What Should You Consider When Designing A Refrigeration System?

Refrigeration systems are an important part of the modern world; they are used everywhere from manufacturing to food processing to residential to commercial. The world of refrigeration systems is becoming more and more regulated. These regulations ultimately act to increase sustainability, while it lowers energy consumption, and this has a massive impact on users, especially those in the food industry. 

Owners of facilities must take a number of factors into consideration when designing a refrigeration system that can meet their needs. While these factors are weighted differently from project to project, they all create a core part of a refrigeration system make-up. 

ASHRAE or American Society of Heating and Air-COnditioning Engineers developed a scorecard and a set of quantitative and qualitative metrics to help operations achieve their scores. Here are four of the most important factors to consider:


A refrigeration system must meet the basic safety standards in four areas. The first one is the safety of the particular refrigerant used, in terms of its toxicity, flammability, and other potential hazards. Second, the safety of the system itself must be considered in order to protect it against accidental damage. 

Third, the safety risks of the unit must be considered. Ceiling-hung evaporators present a potential safety hazard, in case they come loose. Lastly, the operating charge, or the amount of refrigerant in the system, also influences overall safety — the greater the operating charge, the more significant the risk. 


Most of the sustainable design philosophy today is meant to decrease the environmental risks that are posed by a refrigeration system. Maybe the most important factor is the refrigerant that you choose. Refrigerants are rated in terms of their GWP or their global warming potential. The higher the GWP is, the more of an environmental threat it poses. 

You must consider the refrigerant system’s total equivalent warming impact or TEWI. The TEWI rating expresses the system’s carbon footprint and encompasses such factors as the impact of refrigerant leakage and the energy consumption of the unit. Wate use must be considered too, as this can increase the environmental toll of systems that use huge amounts of water for heat rejection. 


Refrigeration technology has grown throughout the years. Yet the newer the technology, the more risks it brings, especially when it comes to troubleshooting and breakdowns. Older and more well-developed technology tends to be more predictable when it comes to long-term performance and its potential issues. 

It is important that you consider the expected life of the unit used. Different types of refrigeration systems have different lifespans. Unitary systems tend to have shorter life expectancies than built-up systems. The customer support and the stability of the technology manufacturer should be heavily weighted. 


When investing in any equipment, you must carefully account for all costs that are involved when designing a sustainable refrigeration system. These costs include the capital costs that are linked with the equipment itself, as well as any construction or structural costs. You must also account for the cost of the refrigerant and the costs of operating and maintaining the system. 

Aside from these four factors, operations, maintenance, and regulatory compliance, are important too. A refrigeration system must also be tailored to meet your operations and maintenance needs. The key factors include the complexity of the system, the overall space footprint, the potential for redundancy, serviceability and its ability to accommodate future expansion. This aims to predict as accurately as possible any costs in the future and the difficulties that are associated with the system. 

Refrigeration systems are subject to a huge number of regulations, which govern everything from their construction, their operating standards, and their environmental effects. If you fail to account for all regulations, you may find yourself faced with penalties. It is always best to let a professional guide you through the planning process.

Touch to Call!