Reducing Industrial Refrigeration Energy Costs By Increasing Efficiency

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Industrial refrigeration systems are used in a variety of applications including food processing, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Refrigeration alone accounts for much of the energy costs in these industries. Some refrigeration systems can account for up to 60 percent of a facility’s entire operating expense.

Industrial refrigeration is one of the biggest areas where you can reduce your costs and increase operating revenue by reducing energy consumption. The best way to increase efficiency is to adopt an integrated approach to maintaining your refrigeration system. Many businesses focus on optimizing single parts of their systems instead of maintaining efficiency as a whole. Even if your system has some of the most advanced parts on the market, the oldest parts will affect its efficiency.

Optimizing new refrigeration equipment

Every time you add new equipment to your refrigeration system, you should troubleshoot it to ensure it works within the system. If you fail to optimize, you will be wasting money and energy. Before adding new equipment, get a baseline of energy usage for your system by figuring out how much energy it uses on average. After that, install the new equipment and get a new baseline to compare the difference.

Factors that influence energy efficiency

There are many factors that affect the energy efficiency of your refrigeration system. The condition of the equipment, system control strategy, the design of your system, the refrigerant used, and the cooling load profile all play a role in efficiency. The compressors and condensers are often the two components responsible for the greatest energy usage in industrial refrigeration. If you are looking to increase the efficiency of your refrigeration system, starting with these is vital.


Compressors are the biggest energy consumer in your refrigeration system. The best way to reduce your energy bill is to research and choose the compressor that fits best with your operational needs. For example, screw compressors are best at operating in full-load conditions. You can also add a variable frequency drive to increase part-load efficiency. If you deal with smaller loads or part-load conditions, you may want to use a reciprocating compressor.


Condensers are the next biggest energy user in industrial refrigeration systems. Variable frequency drives can be added to control pressure and reduce energy usage from condensers. The refrigeration condenser should be sized for peak operational conditions. You can also reduce the fan speed to increase energy efficiency and cost savings.

Steps to increase overall efficiency in your refrigeration system

There are many other areas you can focus on in your system to increase your savings. First, run your set points at the lowest possible setting. Suction and pressure should run at the lowest possible setting while still maintaining the necessary temperatures as well. If you decrease your system by one degree, you could save up to 1.5 percent in energy costs.

As stated above, you should size your compressors to match your load needs. You can use a variety of machines and sequence them as needed to keep them at peak efficiency.

Installing variable frequency drives on your compressors and condensers is also important. These drives allow you to vary the RPMs of the motor to match the needs of your industrial refrigeration system. You can also use the drivers to stabilize the head pressure. The drives allow your fans to change speeds without needing to engage in the start/stop cycles that consume a significant amount of energy. Drives are big cost savers on variable load systems. You should also use floating head pressure to maintain the temperature in your condensers and compressors.

Fifth, an automated refrigeration system can ensure that you keep temperatures at optimal levels without needing human intervention. You can automate defrost cycles to increase savings. You can also rely on a system that automatically adjusts to conditions, which minimizes human error.

Finally, you should install a remote monitoring system on your industrial refrigeration system. Remote monitoring allows you to reduce costs with diagnostics, offsite troubleshooting, run reports, and review energy management data. Using this type of system should be a part of your regular maintenance plan.

Industrial refrigeration maintenance in Amarillo, Texas

If you would like to upgrade or diagnose your industrial or commercial refrigeration system, contact the professionals at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas. You can call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Refrigeration and HVAC services for commercial and industrial facilities. Our technicians can review your system and help you optimize efficiency and reduce costs.