Types of Cold Room Refrigeration: A Quick Guide

Cold Rooms

When we think of preserving perishables on a large scale, one of the first solutions that comes to mind is a refrigerator or a cold room.

A cold room is an insulated, refrigerated space designed to maintain a set temperature artificially. Primarily, these spaces are used to store perishable goods in optimal conditions so they last longer.

Although we often associate cold room refrigeration with commercial kitchens, it is widely used across a range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and horticulture. Essentially, cold rooms offer precise temperature control for facilities that need powerful, reliable, and consistent refrigeration.

In this post, we will walk you through the science behind cold rooms, their types, and the factors you must consider when choosing your system.

Understanding the Functionality of Cold Room Refrigeration

A cold room isn’t all that different from other refrigeration systems. It’s a giant, more powerful fridge, with a compressor, condenser, fans, and an evaporator working together to maintain the unit’s temperature.

Refrigeration systems operate by compressing a refrigerant and then allowing it to expand. The expansion of the gas absorbs energy, cooling the evaporator coils and, indirectly, the air passed over them.

All cold room refrigeration systems have four main components.

  1. Compressor: The compressor is at the heart of the refrigeration cycle. It sucks the refrigerant gas through a pipe and compresses it to increase the temperature, pressure, and energy.
  2. Condenser: Once the refrigerant is hot, it is pushed into the condenser- one of the two heat exchangers in the refrigeration loop. This is where the vapour transforms into a hot liquid.
  3. Expansion Valve: After the refrigerant leaves the condenser, the expansion valve creates a drop in pressure. This pressure drop causes some of that refrigerant to boil quickly, creating a two-phase mixture.
  4. Evaporator: The evaporator is the second heat exchanger in the standard refrigeration unit, and like the condenser, it is named for its basic function. Here, the liquid refrigerant evaporates into a vapour, absorbing energy and cooling the coils. The refrigerant then passes into the compressor for the cycle to start all over again.

Types of Cold Room Refrigeration Systems

Industrial cold room installation

Different types of cold rooms serve different functions and might vary in size and construction. Let’s explore a few.

Walk-In Cold Rooms

Walk-in cold rooms are large enough for a person to enter. Typically found in restaurants, supermarkets, and catering services, these cold rooms offer ample space for bulk storage and are designed for easy access.

Modular Cold Rooms

Modular cold rooms are built with insulated panels that can be assembled, disassembled, and reconfigured with ease. They’re a great choice for businesses that need to scale their cold storage as they expand their operations.

Industrial Cold Rooms

Industrial cold rooms are designed for heavy-duty applications. They’re commonly equipped with high-powered refrigeration systems to handle significant product volumes. Industrial cold rooms are usually purpose-built, with features like easy access for transport, security, and an efficient inventory management system tailored to specific sectors.

Mini Cold Rooms

Mini cold rooms are the smallest type of cold rooms that are ideal for businesses with limited space. They usually come in handy for smaller establishments, such as small shops or pubs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cold Room Refrigeration System

Are you looking to purchase a walk-in cold room? Here are a few things to consider before you choose one for your business.

Size and Capacity Requirements

Start by assessing your space and the quantity of perishable goods you need to keep cool. Calculate how much frozen product goes through your business in a week and how much space that takes up. You should be able to determine the amount of cold storage you need from there. If you need help, consider seeking advice from a professional experienced in cold room installations, like Polarcool!

For over 30 years, Polarcool Refrigeration Ltd has helped thousands of clients with their commercial refrigeration and cold room requirements. Our extensive experience and commitment to client satisfaction have made us a go-to name in the industry.
Give us a call if you need to discuss your cold room needs with an expert. We’ll do our best to answer all your questions!

Temperature Control and Precision

Your cold room’s temperature range should match what you need to store. For instance, meats and fresh produce have different temperature requirements than vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. The goal is to find a cold room refrigeration system that fits your product’s cooling needs.

Your walk-in or modular cold room should maintain your preferred temperatures consistently. This stability is crucial to storing your products in the best possible conditions. You can also install a facility with separate cool zones for maximum functionality.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient cold rooms can save your business money so it’s best to choose cold rooms with a high energy rating. A cold room storage solution that is more efficient will let you save on your energy bills month after month.

Maintenance and Serviceability

Understanding your cold room’s maintenance requirements upfront can save you a lot of headaches down the line. It’s best to entrust this job to a reliable service provider with an excellent industry reputation. Routine cold room maintenance is essential for minimising unexpected breakdowns, and you want an expert to troubleshoot potential issues before they escalate.

Polarcool offers fully compliant and qualified cold room maintenance services across East Anglia and South East England. We inspect and optimise every element of your cold room, ensuring it runs at peak efficiency. Contact us for reliable servicing that protects your peace of mind.

Benefits of Cold Room Refrigeration Systems

Preservation of Freshness and Quality

Cold room refrigeration keeps materials and products fresher for longer, ensuring temperature-sensitive products remain in optimal conditions until they reach consumers.

Minimising Wastage and Spoilage

With cold rooms, you have better control over your inventory. Cold room refrigeration reduces spoilage and lets you manage your stock more efficiently.

Freeing Up Space

Many businesses struggle with finding sufficient space to store everything. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may think installing a cold room will cause an even bigger space crunch – but this does not have to be the case.

Cold room installers can create turnkey solutions to maximise your existing space. Instead of adding more walls, they’ll make the most out of the area you have.

Cold rooms also come with tailored shelving systems to help you organise your inventory efficiently. This way, there are no wasted spaces or awkward gaps. Everything gets its own spot, making it easy to locate and manage.

The Cold, Hard Facts

If you’re a business that relies on cold storage, and if standard freezers fall short of your expectations, it may be time to invest in cold room refrigeration. Hopefully, this post has given you more insight into the different types of cold rooms and how they can benefit your business.

Are you looking for superior cold room refrigeration solutions in East Anglia and the South East? Polarcool Refrigeration has over 30 years of experience in commercial and industrial refrigeration. We’re known to deliver first-class service, no matter the size of your job. For more information, get in touch with us today!