How to Choose the Right Cold Storage Unit for Your Business

How to Choose the Right Cold Storage Unit for Your Business


June 17, 2022


Cold storage is an important part of the food supply chain and it is evident from the fact that the global cold storage market is estimated to reach over USD 330 billion by 2030. This market is driven by the increasing demand and trade of perishable goods including food and biopharmaceutical products as well as consumers’ concern about food wastage and nutrient value.

That is why selecting the right cold storage unit that best fulfils your needs is important for your business’s profitability. Moreover, because of the strict regulations, cold storage is more complicated and expensive than dry storage You have to take into account the cost, temperature stability, energy efficiency and much more to make the right choice.

In this article, we will discuss the important aspects to consider when choosing cold storage. So, let’s dive in!

Top 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Cold Storage Unit

A right cold storage facility can not only lower your storage and distribution costs but also improve customer experience and satisfaction level. Here’s what you need to consider to make the right choice.

#1 Utility or Purpose

This may sound simple but it is important to define your requirement. Do you need the cold storage unit for pharmaceutical products or laboratory samples? Are you in the hospitality industry and need it for your cloud kitchen? Cold storage has been used for frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, dairy products, horticultural produce (flowers) and even equipment or instruments that work in a cold environment. With such a wide variety of applications, it is important to define your industry, product type, and end-consumer so you can choose an efficient, easy-to-clean, and maintain cold room or storage.

#2 Capacity

The capacity of your cold room may have a direct impact on your operational efficiency. Ideally, the size of the facility should be larger than the stock that you want to store or preserve. There should also be enough space to move around products, place shelves or other organisation pieces and ensure proper airflow. According to industry standards, cold storage facilities should be almost 40% larger than the required space. Moreover, even if you underutilise the cold room, it is not going to reduce operational costs.

#3 Temperature Range and Stability

Depending on the product type, the temperature range requirements for ensuring food safety and avoiding contamination may vary. For instance, meats may be stored between -3°C to 4°C for other raw food items, it may range from -5°C to -20°C. Again, for vaccines or biopharmaceuticals, the temperature requirement may be different. A stable temperature range protects the integrity and stability of the products and ensures value for the businesses.

#4 Refrigeration System

Usually, cold storages are equipped with an evaporator that removes heat from the cold room and a condenser that releases hot air. That is why having an efficient refrigeration system is important for maintaining stable temperatures. Moreover, depending on your need, you can choose a remote or centralised refrigeration system.

#5 Energy Requirements

A compressor is an important component of a cold room. Using an efficient compressor can help you save energy by up to 10%. Additionally, if you use electronically commutated condenser and evaporator fan motors, you can further save up to 19%. The use of LED lighting and rigid polyurethane foam insulation also prove very effective in energy savings.

The size of the cold room can also affect energy efficiency. For instance, in larger cold rooms the air takes a long time to warm up, hence, the temperature remains stable for an extended time when compared to small cold rooms. it can be assumed that maintaining one cold room is more energy efficient than multiple small ones, However, it comes down to whether one cold room is enough to meet your requirement.

#6 Safety and Warrantee

When buying cold storage rooms for your business, it is important that your service provider offers you quality and safety warrantee for the refrigeration, panels, or cooling hardware. This will ensure a longer service life as they could immediately look into product malfunctioning or failure.

#7 Custom Features

You may also look for a custom solution for your specific needs. For instance, you may want anti-skid floors, environment-friendly (CFC-free unit), glass doors, custom shelving units, noiseless equipment, or insulated sections for specific products. In such cases, you can talk to your provider dor customised cold rooms.

#8 Additional Functionalities or Accessories

  • Thermometers and data loggers: Placing thermometers at strategic locations can help you track temperature regulation for your products. Thermometers when connected with data loggers can help you get the temperature data at your fingertips even remotely.
  • Alarms: Effective alarm systems can help you maintain operational efficiency. For instance, alarms can be set for sudden temperature fluctuations or if the door has been kept open.
  • Floors: You also have the option of choosing anti-skid, insulated floorings to maintain stable temperatures for a longer duration.
  • Lights: The LED lighting is energy efficient. Moreover, choosing vapour-proof and unbreakable lighting inside the cold room will ensure safety as well as energy savings.
  • Doors: The doors should be well-insulated,leakage-proof and heavy-duty for maintaining a stable temperature. There should be internal safety mechanisms so that personnel are not locked inside. Moreover, the use of PVC strip curtains to prevent cold air from leaking outside and avoid entry of particles or foreign materials.
  • Insulation panels: Depending on your needs and aesthetics, you can go for stainless steel (SS) or galvanised aluminium exteriors of the polyurethane panels of walls, ceilings, and floorings.

Final Words

Choosing the right cold storage has a direct impact on your business’s profitability. In order to make sure your cold room is environment-friendly, energy-efficient, fulfils safety checks, maintains a stable temperature range, and requires low maintenance, you need to look at multiple factors discussed above.

Rinac, a leader in cold chain solutions offer a variety of cold rooms with practical features and accessories to meet your needs. With our modular, smart, environment-friendly, and energy-efficient designs, we keep your products and goods safe and intact! Discover our range of walk-in or step-in chillers and freezers, combi rooms, display cum cold rooms, multi-commodity cold warehouses, and much more!

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