As the necessity for food preservation grows, so will commercial refrigeration.
Fresh products can only have a short shelf life if they are shipped and stored at low temperatures to avoid the growth of bacteria. Because of inefficient cold chains, the International Institute of Refrigeration estimates that food loss accounts for 20% of worldwide production and 23% in poor countries (IIR).
The cold chain must also be upgraded to enable safe transportation from the point of production to the point of sale while also decreasing waste as the global population increases (about 75 million people a year, mostly in developing nations).
There will be an increased demand for frozen and ready-to-eat foods in developing countries as more women go to work.
There are 1.5 billion refrigerators in use across the world. There are currently 90 million commercial refrigeration systems (including condensing units, stand-alone appliances, and installations consisting of refrigeration compressor racks and displays), 47 million beverage coolers, and refrigerated vending machines, and all of these numbers are rapidly rising. There are currently (with an average CAGR of over 5 percent ).
The extension of the cold chain has a smaller negative environmental impact now because of technical advances.
Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity (indirect emissions). The “greenhouse effect” is a term used to describe pollution caused by refrigerants leaking into the atmosphere (direct emissions).
Indirect emissions from commercial refrigeration account for 67% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with refrigerant leakage accounting for the remaining 33% of emissions, according to UNFCCC estimations. Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Framework).
In 2015, commercial refrigeration power use emitted 390 million tonnes of CO2, or about 2.5% of global demand.
Gas mixes now in use have caused the leakage of approximately 200 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent refrigerant.
The number of food storage systems has increased, but efficiency improvements and the introduction of new low-GWP refrigerants as mandated by standards already in place or soon to be implemented in the majority of nations will significantly reduce the environmental impact of food storage in the near future
Reduce the greenhouse effect by replacing conventional refrigerants with natural or low-GWP ones. Many factors contribute to leakage-related pollution. These include the system’s age, size, age, global warming potential, total refrigerant charge, leakage percentage, and number of years it has been in operation.
Shops should switch to HFO (1300 kg CO2eq) instead of R404A, which has a GWP of 3922 kg CO2eq but a 20 percent reduced environmental impact.
If other considerations like flammability and total cost are taken into account along with overall energy efficiency and toxicity, all natural refrigerants will not contribute to global warming.
Commercial refrigeration requires or suggestions to reduce leakages are still highly high, even when correct steps have been taken to eliminate high-GWP refrigerants, but authorities and industry have not been particularly aggressive in reducing gas charge per unit cooling capacity (statistically up to 25 percent of the total content per year).
Leakage from commercial refrigeration systems can be dramatically decreased, there’s no denying that.
IIASA researchers claim global leakage from HVAC systems, including chillers, is about equal to all commercial refrigeration installations, while using 7 times as much energy (3650 billion kWh/year) and having 15 times the cooling capacity as HVAC systems.
Long, complex pipelines connecting numerous units are standard in traditional commercial refrigeration systems. These pipelines are custom fabricated on-site, one at a time (such as exhibits or cold rooms). Because they carry the majority of the refrigerant, these pipelines are particularly vulnerable to leakage. On the other hand, almost all HVAC units arrive fully installed and tested at the factory before being shipped.
It is possible to reduce the total charge of refrigerant by 80% while decreasing the possibility of annual leaks from 15% to 2% using self-contained displays with built-in compressors. This results in an emission reduction of 98-99% for the same fluid. Leaks are also infrequent, and when they do occur, they just affect the one affected unit and have no effect on the remainder of the system. Leaks
Low-pressure, low-cost piping can be used to evacuate condensation heat to the outside.
Stand-alone machines are currently available, albeit in limited quantities, in establishments that specialise in the sale of frozen goods.
Reduced direct emissions are an important first step, but they are only one part of the solution. Increasing energy efficiency lowers operating expenses while also reducing pollutants.
There are numerous ways to improve the energy efficiency of a system. Transcritical CO2 systems have motorised expansion valves that control the system’s temperature and the ejectors, and unique hardware technologies like these can also be implemented, as can software like the most appropriate sequence for starting the compressors and optimised defrost intervals.
Inverter-controlled compressors with brushless motors, which combine the intrinsically high efficiency of brushless motors with the ability to vary rotation speed (from 15 to 25 percent to 100 percent) in response to changing cooling demands, represent a key energy-saving breakthrough today. Significant amounts of energy are saved using this new system.
It saves 20 to 25 percent of the energy utilised by automatically adjusting the compressor’s speed based on working conditions, so benefiting both the environment and economy.
There are predictive algorithms that can detect problems (such low refrigerant charge) if you have a control system that tracks compressor use in real time, energy efficiency, instant cooling capacity, and temperature and pressure.