Maintenance measures on refrigeration plants

Maintenance measures on refrigeration plants
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All manufacturing industries, Chemical and process engineering
Medium cost
Annual saving:
3500 - 100000€
Payback time:
1 Year(s)
Resource savings: Energy:
Small performance range (10-20 kW): energy cost savings up to 3 800 € per year. Larger performance range (500-1 000 kW): energy cost savings up to 100 000 € per year.
Associated cost savings: Energy:
25 - 45%
Payback time:
Less than a year
Co2 emission reduction:
Small performance range (10-20 kW): CO2 emission reduction of 8.3 tonnes per year; larger performance range (500-1 000 kW): CO2 emission reduction of 360 tonnes per year
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes
Size of company:
Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
What is in it for you:
Regular maintenance of refrigeration systems leads to more efficient operation and saves energy costs.
Descriptive information:

Refrigeration is a process of mechanically cooling or reducing the temperature of a space, product or process. In some industries, such as chemical producers or the food and drink sector, refrigeration accounts for a significant proportion of overall energy costs. Against these costs, even a small reduction in refrigeration energy use can lead to noteworthy cost savings.

A regular service on refrigeration systems leads to:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Contributions to the environment
  • Safeguarding of functionality
  • Increased service life

In a two-year study comparing refigeration units that are well serviced to those where no maintenance has taken place, energy efficiency dropped by 45 % in smaller plants (10-20 kW cooling capacity) and 25 % in larger plants (500-1 000 kW cooling capacity).

The following maintenance measures should be carried out regularly:

  • Cleaning of condenser and evaporator surfaces as well as piping systems
  • Optimum setting of temperature and pressure sensors
  • Ensuring functionality of control modules
  • Optimum setting of the plant, especially the evaporating and condensing temperatures
  • Checking of condenser fan and pump condition
  • Checking the condition of insulation
  • Leak test of all pipes and apparatus
  • Checking and servicing compressor units regularly

Regular inspections of the refrigeration systems are also part of a good maintenance regime, providing valuable information about the plant and identifying measures to increase energy efficiency.

The following aspects should be considered during regular inspections:

  • Checking the liquid line sight glass, if possible, to ensure levels
  • Paying attention for debris/dirt build-up on the condenser and evaporator fins and ice build-up on the evaporator (to prevent heat loss)
  • Listening for excessive noise coming from compressors or fans (maybe the bearings have to be replaced due to wear or the fan is loose on the motor)
  • Checking evaporators and condensers for damaged/corroded fins

Furthermore, the following measures should be investigated during the process-design procedure:

  • Prevention of resistances and pressure losses in the process due to cooling system design issues
  • Use of droplet separators and cooling tower installations with low resistance
  • Modulation of air and water flow when variable operation is required

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