Gram is predicting a raft of future product developments that will transform the energy efficiency credentials of commercial refrigeration equipment.

As the refrigeration sector keeps tabs on EU proposals for minimum energy performance standards, the manufacturer believes there is considerable scope for further improvements in the efficiency of refrigeration equipment.

Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram UK, pinpoints insulation and temperature control as two specific areas where there is room for more work to be done.

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“Cabinet insulation can be enhanced with the use of vacuum panels instead of foamed walls,” said Roberts. “There is also considerable development in the design of a new generation of highly efficient evaporators and condensers that will greatly improve heat rejection ensuring that cabinets can work at their optimum level.”

Roberts also believes the usage of variable speed fans will contribute to the general reduction in energy consumed and improve the effective distribution of cool air around the cabinet interior.

“Nano technology evaporator coatings are being developed to eradicate ice forming on evaporator surfaces. This could remove the need for ‘energy expensive’ defrosting,” he added.

“Alongside this, developers are also turning their attention to a more intelligent defrosting ‘on demand’ system, instead of set cycles, and new techniques of removing defrost water, all of which, again, are eradicating the problem of condensation and ice forming within the cabinet.”

The largest user of energy in a refrigerator or freezer is the compressor and Roberts also expects future gains to be made here, saying there is “significant development” taking place to utilise variable speed compressors that will help to radically reduce energy consumption.

Refrigeration equipment has been identified by the European Commission as a product category with “high potential” for energy savings — as much as 60% in some cases — due to high energy consumption and long operating times associated with it.

The EU is currently putting together measures that will eventually require manufacturers to conform to certain energy standards when selling their products in Europe.

Tags : catering equipmentEcodesign directiveEnergy efficiencyEUManufacturersrefrigerantsRefrigerationsuppliers
Andrew Seymour

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