigeration company based in Round Lake Illinois. We specialize in the service & repair of coolers, freezers & ice machines. We do one thing & we do it well! We cater to C Stores, Service Stations, Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Scientific Labs & more. Read more
An epic battle will be happening across Chicago. Outdoor Refrigeration Units will be fighting the elements to maintain proper temperature.
A Polar Vortex is making it’s way towards Chicago. We will experience some of the coldest weather in decades. Predicted temperatures for Monday are -12F & -40F windchill. Countless refrigeration systems will fail to maintain proper temperature. Most of these affected systems will have the compressor unit located outside. Outdoor commercial refrigeration condenser units located in regions that experience cold Winters must have low ambient operation controls. Units not designed to run in cold weather will not maintain proper temperature in the conditioned space when it gets cold out. The following are some of the different types of components that are needed to help a refrigeration unit run in cold weather.
Cold Weather Accessories & Controls
Condenser Bypass Valve
Condenser Fan Cycling Control
Compressor Crank Case Heater
Adjustable Low Pressure Control
The condenser bypass valve is used to used divert refrigerant from the condenser coil & instead pipe it right into the liquid line to maintain sufficient head pressure. This low ambient control works in any weather condition including subzero windy weather. This is the best cold weather control for your commercial refrigeration unit.
The condenser fan cycling control is used to cycle outdoor condenser fan motor on & off to try & maintain system head pressure. This method may not work well in extreme cold & windy conditions. This is especially true when the condenser coil has been installed facing West. Often wind travels West to East & can over cool the condenser even with the fan cycled off. This mostly happens on extremely cold & windy days. This is why we do not believe that a condenser fan cycling control is a good choice. There may be several days a year where a cooler or freezer will not operate correctly with a condenser fan cycling control.
The compressor crank case heater is used to prevent liquid refrigerant from migrating into compressor. The heater is energized all the time & keeps the compressor warm. This protects the compressor from liquid migration & liquid slugging.
All outdoor condensing units should have an adjustable low pressure control. Some units come with OEM nonadjustable low pressure controls that have a settings too high for cold ambient conditions. This may cause compressor to sit idle & not cool the space to be conditioned when it gets cold out. We recommend a standard pump down setting for all outdoor compressor units. The standard pump down setting is 20# low side compressor on & 0# low side compressor off.
Owners of commercial refrigeration systems in Chicago should keep a close eye on temperature & cycling during the extreme weather created by the Polar Vortex. If temperatures become erratic & warm up during the cold snap, chances are there is a problem with winter operation.
Please feel free to comment on this post or ask questions below. We are here for commercial refrigeration repair service during this weather & as always we are available 24/7/365.
More information is available in the following posts.
Reihl Efficient LLC has a great new Green Refrigeration product on the market. The Cool Vap Evaporator Coil for Walk In Coolers is a major advance in Commercial Refrigeration technology.
I recently went on a tour of the Reihl Efficient factory in Michigan. The folks at Reihl Efficient have figured out how to maintain & even decrease the box temperature of Walk In Coolers during the compressor off cycle. This has huge energy saving potential. Cool Vap coils in my opinion are a breakthrough in Green Refrigeration! I was very impressed by the facility & the high quality of the Cool Vap evaporator coil assemblies. All models come standard with high efficiency electronically commutated evaporator motors. The panels & coil housing are several times thicker than other coil brands & the coil should be more durable due to it’s configuration.
Mike Reihl has come up with a fantastic idea on how to tap into thermal inertia during a refrigeration off cycle to maintain & even lower box temperature. Cool Vap coils have a custom built chamber that rests on top of the evaporator coil. This chamber is filled with a proprietary mass. This mass builds & stores cold energy during the compressor run cycle. During the refrigeration off cycle this cold energy can be released back into the box by cycling the evaporator fan while leaving the compressor off! The Walk In Cooler is able to maintain or drop temperature without running the compressor. Cool Vap Coils take Green Refrigeration to the next level! Independent studies have been conducted. One showed an electrical savings of 37% & the other showed savings of 72%! Cool Vap Energy Efficiency study, coil sizes & specifications available on manufacturers website.
The manufacturer is so confident in the performance of their Cool Vap coil that they are offering a Performance Guarantee Agreement! They guarantee at least a 35% reduction in the electrical expense associated with running a walk in cooler or they will compensate the difference for the equivalence of two years!
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