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Dehumidifiers in freezers and cold stores: The value of flexible installation

6 min read
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Dehumidifiers are an essential component of any effective cold store or freezer. However, they do not necessarily have to take up much-needed space within these environments. In this article, we will show you the value that flexible installation can unlock for your organisation.

Cold stores and freezers are integral links in food supply chains worldwide, and the importance of these facilities has scarcely been greater than it is currently.

With this in mind, it is vital that these locations have all the equipment they require to stand out from competitors and maximise operating efficiencies. This includes capable, robust dehumidifiers, crucial for preserving the quality of products and establishing a safe working environment.

Below, we will discuss the significance of dehumidifiers in these facilities, and why it is beneficial to select a unit that offers you flexible installation.

The need for dehumidification in cold stores and freezers

There are numerous ways that moisture can enter the air inside a busy freezer room or cold storage facility:

  • Humid air passing through entrances left open for too long

  • Poor sealing of doors or windows allows warm air to infiltrate these spaces

  • Food products release moisture into the atmosphere

  • People or vehicles operating inside these facilities

If the relative humidity (RH) is not kept under control, moisture in the air can condense and lead to ice build-up throughout these facilities. This can place the health and safety of those working in these locations in jeopardy, and have numerous cost-related consequences:

Risk of moisture in freezers and cold stores

An effective adsorption dehumidifier physically removes moisture from the air, and keeps the relative humidity at a safe level at all times. If you’d like to know more about the importance of dehumidification in these environments, we explore this in greater depth in this article.

Most modern operators of industrial freezers and cold stores understand the need for dehumidifiers to protect the wellbeing of workers and produce. However, less consider the importance of where these dehumidifiers are installed, and the impact this has on operations.

Why is flexible installation beneficial in cold stores and freezers?

A substantial amount of commercial dehumidifiers designed for cold stores and freezers are very rigid in where they can be installed. Calorex dehumidifiers are different: our units can be installed in three distinct locations:

  1. Inside the cold store or freezer

  2. Outside the cold store or freezer

  3. In an airlock positioned nearby the cold store or freezer

Significant potential for space-saving

So why is this flexibility important? When drying air is taken from inside a freezer the conventional dehumidifier location is inside the freezer. While this wouldn’t impact the effectiveness of the unit, it can have a major impact on available space.

You likely do not need educating on how precious the space inside a cold store or freezer room is. Like any storage facility, any space that is not occupied by product is a drain on resources - you want to fill as much of the room as possible with goods that will affect your revenue.

In a cold store or freezer, this space is even more valuable than a standard warehouse, as the climate must be controlled at all times. This comes at a cost, meaning that there is even more emphasis on making sure that space within these facilities is being put to good use.

So, if one or more commercial dehumidifiers is positioned within these rooms - including all necessary ducting - that equates to a significant amount of space. For instance, here are the dimensions of a single indoor Calorex DD 1500 F unit: 1199mm x 807mm x 1170mm.

When you include ducting, that accounts for several cubic metres of space that could be better used for produce. As a result, Calorex units can be installed outside, performing the same exact role as an internal dehumidifier. This can save a substantial amount of internal space, which can increase the capacity for sellable produce.

Ease of operation

Positioning a dehumidifier outside of the cold store or freezer also benefits those responsible for maintaining the units throughout the year.

The average temperature for cold food and beverage storage rooms will typically be between 3ºC and 5°C. However, this plummets to around -25ºC in freezer rooms. As you can no doubt imagine, trying to perform maintenance on a dehumidifier in these temperatures is extremely challenging:

  • Technicians will need to limit the time they spend in the freezer for health and safety reasons, extending the duration of maintenance works or requiring multiple engineers

  • Consequently, this extends the downtime of the freezer while these works are performed, affecting overall running costs

  • Specialist equipment will likely be required to perform maintenance in these conditions, which will be more expensive to acquire

  • Overall, it is more uncomfortable and difficult for technicians, which could affect their performance and wellbeing

Having the option of placing the dehumidifier outside of the freezer room, or in a nearby airlock, will make life considerably easier for technicians. They can perform their tasks in ambient temperatures, meaning:

Maintenance benefits of flexible installation

How can Calorex dehumidifiers offer this flexibility?

Other manufacturers of this technology will say that it is not possible to install dehumidifiers outside of a cold store or freezer, as this will risk a great deal of ice build-up inside of the unit. If this happens, it could affect the efficiency and performance of the unit, and eventually lead it to malfunction.

Calorex dehumidifiers are incredibly well-insulated, which prevents the possibility of ice build-up. This ensures that our units work as effectively outside of these facilities as they would inside, and allow our customers to benefit from the extended storage space.

The advantages of Calorex dehumidifiers

Advantages of Calorex dehumidifiers

Flexible installation is one of the key differences that set Calorex dehumidifiers apart from the majority of comparable products out there. However, it is not the only feature that offers tremendous benefits to cold stores and freezers.

Options for reactivation heating

Rather than simply one way to perform reactivation heating, Calorex units offer two options:

  1. Heating through electricity

  2. Heating through low-pressure hot water (at a minimum temperature of 80ºC)

This flexibility can enable operators of cold stores or freezers to reutilise some of the waste energy generated by the chillers in these facilities. This can noticeably cut down energy consumption, resulting in reduced running costs and lessening the environmental load of these units.

Reduced energy consumption

Furthermore, the outside version of Calorex dehumidifiers can be fitted with an air-to-air heat exchanger mounted on the casing. This heat exchanger will drastically reduce the energy consumption of the unit and, since this will heat the reactivation air, the lifetime of the reactivation filter within the unit will be extended.

Technology such as this is why the DD 3600 F unit is up to 55% more energy-efficient than comparable dehumidifiers on the market.

Stainless steel casing

Regarding the casing of our dehumidifiers, we use stainless steel as standard across our range, rather than the aluminium or zinc coating of other models. This has several benefits for cold stores and freezers regardless of whether their dehumidifiers are installed inside or outside the rooms:

  • It is more hygienic, with no possibility of coating peeling away and coming into contact with products

  • It is hard-wearing, greatly reducing the possibility of damage sustained over time

  • It is better protected against corrosion

Discover the difference with Calorex

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the factors to keep in mind when choosing the ideal dehumidifier for your cold storage facility or freezer room.

Having flexibility over where your dehumidifier is installed opens up the possibilities for considerable space-saving, and can make maintaining your units far more straightforward and cost-effective.

Calorex dehumidifiers offer you this flexibility and much more. Backed by decades of technical expertise, our units are trusted by facilities worldwide to prevent ice build-up and maintain safe, controlled environments for workers and products.

If you would like to learn more about our range of climate control solutions, get in touch today by completing the below form.

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