• jas.sibal

Chilled Unit Energy Saver (Retrofit for chiller's inefficiency!)

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Refrigeration accounts for around 20% of the world’s energy consumption. It is a huge drain on global energy resources and we have the product to reduce it substantially. When a refrigerator detects that the internal ‘air’ temperature is rising above the desired ‘set-point’ it starts the refrigeration compressor and another ‘cycle’ begins. In any given day a refrigerator may stop and start 100 to 500 times. Remember: You want your refrigeration to cool food, not air...

Most refrigerators use the same signal to control the compressor that they’ve been using for the past 100 years; air temperature. But don’t we buy refrigeration to cool products, not air? For health and safety reasons commercial owner/operators are required to take manual temperature samples of stored food... we care about the food, not the air. Briefly opening a refrigerator door allows warm air to enter the fridge but this is unlikely to effect food temperature. Air has very little thermal mass and thus rises far more rapidly than food temperature, so refrigeration cycles are usually more frequent than they need to be to maintain the required food temperature. The result is excessive energy consumption, undue wear & tear, shorter equipment life and greater incidence of mechanical breakdown & call-outs.

Commercial refrigeration systems are designed to store food products at a pre-determined temperature, in order to extend their shelf life. In almost all cases a thermostat is used to determine changes in air temperature, cycling the compressor on and off to maintain that level. By maintaining the temperature of the air inside the cabinet at a preset level it is anticipated that any stored food will take on the same temperature. However, due to the differing thermal characteristics of air to most food products, air temperature is rarely an accurate measure of food temperature. Each compressor start-up results in high-energy demands. Unnecessary cycling due to fluctuations in air temperature results in unnecessary energy demands. Over-sizing of the motor and compressor results in the refrigeration system using more energy than required, even during normal operating conditions.

The key issue is that refrigeration units are set to a temperature to maintain via thermostat, and the compressor unit of that fridge is cycled on and off to maintain it.On the face of it, this is sensible. But what really matters – the air temperature in the cabinet, or the food temperature? Crucially, the two are quite different – the thermodynamic properties of solid food differing substantially from that of air. So whilst the air may well need re-cooling, the food might well not. Much of the effort expended by your fridge is therefore wasted – attempting to keep cool food that is already happily at the desired temperature.

The solution of Tradersturf.Energy for the Philippines’ inefficient chilled unit is the Chilled Unit Energy Saver a.k.a CUES, a simple retrofit solution to this problem of over-active refrigeration units. CUES will transform your refrigeration into a system that responds to food temperature instead of air temperature. CUES is placed directly over the existing thermostats (thermistors or probes) within the refrigeration system, ensuring that the refrigerator reacts to changes in food temperature, not air. This results in a more efficient refrigeration cycle, where the individual compressor cycle lasts longer but frequency is reduced by up to 80%. This results in energy savings of up to 33% without any compromise to food safety and quality.

It achieves this by encapsulating the air thermostat with a specially blended food simulant wax that has the same thermal characteristics (thermal conductivity and thermal mass) as typical food products. While this concept has been known to some specialists in the field for decades... until now there has never been a method of ensuring consistent results that can be scientifically measured and verified, thus enabling a solution to be faithfully replicated and monitored. The specially developed hydrocarbon Food Simulant Wax is in effect a non-perishable food. The unique copyright design of the CUES housing ensures a subcutaneous temperature measurement at a consistent 5mm below the ‘food’ surface. This means the compressor will only be energized when there is a genuine need to cool food.

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