Monday, May 18, 2020

As part of the regular refreshing of its technical offering, AIRAH has released its new Design Application (DA) manual: DA12 Energy Efficiency in Cold Rooms.  

“As the definitive reference for walk-in cold room energy efficiency in Australia, this manual will help all stakeholders overcome the barriers to improved energy efficiency in cold room operation,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “It has been designed for engineers; refrigeration technicians and contractors; and equipment owners, operators and specifiers.” 

DA12 editor Vince Aherne, F.AIRAH, says walk-in coolrooms (WIC) and freezer refrigeration systems (cold rooms) typically have the highest leak rates in the economy, and use refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP). This sector clearly offers opportunities for reductions in costs and environmental impact. 

AIRAH partnered with industry stakeholders (including the Expert Group and AIRAH members) and government (Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) to conduct field research on barriers to improved energy efficiency in the walk-in cool room and freezer room sector of the refrigerated cold chain. DA12 was developed to help overcome the identified barriers.  

“DA12 provides an overview of the key factors that affect efficiency in the refrigerated walk-in cold room storage sector,” Aherne says. “It covers small- to medium-sized refrigerated storage, excluding refrigeration display appliances, large cold-storage facilities, and specialised systems used exclusively for medical, scientific or research applications.” 

Commencing with the regulatory requirements and minimum applied standards, DA12 takes readers through the standard design calculations required, providing a range of default practical information inputs for designers to use. DA12 includes a “Star Rating Index”, which allows suppliers and end-users to assign an energy efficiency and environmental star rating to a proposed refrigeration solution.  

“This will allow apples to be compared with apples so to speak – refrigerated apples in this case – and avoid the lemons,” Aherne says. 

The manual also discusses the current and emerging refrigeration technologies and system architecture used in the WIC sector, the importance of correct equipment placement, and the essential elements of the insulated enclosure. It contains comprehensive information on the WIC installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and documentation practices required for energy efficiency. 

“Using this document will help all stakeholders overcome the barriers to improved energy efficiency in cold room operation,” Aherne says. “Anyone involved in the design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance and documentation of energy-efficient walk-in coolrooms and freezers should keep a copy of this manual handy.”