Cool as a Cucumber
Designing a Refrigeration System
School of Food Science
University of Idaho
In this case study, students are asked to design a new refrigeration system for a company that stores produce. Students will need to consider various aspects of refrigeration system design, such as single- versus multi-stage, size, operating temperatures and pressures, cooling load, compressor efficiency, overall system efficiency, and cost. An Excel spreadsheet is provided for students to design their system (see Supplemental Materials). All calculations are performed by the spreadsheet; students input their desired values. After the refrigeration system is designed to the satisfaction of the students, they are asked to discuss why they chose their specific operating parameters. This case study is appropriate for food engineering, food processing, and introductory heat transfer courses.
- Explain the various factors that affect cooling load/capacity for refrigerated and frozen foods.
- Discuss factors contributing to refrigeration system inefficiency.
- Apply heat transfer principles to determine cooling load for a refrigeration system.
- Design single- and multi-stage refrigeration systems.
Keywordsengineering; refrigeration; cooling; system efficiency; frozen food; produce; single-stage; multi-stage; food processing; food science;
Educational LevelUndergraduate upper division, Continuing education
Type / MethodsAnalysis (Issues), Discussion, Interrupted
Subject HeadingsChemical Engineering | Engineering (General) | Food Science / Technology |
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The Excel spreadsheet below is used in Part III of the case study to design a refrigeration system.