Drives for commercial refrigeration - energy efficient solutions

Food and drink retailers, distributors and producers are investing in modern refrigeration systems to maximize energy efficiency, maintain product quality and enhance safety. These investments provide payback through improving business sustainability and reputation while reducing energy costs. Emerson is a global leader in providing these solutions. Sales in Emerson’s Climate Technology business were nearly $4bn in 2008, much of these were obtained through commercial refrigeration projects.

Basic refrigeration system

As a part of Emerson, Control Techniques’ variable speed drives have a critical role in the performance of any refrigeration solution. The motors that drive compressors, pumps and fans typically consume more than 98% of the electrical energy in the refrigeration system. Control Techniques drives save up to 30% energy when fitted to commercial refrigeration installations while enhancing system operation.

How can energy be saved using drives?

Compressors, fans and pumps all benefit from variable speed drive technology where the speed of the motor can be changed to precisely match the required output of the system. This energy saving effect for centrifugal fans and pumps is explained by the affinity laws which state that as the speed of motor is reduced, the amount of energy saved by the reduction in speed is actually the cube of this reduction.

As an example: A fan operating at 50% speed under ideal conditions will use only 12.5% of the power that it would normally consume at full speed, yet it will produce 50% air flow and 25% of the pressure of full speed operation.

Flow, power and speed

Key benefits of using Control Techniques drives in refrigeration systems

  • Continuous regulation allows an increase in the evaporation temperature against start–stop systems, giving energy and power savings
  • Higher cooling quality increases the shelf life of cooled goods
  • Optimal starting performance increases the lifetime of mechanics
  • Reduced starting currents help cost reduction of the installation
  • Inverter integrated control reduces external installation effort
  • Lower pressure differences reduce mechanical stress for valves and pipes
  • Inverter communication allows process data acquisition and diagnostic via PC or remotely via Ethernet
  • Inverter intelligence offers combined system control of multiple compressors with operation dependant switch-over for optimal lifetime and performance
  • Able to reach the temperature set-point faster by improved control, increasing productivity and saving energy

Control Techniques products for the refrigeration industry

Affinity is an AC drive, specifically designed for HVAC fan and pump applications and refrigeration systems


Case Studies