Walk-in Chiller and Walk-in Freezer: What Are the Differences and Advantages?

Walk-in Chiller and Walk-in Freezer: What Are the Differences and Advantages?

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October 17, 2022

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Industrial refrigeration is the backbone of the cold chain infrastructure. Whatever industry you are in—food retail, pharmacy, or food service, walk-in chiller and walk-in freezers effectively solve the need for storage, space utilisation, and food safety. So, when it comes to your business to invest in a walk-in cold room, make sure to consider your requirements, energy efficiency, and of course maintenance cost.

To help you figure out more about walk-in cold storage, we have tried to answer some of the most common questions. So, let us get started!

Walk-in Chiller Vs. Walk-in Freezer

The primary difference between a walk-in chiller and a walk-in freezer is the storage temperature maintained within the unit.

  • Walk-in coolers that store products of immediate use or those with a short shelf life, such as food items, vegetables, medicines, flowers, milk, and dairy products, operate within a temperature range of +2°C to +8°C.
  • Walk-in chillers can also maintain a temperature between -2°C and -5°C for the storage of perishable products.
  • Walk-in freezers, on the other, hand operate within a temperature range of -12° C to -18° C. It is primarily used for holding items such as frozen vegetables, medicines, frozen seafood and meat, as well as milk and dairy products, except ice creams for a prolonged period extending to months.

Walk-in chiller

Interestingly, some providers offer a combination of walk-in chiller and walk-in freezer rooms in a single unit. Such units maintain different temperature zones and are suitable for a variety of products.

A combination of walk-in chller and freezer

What Do Walk-in Chiller and Walk-in Freezer Store?

The walk-in chiller and walk-in freezer are best suited for the following:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Fruit, vegetables and cooked food
  • Floriculture
  • Airport cargo/ third-party logistics
  • Food processing
  • Marine processing
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Food retail services
  • Retail distribution (Cold chain)

How Do Walk-in Chiller and Walk-in Freezer Work?

Walk-in chiller and walk-in freezer are usually equipped with a unitary refrigeration system with a separate condensing unit, evaporator unit, refrigeration unit, electronic controls as well as pipe work. Depending upon the internal room layout and the room location, refrigeration units may be one of the following types:

  • Monobloc system: Wall-mounted, with the condenser unit discharging inside the building that houses the cold room.
  • Weatherproof split system: Wall-mounted, with weatherproof condenser units located externally as close as possible to the evaporator units.
  • Split system: Wall-mounted, with condenser units located in a separate ventilated enclosure mounted as close as possible to the evaporator units.

Usually, these cold rooms are constructed out of RPUF pre-fabricated and modular walls complete with floor and ceiling panels mounted on a flat, solid concrete base. It is equipped with two completely independent refrigeration systems of which one remains as a standby.

Some additional features in these walk-in cold rooms include the following:

  • Suitable for high ambient condition
  • Door handle with key security lock
  • Internal lighting
  • Adjustable shelving system for maximum utilisation of space
  • Microprocessor-based programmable electronic control
  • Non-CFC refrigerant

Advantages of Walk-in Chiller and Walk-in Freezer

Here are some of the advantages of these units in industrial refrigeration.

  • Food safety: Since these cold rooms are built with insulated panels, they are able to maintain the required temperature for a prolonged time, without compromising food safety. Moreover, many providers ensure that the construction material used for these units adheres to health and safety standards.
  • Accessibility: With walk-in chillers and freezers, you can organise your space more efficiently. This means, when you want to access any item, you can easily walk in without moving other items, enabling free movement and quick accessibility.
  • Shelf-life: Maintaining perishable items at the right storage temperature can prolong their storage duration and shelf-life. With sturdy, insulated construction and electronic controls, you can be assured of consistent storage conditions.
  • Storage: The use of multiple refrigerators and freezers take up more space when compared to the walk-in chiller and walk-in freezer. You can use smart racking and shelving solutions that effectively utilise storage space. Plus, depending on your need, you can customise the capacity and size of these units.
  • Energy efficiency: Using multiple standalone refrigerators and freezers can toss your energy bills. Instead, constructing a walk-in chiller or freezer with energy-efficient condenser and compressor units and eco-friendly refrigeration units means you can save significant money on your energy bills.

Final Words

Cold rooms including walk-in chillers and walk-in freezers are critical components of the cold chain, especially in servicing and retail sectors across different industries. The primary difference between these cold storage and/or display units is the temperature range they operate in. When choosing a walk-in cold room for business make sure to consider capacity, maintenance costs, temperature range, and energy efficiency.

Rinac, a leading cold chain storage solutions provider, offers a range of custom solutions for walk-in chillers and freezers. Our step-in cold rooms “PreServa” and “PreServa Combi” range of products comprises quick, efficient, adjustable, and compact step-in cooling spaces of varying temperature ranges and capacities. To know more about we can help your business, get in touch with us today!

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