Where did the past to present innovations begin in freezer and coolroom technology? We need to know that answer. Otherwise, how can our staff members learn to respect the larger models in this equipment line? In order to really know walk-in cooling tech, we need to reverse the artificial cooling timeline, to follow it all the way back to the first models.
Discovering the Vapour Compression Cycle
A standard single-stage refrigerator began the revolution. With that revolution underway, there was no more need for burly men and blocks of ice. Instead, a mechanism circulated a refrigerant around a closed system. In here, the vaporised refrigerant changed states. Condensers and evaporators worked with pressure changes and an expansion valve to cool large volumes of air. A fan transferred that air, then a compressor reconstituted the vapour.
Building on the Basics
Curiously, the refrigeration cycle hasn’t changed much in over a century. The refrigerant has obviously been replaced by a far more efficient, far more environmentally friendly substance. This leaves system designers hustling to collect new technologies. One innovative cost cutter is a variable speed drive, a motor that benefits compressors and condenser fans. The variable speed motor rotates faster when heavier cooling loads are experienced, then it slows when normal cooling duties resume. Other improvements in the moving parts domain include electronically-commuted drive systems and high-efficiency condensers.
The Future of Artificial Cooling
The above improvements are innovations, but they’re incremental, not actual quantum leaps. This will change as newly researched cooling solutions are introduced. Modular designs are already regarded as the standard installation layout. This mode of quickly building a high-end coolroom will continue, as will the newly incorporated insulation panels, products that use bonded laminates to stop energy leakages. In the meantime, expect new solutions that don’t use refrigerants. In breaking away from the vapour cycle model, freezers will cut their energy expenditure ratings and become truly eco-friendly. Current studies suggest a future where magnetic fields interact with exotic metals to create a cooling effect. Peltier coolers represent another cooling avenue, with their innovative electronic innards using thermoelectric science, not messy fluid refrigerants.
The eventual path to the future suggests a more-of-the-same approach. Newer refrigerants are likely. Then, as refrigeration mediums advance, superior pump drives and condenser fans will take the place of energy gluttons, the drives that eat into a kitchen or restaurant’s annual budget. Finally, the biggest innovative leaps enter the scene, with their magnetic coils and electronic cooling techniques truly taming the artificial cooling conundrum.