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Introduction to Industrial Refrigeration

In this podcast episode, Bryan, Trevor Matthews, and Jim Dick from Emerson give us all an introduction to industrial refrigeration. Jim works with contractors to provide tech support. He also does the startup and commissioning of refrigeration compressors and gas compression units.

Industrial refrigeration refers to warehouses and distribution networks. Grocery refrigeration is commercial refrigeration for the end-user, but industrial refrigeration is commercial refrigeration for the distribution network before the product reaches the end-user. Many of these large systems use natural refrigerants (including ammonia) and are easier to work on because of their scale and easy-to-access valves. However, the ammonia charge is small and is almost never in the same space as people, and industrial equipment often uses a brine fluid for heat transfer.

If techs want to move into industrial refrigeration, Jim recommends attending seminars on ammonia and natural refrigeration. Trevor believes that trade schools are currently lacking industrial refrigeration programs, and he hopes to see that change in the future.

Most people who succeed in the industrial side of the business are good electrical troubleshooters. When working on large equipment, you will have many electrical sensors and controls. The piping side is usually easier to learn than the electrical side, so some electrical proficiency is desirable. Many techs struggle with electrical concepts, so we encourage going back to the basics; do whatever you need to do to get a solid foundation. There are also many electrical contractors who would love to teach people who struggle with electrical concepts. However, learning about electricity also requires commitment and honesty about when you're in over your head.

Bryan, Trevor, and Jim also discuss:

  • Emerson's Vilter brand
  • Ammonia-CO2 cascade systems
  • Propane refrigerant
  • Gaps in industrial education
  • Building electrical troubleshooting skills
  • Manufacturer-contractor relationships and dealership networks

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE.

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