What is a chiller fridge?

Nick Griffiths


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What is a chiller fridge?

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While at first glance chillers and fridges have the same purpose, with both being designed to cool and preserve perishable items, there are key differences. Depending on the sector they operate in, solutions for businesses requiring cold storage to carry out their operations can vary considerably in terms of size, functionality and design. The most common are cold rooms, chillers, and freezers. But what distinguishes them from each other, and which is best for you?

What is the difference between a chiller and a fridge?

 hillers are industrial-scale cooling systems that remove heat from a liquid via vapour compression or an absorption refrigeration cycle. They will typically operate at lower temperatures than a fridge, ranging from around -15°C to 10°C, depending on the specific needs of the installation. Chillers are generally used for large-scale applications with specific cooling needs, like manufacturing centres, warehouses, and even data centres, where cooling is needed to ensure equipment doesn’t overheat. Fridges are generally smaller and used in domestic as well as commercial applications. They also use a different method of cooling and maintain temperatures typically ranging from 0°C to 5°C to preserve food and other perishables. Fridges maintain a consistent temperature within a confined space to slow the growth of bacteria and extend the shelf life of stored items.

What is a chiller fridge?

A chiller fridge combines the principles of chillers and fridges to provide precise temperature control in a compact unit. It uses a vapour-compression refrigeration cycle similar to standard refrigerators but with an added capability to ensure the lower temperatures required for commercial applications.

How does a chiller fridge work?

 The chiller fridge works through a process of evaporation, compression, condensation, and expansion. Refrigerant absorbs heat from within the fridge and turns liquid into gas via evaporation. The compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas before releasing its heat into the surroundings and condensing it back into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant then passes through an expansion valve that reduces its temperature as well as its pressure, and the cycle repeats itself.

Do you need a chiller in the fridge?

 A separate chiller unit isn’t essential in most domestic fridges because the appliance has been designed to maintain the correct temperature range for preserving food without the need for additional cooling equipment. In commercial settings, where precise temperature control is essential, it might be necessary to integrate a chiller with a fridge or to use a chiller fridge.

This might include pharmaceutical storage or certain food processing operations where a chiller can provide the additional cooling power and temperature stability required.

What is a cold room?

A cold room is an enclosed space that has been designed and built to maintain a consistently low temperature. They are used across a range of settings to preserve perishable items, such as food, pharmaceuticals, and other temperature-sensitive goods. Cold rooms of different sizes are used in a variety of commercial settings, including restaurants, supermarkets, warehouses, hospitals, and research facilities. They’re available in different configurations, ranging from small walk-in refrigerators to warehouse-sized facilities used by food distribution companies among others. The temperature inside a cold room can be adjusted depending on the requirements of the items that are being stored, but it will typically range from around -18°C to 4°C. A cold room is ideal for larger operations with diverse storage requirements. They provide flexibility in temperature control and capacity, making them suitable for commercial settings such as supermarkets, food processing facilities, and restaurants.

Cold room installation and maintenance from ICE

ICE has the specialist knowledge and experience to complete a turnkey cold room project that meets your needs. That includes building of the insulated enclosure itself and refrigeration systems to maintain the required temperatures, right through to the lighting, alarm systems, and door automation. We only install state-of-the-art refrigeration technology, incorporating energy-efficient measures, and the latest refrigerants. As well as installing your cold room, we also provide a regular maintenance service to ensure your cold room is functioning at an optimal level.

Contact us to find out more about professional cold room installation and how it can benefit your business.

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