What is Industrial Refrigeration

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Are you considering becoming a Refrigeration technician? Did you know that industrial refrigeration exists in addition to residential and commercial refrigeration? The Refrigeration School (RSI) offers a Refrigeration Technologies program to prepare you for a career in refrigeration. So, are you asking yourself, “What is industrial refrigeration?”

What is Industrial Refrigeration?

Industrial refrigeration deals with cooling and freezing large-scale processes and equipment. Industrial processes and equipment are much more complex than residential or commercial refrigeration. Industrial refrigeration operates at much lower temperatures and higher pressures. They require proper maintenance to ensure optimal performance and prevent costly downtime.

An industrial refrigerator has many components, including:

Refrigerant – liquid used to transfer heat between zones. It changes from gas to liquid based on the temperature and pressure.

Compressor – refrigerant evaporates from heat into the compressor. It elevates the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant.

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Condenser – where refrigerant goes after the compressor. The condenser is exposed to cool air, and the refrigerant releases heat. The refrigerant then turns into liquid.

Metering Device – reduces the flow rate of refrigerant into the evaporator and decreases the pressure.

Evaporator – absorbs unwanted heat where the refrigerant evaporates.

Commercial vs Industrial Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration is used in restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores. They hold small amounts of food and may be used for presentation. Commercial refrigeration systems are durable but not suited for heavy-duty industrial use.

Industrial refrigeration systems are much larger and used to store large quantities of temperature-sensitive food, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. They have more advanced temperature control and can maintain accurate temperature ranges.

What Industries Use Industrial Refrigeration?

Industrial refrigeration is needed in industries that require temperature control to maintain product quality and safety.

Food and Beverage

An essential element of industrial refrigeration is maintaining food and beverages at a strict temperature to comply with government regulations. For example, industrial refrigeration can be used in meat packing, beer distilleries, or dairies. Regulations mandate that refrigerated food stays between zero and eight degrees Celsius. Frozen food must stay at a temperature of -18 to -35 degrees Celsius. This slows down the growth of microbes.


Medicines, vaccines, and biological samples must be kept refrigerated or frozen. Industrial refrigeration helps provide consistent cooling throughout cold storage to prevent temperature variations that can compromise pharmaceutical integrity.

Chemical Manufacturing

Industrial refrigeration can offer large-scale ammonia and freon refrigerant for chemicals. This helps prevent chemicals from being released into the atmosphere, exploding, or becoming flammable.

Want To Learn More?

Ready to start your new career at one of the best schools for HVAC in Phoenix? Because HVAC is a hands-on job, technical training is typically required for anyone to enter this field. Many people invest in a trade program to learn the trade skills they need to be safe and effective as professionals. To learn more about our HVAC program offered at the Phoenix, AZ campus, contact us at The Refrigeration School or call 1-888-671-5803.